As far as made-up genre names go, you can’t do much better than “doom-wop.” That’s how the new supergroup known as Mister Heavenly describes its peculiar sound, and the label is a fitting one. Their music is foreboding yet playful, with growled vocals and slithering guitars tempered by a nostalgic affection for 50s-era pop.
Balancing the light and the dark can be a tricky feat, but on Out of Love, Mister Heavenly make it seem effortless. Thanks to tracks like the drunken piano ballad “Charlyne” and the ghoulishly catchy “Diddy Eyes,” the album is an assured debut that sounds at once original and retro. Out of Love was released last week on Sub Pop, and you can stream it in its entirety on YouTube.
Their sound isn’t the only thing familiar about Mister Heavenly — the band is comprised of ringers from some of indie rock’s most distinguished acts. The core trio consists of Nick Thorburn (Islands/The Unicorns), Ryan Kattner (Man Man), and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse/The Shins), and, just in case that’s not enough star power for you, actor Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) sometimes tours with them on bass.
Cera may or may not be in attendance when Mister Heavenly come to Bar Pink on September 2, but you’ll want to be. The San Diego stop is the penultimate date on the band’s Out of Love tour, and — between the great band, intimate venue, and Kattner’s crazed unpredictability — it’s got all the makings of a great show. Tickets can be purchased here, so don’t miss your chance to grab some. After all, it’s not every day a doom-wop band rolls into town.