Warmer weather and the first mosquitoes of the season have both descended on New York in recent weeks, the first harbingers of a fitfully approaching summer. Just before the city's many outdoor concert series kick into full swing, BUST had the chance to sample some indoor live music that seemed specially designed to ease the transition into the dog days.
Up-and-coming pop duo MS MR, opening for Xylos at Glasslands Gallery last Friday, did just that, whether they set out to or not. The band follows closely in the wake of go-for-baroque acts like Florence + the Machine, bringing a little darkness to their set of danceable pop songs. Composed only of a vocalist and keyboard player, the secretive duo delivered a gutsy set of goth-pop tunes from their upcoming album. MS MR's frontwoman was a kaleidoscope of prints and patterns, extending the polychrome theme to her two-tone pastel locks. Having opted for denim, her male companion brought a little edge to the proceedings, but the pair were all smirks, smiles, and shoulders, and their playful vibe added a little buoyancy to shadowy stompers like "Bones." The singer's voice is understated and husky, floating over the synthesized tracks from the band's EP and forthcoming debut. Strictly speaking, a full band isn't crucial for MS MR's sound, but the extra musicians brought a depth and flourish to the music that played well in Glasslands' small space, where the stage is set catty-corner to the audience and surmounted by a cumulus of glowing white paper. Hips swinging slowly, the MS half of the group sang, "Nights like this, I become afraid/Of the darkness in my heart/Hurricane." It was a fitting tableau. Check out the video for "Hurricane" below, and catch MS MR on tour this summer with Marina and the Diamonds.