Mysterious musician Plain Mister Smith unveils an irreverent new single, ‘New Wave Sangfroid’ on 1 December, via Popoganda Records. This folky ballad features accompanying voice work from singer-songwriter, Jordan Klassen. When not blending indie-folk harmonies and progressive pop rhythms, Plain Mister Smith keeps his multi-talented hands full playing the cello for the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. To name but a few, Plain Mister Smith has received support from CLASH Mag, NOTION Mag, Under The Radar Mag, Earmilk, NOCTIS, and Atwood Mag.
As the story goes, the cellist Mark Jowett woke up one day, and before him stood a peculiar man in a pinstriped suit – his globular head turning to look at Mark. Whether apparition, intruder, or musical persona in ‘human’ form … Jowett was unsure. It did, however, spark the fire of his new project; birthing Plain Mister Smith. Physically located somewhere between Vancouver and London, the enigmatically elusive musician is figuratively out of this world. Ever ethereal in the public eye, the masked virtuoso has quietly demanded his own secretive space within the indie-pop world.
On ‘New Wave Sangfroid’ the listener is greeted by warm pads, warbling as an earnest acoustic guitar joins the fray. His voice crooning and calling, Plain Mister Smith’s lilting vocals are direct evidence of his cold-blooded cool. Channeling new wave dance rhythms from his early days in the 80s dark wave group, Moev, Plain Mister Smith’s new track showcases his diverse set of sensibilities and slick lyrical delivery. Marrying old-school, new-wave cool with soaring acoustic atmospheres; the sincere balladry of José González meets the mystery of Elliot Smith. Injected with cello and sweeping synths, Plain Mister Smith is sure to draw in fans of other out-of-the-box indie-folk rockers like Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, and Bryce Dessner.
After pondering on the essence of the single, ‘New Wave Sangfroid’, the world-minded Plain Mister Smith stood up straight and simply announced, “[It’s] the story of the life of a down and out new wave band trying to make it to the big-time in San Francisco in the 1980s and some of the crazy and lovely and insufferable things they experienced”.