“Derek found Passion Pit our sophomore year of college, saw them play a show, sent me their music, and we both freaked out,” says Lizzy Plapinger. No mere pop music obsessives angling to be first fans, Plapinger and her best friend Derek Davies were driven instead to start their own label and nurture artists. One listen to Michael Angelakos and crew, “and we just took our savings, and we jumped right in, and convinced them to put out their first release with us.”
Over the past decade, mainstream pop has gotten a little bit quirkier thanks to Neon Gold Records’ early support of many current marquee pop acts, from Passion Pit to Vampire Weekend, Charli XCX to Ellie Goulding.
Outside of her work with Neon Gold, the 29-year-old Plapinger has become an artist in her own right, as lead singer of MS MR, the new wave-inspired electro-pop duo with gay producer Max Hershenow. The group is now on hiatus as the two pursue other work. Plapinger, who identifies as queer (“I’m very open to love in any form it finds me”) is focused on blazing a punky power-pop path as the artist LPX.
“I’m making music in such an alt-rock space, and there isn’t usually a female vocal on it. I don’t know where our Shirley Manson’s and Gwen Stefani’s are of the modern age. I really, really want LPX to stand side by side with Imagine Dragons or 1975 or Glass Animals…. It’s exciting for me to be as aggressive and loud — and as vulnerable — in this space.” Her first single, the angsty, amped-up belter “Tightrope,” finds her in glorious raspy voice, and perfectly encapsulates what she’s going for. It will likely be a stunner when LPX performs it live at the Black Cat as opening act for one of electronic music’s newer star producers, RAC.
“I’ve been going to shows in D.C. since I was a teenager,” she says. “I’m particularly excited about coming and playing in D.C. as LPX, because this project is sort of the most earnest extension of who I am as a musician, and at this stage in my life, and my relationship to music.”
LPX opens for RAC Thursday, Oct. 5, with doors at 7:30 p.m., at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
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