REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

New Yorkers MS MR make their debut with a positive dark pop album

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Following the success of “Hurricane” noir-pop duo MS MR live up expectations with debut album “Secondhand Rapture”


MS MR - Secondhand Rapture (OUT NOW via Columbia Records)

Secondhand Rapture is the debut LP of noir-pop New Yorkers MS MR. Comprised of  London-born vocalist  Lizzy Plapinger (MS) and Idaho native Max Hershenow (MR) who looks after the music part,  the acclaimed album was produced by the two-piece and Chris Camilleri with additional production and mix by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Amy Winehouse). With clear and strong influences of The XX for their model of electronic pop, the NYC duo is as capable of delivering captivating and atmospheric melodies.  Several  artists have arisen since the success of The XX and share similarities with MS MR. To have an idea of what MS MR’s sound is like think for example to London Grammar but with more poppy vibes or to a less electronic version of CHRVRCHES. Unlike The XX though there are no dual vocals in MS MR but the singer is only the female member and despite not having a unique sound, Secondhand Rapture has some standout tracks such as the heavily championed singles by BBC Radio 1 “Hurricane”, “Fantasy” and “Think Of You”. Lizzy Plapinger’s voice, which has been compared to Florence Welch and Lana Del Rey, is indeed one of the main features of the band whose winning formula is to blend together ecstatic pop melodies with nostalgic, deeply dark and melancholic lyrics which at times become explicit (“Think Of You”) as to show all the anger and sadness behind broken feelings and loss of faith. Opener "Hurricane" is probably one of the most representative tracks of Secondhand Rapture as it introduces all the music elements which are present throughout the album: tribal drums, strings, horns and the electronics. However not every song is as anthemic and impressive but the result is still pleasant even if it features a simple piano like in “Twenty Seven”. Overall the album is definitely worth a listen, especially if you are a fan of dark, indie pop with baroque-electronic instruments. 7/10