story / MEGHAN O’CONNOR
The first time I heard MS MR, I was lucky enough to get a sneakpeak of the video for their then unreleased and now hugely popular single “Hurricane.”. At the time, the duo (consisting of vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenowit) had never even played a show. Even after releasing that single and performing countless nights to packed venues, the band wouldn’t disclose their real names to the public for six months.
I’ll never forget my first thought upon watching that video: these guys are really smart. “Hurricane” was not only stylistically perfect for Tumblr (a crucial aspect of their viral popularity) but it was also a perfect, precise presentation of their artistic vision. Self-defined as “a Tumblr-glitch-pop duo,” MS MR’s aesthetic utterly epitomizes the experience of falling into the never-ending black hole of the internet.
Just like the internet, moments of darkness are neutralized by diverting your attention to moments of arbitrary, but aesthetically awesome imagery. Then back to darkness. Never sure of what you’re watching or what the point is or how you feel, you keep watching their videos until you figure out at least one of the three. Pssst…hey. Lemme tell you a secret.
Their first show was only a year and a half ago, in the summer 2012, and I was right there front and center at Glasslands (it was really hard pushing through those ten people). I loved them so much I saw them again a month later. Their sound was then, and continues to be still, haunting and edgy in an addictively tempting way. The feeling lingers long after you’ve pressed pause on their new record (Secondhand Rapture).
Their sound and look translate seamlessly into their live performance, which is a feat not many artists popularized by cyberspace can accomplish. And all their artistry is really paying off right now. They’re on the lineup for at least 4 of the festivals on my top 12 list: Governors Ball, Coachella, Lollapalooza and just announced this week, Bonnaroo.
Here’s your storm warning. The hurricane is coming.
Check out the new and improved “Hurricane” video compared to the first one they released.
MS MR are now on tour. Get tickets here.
Thanks to TickPick for giving us a shoutout & sharing the story!