“What did you think would happen/When you put me in unnatural space,” MS MR’s Lizzy Plapinger bitingly accuses in the first seconds of “Painted,” the opening song and single of the band’s sophomore album, How Does It Feel. It’s a jarring way to start an album, and it’s this intensity that sets the tone for the other eleven songs featured.
It’s also what separates How Does It Feel from their acclaimed debut album Secondhand Rapture. With this new record, filled with danceable Top 40 hooks complemented by an indie-electronic twist, MS MR has taken the bottled up, frantic energy so apparent in their first album and unleashed it into the wild. Clearly, they couldn’t hold it in any longer.
This newfound energy can at times make it seem as if you’re listening to an entirely different band than the one you thought you knew so well in Secondhand Rapture – and that’s kind of the point. Plapinger and her bandmate Max Hershenow have consistently used their music a means of subverting the stereotypical pop music industry. After graduating from Vassar together in 2010, the duo released a multimedia EP, Candy Bar Creep Show, putting out videos and photographs in bits and pieces to gain buzz and engage with followers.
Yet despite the different direction of How Does It Feel, so much of what brought them to people’s attention is still right there. For one, Plapinger’s voice maintains the lazy soulfulness of Lana Del Rey with the powerful depth of Florence + the Machine, and her natural sound stands out above the heavily synthesized beats. Then there are the lyrics, which are as relatable as they are emotionally charged – lines like “Only when we’re lost can we find ourselves again” from “Reckless” and “I don’t want a way out/You and I know the truth/Even though it hurts” from “Criminals,” take us on a journey through all the uncertainties of our own lives.
MS MR will be hitting the stage at Terminal 5 on October 8th with Jack Garratt and Verite, so be sure to snag tickets after listening to the album.
MS MR ON TOUR:
8/7 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Field (96.3 Go Fest 2015)
9/8 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset
9/9 – Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Strand
9/10 – Oslo, Norway – Parkteatret
9/12-13 – Berlin, Germany – Lollapalooza
9/24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
9/25 – Austin, TX – Emo’s (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
9/27 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
9/28 – Nashville, TN – The Cannery Ballroom (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
9/29 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
10/1 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (w/ Circa Waves, Crater)
10/5 – Boston, MA – Royale (w/ Jack Garratt, VÉRITÉ)
10/8 – New York, NY – Terminal 5 (w/ Jack Garratt, VÉRITÉ)
10/10 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall (w/ Jack Garratt, VÉRITÉ)
10/12 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall (w/ Jack Garratt, VÉRITÉ)
10/13 – Chicago, IL – Park West
10/17 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre (w/ Jack Garratt)
10/19 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
10/20 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
10/21 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
10/23 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
10/25 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
10/27 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern (w/ Jack Garratt, Tigertown)
11/6 – Brighton, UK – The Arch
11/7 – Manchester, UK – Club Academy
11/8 – Glasgow – Art School
11/10 – London, UK – Electric Brixton
11/12 – Brussels, Belgium – Orangerie
11/13 – Paris, France – Trabendo
11/14 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg (Old Room)
11/16 – Zurich, Switzerland – X-Tra
11/17 – Munich, Germany – Technikum
11/18 – Frankfurt, Germany – Batschkapp
11/19 – Cologne, Germany – Gloria
11/21 – Hamburg, Germany – Mojo