New York has always been viewed as an enormous, apple shaped, melting-pot for exciting new music, and at present, the big city seems at its most prosperous in some time. It’s set the scene for a handful of Neu favourites’ careers, including the glistening electro-pop duo MS MR, speaking to us from a rain cursed day in Brussels.
“Essentially, we went to school with one another, but didn’t really know each other, or start making music together until we had an email exchange where we were both looking for musical opportunities and thought that the other person might be a good match,” explains singer Lizzy Plapinger. “It was December 2010 when we first got together and it went really well,” she says. “We really liked what we’d made, but more importantly, I think we recognised that we could write music with one another.”
Three years on and the pair have a remarkably anticipated debut album to their name. The rightful hip hop King of New York, Jay-Z claims to be a fan of the band. “We initially recorded the album – almost everything – even before we had a record deal,” says the ‘MR’ to the duo, Max Hershenow. “We [recorded] in my apartment on my laptop and keyboard and microphone. It was super D.I.Y., and I think we naively thought that those tracks we recorded in our apartment would be enough, then we’d be able to just find a mixer and finally release it.”
The album contains all four songs from their 2012 EP, ‘Candy Bar Creep Show’, as well as singles ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Hurricane’, both of which are accompanied by astoundingly outlandish music videos, which combined have racked up over two million hits on YouTube. “I think the music videos are an extension of all the visual ideas of what we’ve been developing,” explains Hershenow. “And when we look back at them we see a clear pattern between the way we think visually and the way we think musically. I think the idea, in general, is that we want to present you with a lot of material, both musical and visual, without making the connections or the narratives a split.”
All this ambition coming to fruition is the stuff of pop fairytales. Two music enthusiasts finally seeing their names in star-studded letters. “I don’t think it ever felt more real, until recently when we got the physical copy of our album in our hands. That was the first thing that really settled it for me,” Lizzy tells us. ‘Secondhand Rapture’ appears certain to secure the band’s providence even further.