Sunday, December 11, 2011


Mister Heavenly is... coming to get you. from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

"I am a hologram, a modern version of a miserable man...".

I have a bit of a feeling, this is a pretty poignant line that sums up this band's state of mind. When I met them here in Berlin for an interview there was a whiff of frustration in the air, not just during the interview but especially at the show. I have to say, I can unterstand.

Two of these guys, Nick Thorburn aka Nick Diamonds and Ryan Kattner aka Honus Honus, have put a lot of hope and aspiration into this project. Nick Thorburn first started to get some attention with his band THE UNICORNS in the beginning of the 2000s. When they split up, he formed ISLANDS with whom he has already released three albums and the next is on the way. I remember being well excited about their debut album "Return To The Sea" with it's earworms "Rough Gem" or "Swans", to name but a few. I also remember having been to what probably was their one and only live appearance in Berlin at the Bastard Club. Unfortunately, they never hit it off in Europe.
As for Ryan Kattner's other band, MAN MAN, it's kind of similar. He once said in an interview: "I think both of our bands [Islands and Man Man] don’t necessarily get the attention that we’d like to have." (

MAN MAN went on tour with ISLANDS a couple of times and it was in 2006 that the idea of Nick and Ryan working together first cropped up, but it wasn't until 2009 that they actually put it into practice. They joined forces with Joe Plummer, drummer of Modest Mouse and The Shins, and found in him the perfect match for the rhythm section. In only 12 days MISTER HEAVENLY recorded the album, which was finally released in August 2011 via Sub Pop/Cargo Records.

The band played about a month ago at the pretty empty Privat Club in Berlin and up until then they hadn't had much luck on their European tour, as I was told. Being hailed as the next supergroup in most of the influencial US music magazines but not pulling enough people to their shows would understandably lead to some frustration. In Germany they didn't even get any media coverage until they where over on tour. The band themselve really tried to pull all the strings possible. They even brought on-and-off touring member Michael Cera to Europe to help them out on bass. Remember Michael Cera - cute young actor, who played in Juno, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playliste, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (yes, he actually played the guitar himself in all of the films!)? And even though the focus shouldn't be on him as far as MISTER HEAVENLY is concerned - the music should speak for itself - I will never understand why the European or at least the German Media hadn't picked up on that before their tour started!

OK, you might have noticed in my tone of writing that I, in fact, am a little frustrated myself about not giving an amazing band like MISTER HEAVENLY the attention they deserve.
Bottom line is, this band has released one of my favourite albums of 2011, which is called "Out Of Love", with one earworm after the other. Have a listen to this beauty here:

Alternatively, listen here:
Mister Heavenly - Mister Heavenly by subpop
... or listen to and download these gems: Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper by subpop
Mister Heavenly - Pineapple Girl by subpop

Or go to Paste Magazine if you prefer to listen to their album song by song.

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