Exploring themes of human nature, hope, spirituality, love, oppression, inequality and empowerment, ‘Heaven Knows’ draws inspiration from a plethora of vintage soundscapes, most notably soul, blues, gospel and jazz. Respectful nods are paid to girl groups of the 60’s and 70’s and Motown giving the album a timeless quality that is both reassuringly familiar yet distinctively Mica Millar.
Highlights include the first single ‘Preacher Man,’ with its addictive chorus imbued with Mica’s flawless smoky vocal and the follow up ‘Girl’ – thought-provoking, relatable and uplifting in equal measure ‘Girl’s lyrics are drawn from true stories about inspirational women close to Mica, originally released on International Women’s Day. There’s groove aplenty in the classic ‘More Than You Give Me’ whilst title track ‘Heaven Knows’ bursts with confidence, showcasing Mica’s immaculate, powerful vocal performance atop a bed of gospel infused musicianship. ‘Flashlights’ is Mica’s ‘movie depiction of romance.’ A smooth and sultry soundscape of what it would feel like if being in love and the simplicity of just making memories with someone was an acceptable indicator of success in life.
Listen to ‘Heaven Knows’ here
1. How long has Heaven Knows been in the making for, from start to finish?
Creating Heaven Knows has been a three year process, so it’s been a long time in the making.
2. What was your highlight from the recording process?
Recording this album has had a lot of challenges and triumphs along the way, I think the biggest highlight for me was probably going to master it at Abbey Road. I had spent such a long time in my own studio in a bit of a ‘creative bubble’ after the initial recording sessions (almost two years) continuing recording parts remotely, developing and honing all the tracks, and then mixing them remotely with Brian Malouf. There were so many files, so many loose ends that needed to be tied up at that point and it was very overwhelming. Once I was sitting in the mastering suite at Abbey Road I had a moment where I realised, all that hard work was done, I had completed what I had set out to achieve and at the end of that day the album would be finished.
3.What kind of emotions did you experience whilst creating this record?
Creating this record was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but I have absolutely loved the creative process. Taking on the production of the record as well as the writing and arranging, was new to me and it has been a major learning curve but that has ultimately been so rewarding as the album really is everything I intended it to be at the start of the journey and I feel so proud to have accomplished that.
I think experiencing a big change to my life right in the middle when I broke my back and then a global crisis with covid really just spurred me on in many ways. Life is so fragile and that realisation was certainly needed when the creative and technical challenges of creating an album were really at their peak. Firstly you realise ‘it’s only music’ and secondly, you never know how life is going to work out so doing what you love and creating something that’s meaningful to you (and hopefully to other people too) felt all the more important to me.
CATCH MICA LIVE THIS SEPTEMBER:
AZZ CAFÉ, LONDON – 17 SEPTEMBER
ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER 25 SEPTEMBER