Every Thursday, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.
Mister Heavenly: Out of Love (Sub Pop, 8/16/11)
Mister Heavenly: “Bronx Sniper”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Mister_Heavenly_Bronx_Sniper.mp3|titles=Mister Heavenly: “Bronx Sniper”]
Supergroups are usually a crapshoot. Sometimes they blossom into something outstanding (e.g., Wolf Parade), and other times they fall flat on their face (e.g., Audioslave). With so many ideas and creative juices flowing — as well as taking caution to not step on any toes of the other bands — collaborating can sometimes lead to strained and tolling music. So it’s with much caution that I began listening to Mister Heavenly, which features indie rockers Nick Thorburn (Islands, The Unicorns, Human Highway), Ryan Kattner (Man Man), and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, The Shins). But unlike so many side projects, which can serve as pedestals for glorified B-sides or a hodgepodge of directions that don’t always click, Mister Heavenly plays to its strengths, resulting in a fantastic album and listening experience.
After the first few tracks of Mister Heavenly’s debut, Out of Love, it becomes apparent that a collaboration of this caliber just makes sense. In fact, the songs fit so well together that it seems ridiculous that these three have never teamed up before. Thorburn has made a name for himself by being a part of quirky musical projects; Kattner has gained much attention for his band’s eccentric tendencies; and Plummer, as the drummer of Modest Mouse, has helped craft some of his band’s best songs with erratic beats and percussive versatility.