MS MR - Secondhand Rapture (IAMSOUND)

MS MR – Secondhand Rapture (IAMSOUND)

It’s as though MS MR have been gathering themselves somewhere out in the ocean, sending first of all hints and ripples via Tumblr releases. After that,  huge waves crash landed in the form of their singles. It was the ‘Candy Bar Creep Show’ EP that got my mates rabidly recommending them to me. The equally eerie ‘Fantasy’ was lobbed landward like a thunderbolt, and now ‘Hurricane’, smashing its way up the beach at the same time as the debut album Secondhand Rapture lands on our shores. It’s not as though they were drifting aimlessly and unformed before that though; Lizzy Plapinger was busy being a founding partner in the Neon Gold label, so there’s plenty of music business savvy in there.

I was lucky enough to catch them at SXSW; in a down and dirty bar, their sheer confidence and poise bowled me over. It was hard to put a finger on ‘why’ this particular synth electro duo came out of the week as one of the best acts I saw. If this doesn’t sound ridiculous, Lizzie in particular couldn’t stop stop grinning while they were performing. That attitude can’t help itself, it just comes over in the music. They are full of BIG tunes. On the album, fully three of the first four tracks feel like they’ve already been massive singles, which they have either on their own or as part of the EP. It’s large and dancey, and that maybe the only downfall, that it’s SO full-on. I’m talking about the sound, the vocals, keys, drums rather than the import of the lyrics, which show plenty of thought, for instance on ‘Salty Sweet’ musing on the human need for approval. But you have to wait for ‘Twenty Seven’, 9 tracks into the album, for something a little more measured in the vox.

We’re not talking Florence Foghorn here, it’s a great, great album, just that if I had an observation, this is it. It’s as though they themselves have thought something similar – they put in their very first network TV appearance in the States in the past few days, on Letterman, and turned in a much more subtle version of ‘Hurricane’ (check it out below). All said and done, I hereby predict that in 7 months time, this album will appear on more than a few ‘best of 2013’ lists’

Rating: ★★★★☆

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