Is something brewing in the near future for Mister Heavenly?
Indie supergroup Mister Heavenly released one of the most underrated albums of 2011, and if we’re lucky, they just might do it again this year. The band, comprised of Canada’s finest pop star Nick Thorburn (or Diamonds, depending which day you ask him), Man Man’s manliest man Honus Honus (or Ryan Kattner, if you want to get legal with it), and indie’s established MVP Joe Plummer (still waiting on confirmation if that’s his legal name, or if he changed it to rhyme with drummer), boldly and accurately spearheaded the genre “doom wop” with the release of their debut album Out of Love.
Out of Love is a delightful 36 minutes of musical complements: Thorburn’s smooth, resonating croon blends surprisingly well with Honus’ gruff undertones; driving guitar riffs are aided by Plummer’s booming drumbeats; the upbeat synth sounds balance out the deceitfully dark and rarely uplifting lyrics. Hints of a much heavier, almost metal sound are sprinkled throughout, contrasted with a playfulness and vocal complexity that is absent from much of today’s modern music.
Once Mister Heavenly formed and dropped Out of Love on Sub Pop, they followed up with a tour supporting the album (featuring, for a few shows, Michael Cera on bass). After the tour wrapped up, the members went back to the groups that allowed them to create such an experimental project in the first place. Thorburn’s main outlet Islands released the beautifully somber Asleep and A Forgetting, and aside from promoting that and his solo album I Am An Attic (released in June 2011 via Bandcamp), he scored a film (Only the Young) and embarked on yet another incredible musical endeavor called Stepson with rapper El-P. Honus dove right back into Man Man, wrapping up a North American tour last month and promising a new album in 2013. Plummer often splits his talents between Modest Mouse and The Shins, and with Port of Morrow released in March 2012, he surely didn’t have much time to reflect on Mister Heavenly before being swept up by The Shins’ agenda.
With each member being pulled in so many different directions, I had never hoped for a follow-up to Out of Love. It quickly became my “If-I-was-stuck-on-an-island-and-could-only-choose-one” album, and though I was desperate for the trio to head back to the studio, I resigned myself to the fact that it would probably never happen and thanked musical Zeus for giving us anything at all.
The past few days, however, have revealed a beaming, heavenly light at the end of a once-sealed tunnel. On March 27, the band posted a status update on Facebook reading, “Is something brewing in the near future?” Since then, all three members have posted shots of each other (recording, Skyping, creepin’) on various social networks (including Thorburn’s inverted trio Instagram with the caption “Mister Heavenly is back, and a little bit different”). During a recent interview published just a few days ago, Honus responded to a question about the existence of a second album with the most beautiful word I’ve ever heard: “yes.”
On Thursday night, Plummer posted a photo on Instagram of Honus and Thorburn unloading gear, accompanied by, “Day 1, 24 day US TOUR.” Is Mister Heavenly hitting the road for a spontaneous slew of shows? Do they already have a second album raring to go? Frankly, we shouldn’t care what they’re doing—the fact that they’re doing anything is enough. Stay tuned. Second chances like this are hard to come by. No matter what they’re planning, you’re going to want to know about it. And if you hear about it first, call me.