The closing track off MS MR’s debut album Secondhand Rapture evanesced into light chimes, then nothing. The air hung with Lizzy Plapinger’s gentle reminder that “you’re not alone.” The somber finale was blown out of the water two years later with “Painted,” MS MR’s first single off its sophomore album, How Does It Feel. Electric guitars hammered beneath a driving bassline while Plapinger wittingly asks—almost with a sneer, “What did you think would happen?” Whatever happened in the two years since “Strings” had unleashed an animal in the New York duo, and it comes out in full force on their latest release.
Plapinger and the second half of MS MR Max Hershenow have created an album that’s big—in more ways than one. Anthemic pop jams mix with big moments of introspection that showcase the duo’s knack of experimentation. They’ve steered clear of the sophomore slump, and rightly so. The album is infectious. It’s a departure from the last, but a welcomed one. As they told us during a recent stop in New York, MS MR wants you to dance, and How Does It Feel will get you to do just that—all while feeling all the feels.
How Does It Feel drops July 17 on Columbia Records.
Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Savannah White.