Spotlight: MS MR
Before taking the indie-pop world by storm, MS MR (that’s pronounced Mizz Mister) were just two typical undergrads studying at Vassar College. After first sharing a class together, the NYC-based duo were officially introduced when Lizzy Plapinger (vocalist) took interest in a project Max Hershenow (producer) was working on at the time. Plapinger was scouting for Neon Gold Records, a label she co-founded in 2008 – so, I guess not such a typical undergrad.
It wasn’t until they had both graduated in 2010, however, did they finally meet up to collaborate on material. The result? Singles “Hurricane” and “Fantasy,” which led to the release of their 2012 EP, Candy Bar Creep Show, followed by their 2013 full-length album, Secondhand Rapture. And the rest is history – in the making.
We recently caught up with the group right before they embarked on their tour. Here’s what they had to say…
You guys have been compared to Florence + the Machine and Lana Del Ray. Your music has been described as “chill wave” and “dream pop.” What do you make of these comparisons and how would you describe your sound?
We’re definitely flattered by those comparisons! We’re always curious who people think we sound like – whether or not we necessarily agree with them, I think that fact that we get comparisons to so many different kinds of bands/artists is great. It means people can’t necessarily figure us out yet. We’re both huge music fans and find ourselves inspired by music from many different time periods and genres, which we combine under the umbrella of pop with a dark, brooding, atmospheric twist.
This is going to be your first headlining North American tour. How do you prepare for a long stretch on the road? Any pre-tour rituals? Are you as excited as we are for your 9/24 show in your hometown of NYC?
First, we’re SO excited to play in NYC – we’ve opened for Marina & the Diamonds and Jessie Ware at Webster Hall, so it feels like an important next step for us to be headlining there, and is always a treat to play a hometown show with all our friends there. We’re getting better and better and prepping for long trips – right now we’re in rehearsals reworking some of our live set which is definitely helping to mentally prepare us for the shows. In addition, packing (which used to be a week long process) has become less of a challenge and something that is less time consuming now. That’s progress!
We consider you guys to be an up-and-coming, exciting new artist. Is there a new artist that you guys are particularly excited about? Who would you want to see in our Spotlight?
So many! We love the new London Grammar record, are consistently blown away by everything Haerts puts out, and are recently enamored with a new British singer named Laurel.
Lizzy, we know you’re quite the entrepreneur as a co-founder of Neon Gold Records. Any other interesting music projects you’re working on?
In addition to MS MR and Neon Gold Records, I also run a monthly punk night in New York called Fuzz with two other dear friends (Mikey and Emmie of @emmieshouse fame). We’ve been hosting it at a dive karaoke bar in Chinatown above a laundromat for the past two years but are actually about to move it to an illegal biker bar in Bushwick. I’ve always loved punk and rock & roll and it’s a great night because it’s a no-bullshit/guestlist, small space, plug in/melt faces/plugout, dirty drunken mosh pit of a time.
MS MR first caught our eye with the volume of tickets they had on the secondary market for their upcoming tour. Each show has had an average of 37 ticket listings on SG at an average price of 2.5x face value. The tour will see them on the road in the US until October 24, at which time they’ll hop on a plane and begin the European leg which runs through November 26. Be sure to check SeatGeek to catch them before they go over the pond.
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