This album was a thrill to listen to. Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse, Ryan Kattner of Man Man and Nick Thorburn of Islands, in a band together, darkly riffing on R&B and doo-wop sounds? Sign me up.
The end result of their 12-day, live-to-tape session at Woodinville, WA’s Bear Creek Studio, Out of Love, is an unserious, playful and inspired batch of songs that flit and flicker attractively, paying homage and laying new sod all at once. Fittingly unsaddled by plodding calculation, but ultimately amounting to little more than the cumulative intentions of their authors, it’s a great summer record (for whatever of summer is left) and as brisk and fleeting as young love.
Beneath the banner of self-described “doom wop,” the album is an admixture of poppy prettiness and gritty, sinister grooves, no better exemplified than through the ragtime piano, peppy percussion, casual guitar work and whiskey-and-cigarette-ash-flavored vocals of Kattner on third track “Charlyne,” which comes unhinged in typical doo-wop style in its final moments – all harmonies and barbershop quartet bass backing vocals. As with the ending to “Charlyne,” the promises built into many of Mister Heavenly’s songs are often delivered, although they’re perhaps too fleeting, too insubstantial and too far between.
Read the rest here: Spectrum Culture: Mister Heavenly – Out of Love