By Taylor Odishaw-Dyck
CALGARY – When sitting down with Kat Westermann and Matthew Spreen, two key members of Calgary’s psych-rock outfit The Heirlooms, you’lll quickly find a refreshing outlook towards music. As the duo expounded upon their future goals, it’s clear a big part of this vision came to be in their new project Mister & Mystic, a romantic indie rock vision by two philosophers deeply in love.
Westermann and Spreen are on the brink of releasing their debut self-titled EP, which was recorded in Vancouver at Blue Light Studios with producer Kaj Falch-Neilson. The album opens with an upbeat, percussion-filled rendition of “Walk Me Home,” which incorporates Spreen’s loop pedal for the multiple guitar layers.
In the second track, “All the Way,” Kat sings “I missed you before I met you…”
She admits the song is unabashadely “directly [about] Matt.”
One notable characteristic of this YYC duo is their personal bond. It reaches all the way from their romantic and musical partnership, to their philosophical beliefs, to everything in-between. You can even see it in their perpetually fresh wardrobe and naturally abounding kindness.
In the aforementioned track, Westermann captures the sentiment of “missing something… Where you know what it’s going to feel like, but you don’t quite have it yet… Then you finally get it and it’s a thousand times better than you would have thought.”
So what is the big plan for the record and the couple?
“Album release September 8. Wedding September 9.”
Simple enough! Their album follows the same vein: something simple and sweet with a vibrant authenticity. Some reoccurring themes woven into their mystical tapestry are hints of desolation after a collapse. Don’t worry, Spreen can explain.
“There’s this lingering thing in society involving apocalyptic expectations, and people kind of feel anxious, and maybe that’s a bit far, but we are living in a city where the main industry has collapsed.”
Westermann happens to indulge this dark fantasy in their track “Caves In,” as she sings “I love you when the world caves in.”
There are eight tracks on the short album, although one of these is a brief spoken word interlude, which contains thought-provoking poetry laden with heavy vocal effects.
Additional instrumentation on the album was provided by two studio musicians, including Peter Robinson on percussion and Brian Chan on cello. The recording took two days, which was a pleasant surprise, because that lined up perfectly with their budget. They had nothing but good to say about Falch-Neilson, who struck a balance between assertive and flexible production.
For Westermann and Spreen, this release is the next step towards making their music more intimate both for their audience and for each other.
Catch Mister & Mystic’s EP release as a part of We Are The Wind – A Soaring Eagles Record Showcase alongside Todd Stewart, Jason Famous & Le Fame, and Sinzere. The show takes place September 8 at Festival Hall (Calgary).Festival Hall, Jason Famous & Le Famé, Mister & Mystic, Sinzere, Todd Stewart, We Are The Wind