Cat-pop rockers Mittens started in 2009 as a duo featuring longtime friends Lia Dearborn (Uniform Victor) and Ramona McCarthy. They later became a foursome by adding guitarist Paul Ryu and drummer Tyler Shimkus (Imagery Machine).
After making their live debut as a quartet in May 2012, group spent several years playing gigs before recording an album, and not all those shows went well. Ryu recalls "We played a show at Bar Eleven [later the Void] that was likely our worst. We were out of practice since there were a lot of big life events going on at the time. To add to that, we had been fooling around with the intro and first verse to 'Uncontrollable Urge' by Devo in practice, and we half joked that we should play that live. Once we were on stage, we launched into the song spontaneously, and then we remembered that we did not know any of the lyrics, and we didn't really know how to end the song either. That was at the end of our set, too, so the set just kind of petered out, and we just laughed ourselves off the stage."
"Luckily, there were very few people at that show, and we still had fun."
A self titled album was released in March 2016. “The album is a 100 percent DIY effort from start to finish, with Paul as the engineer,” according to Dearborn. “We applied everything we learned over the years to this project, and it means a lot to us that we were able to complete it on our terms, on our own, without external input.”
As for the peaceful cover painting, "We went back and forth on the album title and cover art a bit," says Ryu, "but in the end, we entrusted our very own Lia to design us a beautiful cover, and she really delivered with the arrangement of pretty clouds. For those fans that buy our CD instead of a digital download, they will get to interact with a full booklet with song lyrics and pictures, something that we really wanted to do."
The group welcomed a new drummer in February 2017, Matthew Burke (Grizzly Business). Their album Endlessly was released that November.