It’s been a little over six years since Mister Heavenly formed and released the brilliant Out Of Love. I was fortunate enough to see one of their early shows here in Chicago, when they had Michael Cera playing bass and making bad cheese-related jokes at a Tomorrow Never Knows performance. As a fan of the band Islands, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with Mister Heavenly, the supergroup trio of Nick Thorburn (Islands), Ryan Kattner (Honus Honus of Man Man), and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse). I’ve been anxiously awaiting new material from them for a long time, and this Friday the sophomore record will finally be out in the world.
It was announced back in July, along with the release of the first single “Beat Down.” That song, and the other two singles that followed, “Hammer Drop” and “Making Excuses,” both felt like a natural continuation from the first album. But if you’re worried about the record being too similar, don’t. They add some new sounds to their palate that should pique your interest.
All three singles fall in the first five tracks on the 11-song record, and the second half of Boxing The Moonlight goes in a bunch of different directions. Starting with the intro to “George’s Garden” the band get a little more comfortable playing with synths and pops of sound that don’t necessarily fit into your traditional three and a half minute pop song.
Nick and Ryan continue to use their vocals to great effect. Their tones are not, at first listen, all that different. Their voices do hit you differently, though. Kattner feels a bit more direct, like a gut punch delivery machine. Thorburn can linger in your head, bringing on that feeling of existential dread that fills so much of the music from Islands.
I pre-ordered the early bird vinyl on the day the record was announced, and it came in the mail today. It’s a beautiful piece of wax. You can still get it on purple vinyl here. Tour dates are already in place, and they’ll be here in Chicago on November 11th. You can check out all the dates and who will be opening here.