Secondhand Rapture - COLUMBIA
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Laura Studarus on May 14, 2013
Despite haunting the Internet with a millennial’s intensity, there’s only a hiccup’s worth of information about MS MR online. We have a location (New York) and a set of names (Lizzy Plapinger, Max Hershenow). The rest we’re left to puzzle out with the help of cryptic, 1990s-inspired photographs and the billowy songs of their debut, Secondhand Rapture. What we can determine from these facts is that MS MR are a band that like grand gestures. Plapinger sings as though auditioning for Zero 7, all melancholy phrasing and breathy, Sia-like crescendos. She haunts the downtempo tracks like one of Poliça’s demons, particularly on the racy, slow-burning ballad “BTSK.” Apt at harnessing the power of the pout, songs are left in the shadows, no minor key left unexplored. Theatrical, yes. But not without restraint. Blustery lead single “Hurricane” illustrates, in particular, the band’s ability to downplay the melodrama—even as they blow us away.