Indie-folk band Mimi Arden premieres new song ‘Dandelions’ off forthcoming debut album

August 6, 2018

Indie-folk band Mimi Arden premieres new song ‘Dandelions’ off forthcoming debut album

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Mimi Arden’s band name might technically be derived from its lead singer’s name, but Michelle Gaw makes it clear that it’s not just about her.

(Michelle’s middle name is Arden, and “Mimi” is short for “Michelle.”)

Gaw, the singer-guitarist of Cleveland indie-folk group Mimi Arden, said she considers her band to be a collaborative effort.

“When it came time to pick a name for the band, I didn’t want it to be Michelle Gaw and the So and So’s, because I didn’t want this to be a songwriter with hired musicians. I wanted a band that has more input than that,” said Gaw. “I didn’t want the focus to be on my name and I wanted it to be more of an entity rather than a solo person.”

Mimi Arden, the band, was created in 2016 when Gaw started playing with other artists (“I would go to their practices and hijack my friend’s bands,” she said). Currently, Mimi Arden consists of Gaw, drummer Lee Kolarik and bassist Joe Botta.

Since then, Mimi Arden has become a big part of Cleveland’s local music scene, playing Heights Music Hop, Ingenuity Fest, Larchmere PorchFest and most venues around town. At the end of November 2017, Mimi Arden launched an IndieGoGo fundraiser to raise money for an album, and the band reached their goal amount of $10,000 by the end of January 2018, with nearly 200 backers.

With those contributions, Mimi Arden went into the studio in March and recorded its 10-song, self-titled album. The full album will be released on Aug. 11, but you can get a sneak peek with the new song “Dandelions,” premiered on cleveland.com today.

Dandelions by Mimi Arden

“Dandelions” is a song Gaw wrote a couple of years ago, about her friend, local musician Ryan Manthey.

“I wrote ‘Dandelions’ a year into our friendship. It’s all about a friend that challenges you, and a friend that tells you the things you need to hear versus the things you want to hear,” she said. “How a friend like that can make you see situations differently.”

The song includes the line, “You help me see dandelions instead of weeds,” showing Gaw’s shifted perspective on the invasive flower.

While Gaw wrote “Dandelions” more recently, some of her music was written when she was 16 years old. (Currently, Gaw is 22 and studying at Cleveland State University).

All of her favorite songs from over the years have made it onto Mimi Arden’s album.

“We didn’t sit down and write this album,” said Gaw. “It’s less of a statement piece and more of a timeline of things that have happened in my life over the last six years.”

Mimi Arden’s next live show is its record release concert on Aug. 11 at the Beachland Ballroom, where IndieGoGo backers will be able to pick up their copies of the album. Maura Rogers and the Bellows and Emily Keener will open for Mimi Arden. Tickets cost $10-$12.

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