Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR Is Going Solo
You’ve probably heard the music of Haim, Charli XCX, and Tove Lo — all artists who started on the Neon Gold record label. But what you probably didn’t know is that Lizzy Plapinger from the band MS MR was behind all of it as one of the co-founders of the label at just nineteen years old.
Neon Gold records was actually started by Lizzy and her co-founder Derek Davies, who originally started the idea as a “vinyl singles only” label back in 2008. It’s also rumored that the label can be credited with the discovery of such artist faves as Vampire Weekend and the queen of heartache, Lana Del Rey. And while the rest of us were too busy being obsessed with Emo music and perfecting our MySpace Selfies back in ‘08, Lizzy was instead running her own record label and simultaneously starting her own critically acclaimed band, MS MR.
Still, Lizzy’s hunger hasn’t been satiated by her projects to date and is now venturing out on a new one — a solo one — as LPX.
“I’m here to assert myself, harder, louder, and stronger, as a woman and an artist,” Lizzy says.
But is she leaving MS MR? Hell no.
“Max and I are still committed to one another and MS MR, and I’m enormously appreciative of the space and support I have from him (and our fans!),” she tells Galore, but this is an important and necessary step for me right now in my life.”
Her first single as LPX is the hard hitting “Tightrope” with powerful, punk influenced vocals, reminiscent of a more soulful, raspy version of P!NK. With no shortage of melody, “Tightrope,” walks the line between pop and punk, sometimes fully tripping and falling into grunge rock, and stumbling back to pop again. Regardless of where the song might literally stand, it seems LPX might be our new #WCW and #girlboss role model on many fronts.
Take a listen to the killer track here, and peep our Q&A with Lizzy below — so you can be inspired in your own right.
How does it feel to see acts that were originally on Neon Gold be successful?
It’s incredibly inspiring and fulfilling to see so many of our artists go on to get the kind of recognition they deserve. It keeps me motivated to stay in this industry and fight for the music I care about.
You launched Neon Gold originally as a vinyl single only label — what was the original idea behind it and how has it changed?
Derek Davies (my business partner and co-founder) and I always dreamed of signing and developing artists for full length album releases, but at the beginning 7” vinyl singles were a way for us to work with a lot of different bands at once, get our feet wet in the industry and also establish the identity of the label. We had limited experience, time and resources when we started Neon Gold at 19 out of our dorm rooms so using UK single labels like Chess Club and Young & Lost as a blueprint made a lot of sense to us, especially since there wasn’t really anyone doing anything like that in NYC. Particularly with the kind of music we liked. We’ve always loved pop but it used to be sort of a dirty word. We wanted to support music that was too quirky or interesting for Top 40 (at the time) but too pop for the most left field indie corners of the internet, that’s our sweet spot. However, It’s been really cool to see that wall break down since we started 9 years ago and see so many of our bands going on to redefine the current pop landscape in an amazing way.
What was the thing that made you decide to start the label?
It was discovering Passion Pit and hearing “Sleepyhead” for the first time. We felt like the stars had aligned to find a song THAT incredible by an unsigned/unknown band. We trusted our instincts and knew we had to start Neon Gold right there and then.
Are you still involved with Neon Gold and the Pop Shops? Do you plan to make any appearances (as LPX) at any of the pop ups to come?
Absolutely but Derek (and our third Sarah Kesselman) are very much at the helm while I’ve been balancing my life with MS MR and LPX. They make it possible for me to be able to have my hands in so many projects. While I try to separate church and state to some degree, everything ends up overlapping and I’m sure I’ll perform an LPX show at popshop at some point in the future.
You’ve been part of MS MR since 2012. How did you decide to start that project?
Max and I shared a deep curiosity and desire to experiment making music. We made songs for ourselves with no real agenda beyond that. It wasn’t until we released music anonymously online and it began to take on a life of it’s own that we began to see ourselves as artists but as soon we did we threw everything into it.
What made you decide to start a new project as LPX?
I wanted and needed to get outside of my comfort zone, to write music and create a world that was entirely mine. So much of my life has been dedicated to partnerships, whether it’s Derek and Neon Gold, Max and MS MR, or my most recent relationship of the past 5 years — I needed to stand on my own two feet for the first time to see what I’m capable of as an individual and to assert myself as a woman and an artist without compromise, as a way to be able grow and move forward creatively on all fronts.
You’ve had a lot of success at a young age. Did you ever think you would be in the position you are in now?
I’ve always been cautiously optimistic and incredibly ambitious so I always had a naive hopefulness that I would be able to work in music, which is all I’ve ever wanted, but I definitely didn’t think I would be so lucky to be in the position I am now. I’m so proud of the two empires I’ve helped build and it inspires and reminds me to keep doing whatever it is that excites me creatively as well as continuing to take risks.
How would you say LPX is different from MS MR?
LPX is a different but equally important extension of myself, and of the bands and artists on which I was raised. I was formed in the wake of honest, loud, and wild women like Karen O, PJ Harvey, Kathleen Hanna, Shirley Manson, and Siouxsie Sioux. I used to sneak into clubs underage in London to see bands like Bloc Party, Tom Vek, Test Icicles, Klaxons etc. And when I got to New York for college, I would take the train in every week to catch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio etc. I never felt more alive, connected or understood than in those moments and the high I feel when I hear or see a band that shakes me to my core is a driving force in propelling the energy I’m pouring into LPX. It’s loud, aggressive, and vulnerable to a degree I’ve never shared, or tapped into, before.
Your first single as LPX is “Tightrope,” what is your favorite lyric from the song and why?
“Hearts aren’t always made to break”— This is a song about taking risks and that lyric is a rare slice of optimism amidst the chaos of uncertainty and the general balancing act of my emotions and actions around it.
What are three words that describe the LPX project?
Anthemic, Aggressive, and Raw
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Photo Credit: Eliza Soros