MS MR Talks 'Secondhand Rapture' & Their Favorite 'Game of Thrones' Character
Dream-pop duo's debut album out Tuesday on Columbia Records.
"I am so, so excited for her to come into the North," gushes MS MR singer Lizzy Plapinger. "She's gonna fuck shit up so hard."
Plapinger, of course, is referring to the plot line of Daenerys Targaryen, the blonde-haired mother of dragons and her favorite character on HBO's smash fantasy series "Game of Thrones." Plapinger and her MS MR mate, producer Max Hershenow, are both massive "GoT" fans -- although Hershenow laments that he's a few episodes behind on this season's action -- and were raving about the show long before their song "Bones" was synched in a TV trailer for season three earlier this year. When the commercial was unveiled, "Bones" was not the New York duo's current single in support of "Secondhand Rapture," their debut album released Tuesday (May 14) on Columbia Records. But neither member worried about the album's marketing strategy when they got to hear their song soundtrack the flight of a scaly dragon in the ad.
"It’s not a show that often incorporates new bands and new music," Plapinger notes. "It has a musically scored soundtrack, so that [placement] was a huge opportunity for us to have that kind of relationship to the show and have so many new listeners hear us because of that trailer. So the conversation of it not being the 'current single' never even came into play."
Like most of MS MR's artfully drawn indie-pop, "Bones" has a dark cloud looming overhead, and its gloomy background wails perfectly match the elegant grit on display in the "Game of Thrones" ad. "Bones" was originally featured on MS MR's four-song "Candy Bar Creep Show" EP, which was released via Tumblr before becoming a proper extended play last fall; five of the first four songs on "Secondhand Rapture" were originally released on "Candy Bar Creep Show," and Hershenow says that the EP served as an ideal preview of what was to come on the full-length.
"We wrote all 12 songs during the same year-and-a-half period," says Hershenow of "Secondhand Rapture," which was recorded in Brooklyn throughout 2011. "The ones we were going to use for the EP – those four songs -- work as a cohesive whole in their own right. And I think we both felt that they established the foundation for our sound in a way that would allow us to grow into the album in a healthy way."
Since the release of "Candy Bar Creep Show," MS MR has been featured in MTV's 'Artists To Watch' series, performed at the SweetLife Festival in Maryland and been added to the lineups for Governor's Ball, Lollapalooza and Glastonbury. In between festival dates, the group will headline shows in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago later this month before joining CSS for a West Coast swing in June. The duo's crowds have been slowly growing, as has their rapport with their various audiences.
"Max and I are very much performers at heart," says Plapinger, "and I think we came to the live show very naturally in terms of confidence and comfort level." Hershenow adds, "I think the most exciting thing for me has been translating this thing that wasn’t that great in my apartment on my computer… to a live stage. It’s definitely been a challenge, but it’s also been much more fulfilling and exciting than I had anticipated."
Before MS MR makes its TV debut on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday night (May 16), check out the video for "Fantasy," from the group's new album "Secondhand Rapture":