by Amaris Pollinger
Before Mistine chose music indefinitely, she considered studying biochemistry at the University of Vermont. Fascinated by having the ability to help people control their breathing and alter their state of mind, she planned on being an anesthesiologist. “I really just wanted to help people, to care for them,” Mistine says. Instead, the Vermont log-cabin-born musician chose music over medicine. She studied at USC’s Thorton School of Music and transferred that same empathy into her songs. Mistine has since toured with the likes of Conan Gray, WizTheMC, and ZEPH.
At present, Mistine is experiencing a strange, chaotic shift in her world of cobalt jeeps, dogs, and floating flowers. She is trying to figure out how—or where—to be. Feeling a little delirious, she laughs at herself, and the room feels as if it’s erupting with sunflowers. We talk about this transition that feels universal, her new single “Temporary Feeling,” and why her catchy tunes are inspired by cars.
Her new track, “Temporary Feeling,” is devoted to the concept of a relationship that is destined to end. While her earlier release, “Everett Park” was centered around the ending of a relationship and reclaiming places filled with memories, “Temporary Feeling” is the precursor. It’s the very beginning when things are sweet, ripe with affection and tenderness…Well, sort of.
“It’s about a relationship that was like that,” says Mistine, “But…I was thinking about what I wanted a summer fling to be like.”
Really “Temporary Feeling” is about having a carefree summer, about enjoying someone you know isn’t exactly your person. “You can always feel when it’s about to end.” Mistine’s voice goes from a floral pitch to a softened beach wave tinged with melancholy.
“It’s like when a season ends. Things start to change in the air, you can feel it coming. It’s bittersweet…it’s ending yet there’s a new chapter. You get attached, but you don’t fall apart when they’re gone.”
Sure, this is sad, sweet, and might break some of your hearts as your own memories come rushing over you. But Mistine didn’t want “Temporary Feeling” to evoke sadness. Instead, her goal was to fill the airwaves with another track that makes you want to jump in your car and drive to the beach; or to nowhere in particular. In fact, it’d be better if you didn’t know where you were going.
“Temporary Feeling” sounds like the next chapter following “Everett Park.” While “Everett Park” contained a more melodic rock sound, “Temporary Feeling,” is gilded with more of a pop element, grounded with a sense of maturity. Essentially, it is my opinion that Mistine has formulated her sound with “Temporary Feeling.” It boldly declares independence without any turbulence or aggression. Rather, “Temporary Feeling” is compassionate in its delivery while refusing to be bossed around. Much like Mistine herself.
“I do feel like it’s in control,” Mistine agrees, “It feels powerful because it’s saying, ‘this is the relationship I want for this amount of time.”
That doesn’t mean that you can’t recognize someone’s value or what they bring into your life for whatever amount of time they’re there. It would be Mistine’s advice that you let go with love and light, no matter what the situation may have been.
Mistine’s vision for “Temporary Feeling” was somewhere between flower clouds, hearts, sunsets, and a long drive. To bring her inner world to life, she employed the help of her bestie, Hannah, who is responsible for the cover art for “Temporary Feeling.” Hannah added Mistine’s dogs to the artwork, a perfect detail for Mistine’s personality.
“That’s how my brain works,” Mistine laughs, “There’s just hearts and flowers floating everywhere!”
Like the floral clouds and hearts that dot Mistine’s inner world, “Temporary Feeling” blossomed in reception, out streaming its predecessor, “Everett Park.” This could be related to the importance Mistine places on her fans. She is not only focused on being relatable but being available.
“I’ve gotten a lot of sweet messages from people,” says Mistine. “I just want people to have moments in [my] songs that can relieve stress. If it gives them a reason to jump in the car and do something, that’s what makes me happy.”
The obsession with driving is something noteworthy. Considering Mistine’s entire song-writing philosophy revolves around a track’s drivability, it’s not surprising that it plays a part in her song-writing process. It is Mistine’s theory that being mobile changes the way people have a conversation. And I consider how some of my favorite conversations have all taken place in cars. That’s certainly why Mistine writes music inspired by the act of driving.
“I really love cars because I am interested in how people connect while driving,” Mistine says. “[Even] walking, driving and talking creates a lot of safe spaces for people. I think it distracts you from your insecurities and you’re more willing to open up.”
With a new EP arriving June 30th and a few shows sprinkled in between, Mistine is riding her wave despite the chaos and Earth-tilting shifts that we all seem to be experiencing. As we creep together out of isolation and stumble our way back to “normalcy,” Mistine’s only wish is that everyone finds a bit of happiness this summer.
“We went through this traumatic, binding thing and some really awful things are happening in the world. It feels strange to pick up and rebuild. I hope everyone is okay, I hope that everyone can find small moments to make their day.”
After all, what good are we doing ourselves by turning into hectic balls of rage and nervousness over things that we cannot change? We could use a little bit of Mistine’s light, and her music is just that; a blinding blaze of sunlight at the end of an otherwise ominous tunnel. Once we’re through it, we emerge in an eruption of floral clouds, beaches, heart stones, and dogs. And sure, maybe the world isn’t like that, but life is only what you make it, isn’t it?
Find a moment to hop into your own car, go for a long drive, and blast “Temporary Feeling.” It doesn’t have to be in a blue jeep, so long as the drive it makes you smile and there’s a dog in the back seat.
For fans of Taylor Swift, The 1975, Paramore, & Maggie Rogers.
Cover photo by Biata Shem-Tov Photography. Courtesy of Mistine.