Delivering high octane and energetic hooks, LPX bursted onto the scene last year with her debut EP ‘Bolt In The Blue’ which introduced her to the world as a solo artist. The MS MR front woman has graced some of the biggest stages all over the world with her synth pop-rock counterpart but she’s returned to her roots for a brand new project. With the second EP due to be released next month, the lead single ‘Might Not Make It Home’ introduces a new found euphoric energy to Lizzy Palpinger. Capturing the euphoric rush of adrenaline and carefree atmosphere that the streets of New York embodies, she reflects on her wild and euphoric nights out in the Big Apple.
Whilst Lizzy is in Australia for Falls Festival I chatted to her before her headline show in Sydney about the transition from ‘Bolt in The Blue’ into the new EP, the way her vulnerability has evolved and reminisced about the last year of solo shows. Check out the chat HERE;
TB: ‘Might Not Make It Home’ is this euphoric pop-rock song that is full of adrenaline and reflects on the magical idea that anything could happen on a night out in New York City. So what is one of the most magical or craziest nights you’ve had out in the Big Apple?
LPX: I mean honestly, the song is written as a homage to a number of those nights. So everything from skipping between the trash on the street to going to a bar and making out with someone whose name I didn’t know because the music was too loud when they told me and I was too awkward to ask again because it was four hours later and felt rude *laughs*. So yeah, it’s like a big college of all of those night owl moments. And it’s truly one of my favourite things about New York. I love walking across the Williamsburg bridge home as the sun is going up and drinking because it’s is so incredibly magical.
It was so awesome shooting the music video because it was just me and a bunch of friends running around with a camcorder and we were like “we are just going to live the song” and capture it. So we ran around to all of our favourite bars and places in New York and stayed out from sunset to dawn. We went to this pizza place that I used to always go to when I first moved to New York. And basically when I first moved I lived between four pizza places and one night I was super broke and couldn’t afford a slice so I kissed one of the men there for a slice *laughs*. I hadn’t seen them for years and as we walked in to film they were like “Lizzy, we haven’t seen you in 5 years” and gave me and everyone I was with free pizza which was funny. It was such a wild and fun night being drunk in times square and singing with strangers and just being free. So to me that’s what this song and New York is all about. It’s special and unpredictable.
TB: I agree with you 100%. I feel like New York has this unique and special energy where anything can happen. And no matter what your mood is or what is happening in your life, it can pick you up and transport you. Like when I was there I was going through a really bad break up and I was unconsolable but one night I was walking around the city streets at 2am listening to a song on repeat and immediately felt calm and at peace with the situation because of the energy of the city.
LPX: Oh totally! I feel that so much, especially when you’re going through a break up. It’s been so many nights like that where at 1 am I’m feeling really down and decide I’m going to go home but then run into a group of friends and next thing I know it’s 7am in the morning and everything is a blur.
TB: Your songs have this really cinematic feel to them, would you say they have almost become the soundtrack to some of your most vulnerable and euphoric moments?
LPX: Thank you! Oh, 100%. I’m not someone who can get up and write a song everyday, I’m not that type of artist. I can only really write a song when it’s literally spilling out of me. With the first EP you had ‘Bolt In The Blue’ which was this political anthem because I was so angry and fired up about Trump, which I still am. And then you had ‘Tremble’ which came out of a brutal break up I was going through at the time. ‘Tightrope’ was about hurling myself into the LPX project, so I think I am always using music to get through and elevate a soundtrack to my life and tackle hurdles. ‘Might Not Make It Home’ was a bit of a different writing experience for me because I am a pretty positive person in general but I find that when I write music I get to be the most dramatic version of myself and that opens a dark side.
2017 and 2018 were really hard and dark years on such a political and spiritual level so I wanted to write something that felt like an escape from that. For three minutes I wanted it to pull you out of it and feel blissful. So for me it was great to go into the studio and want to write such an empowering song and it really pulled me out of my own darkness at the time.
TB: I love that this song just makes you want to run around and break shit every time you hear it.
LPX: *Laughs* yes! It’s been so funny playing this song at Falls Festival and watching everyone lose their mind to the chorus whilst celebrating their new years because they seriously might not make it home *laughs*.
TB: You’ve had some massive viral hits with MS MR and with LPX. So where is the strangest place you’ve heard one of your songs?
LPX: It’s really weird whenever I hear one of the songs at the airport. Like I will be in line waiting for a coffee or something and I will be like “Oh, I know this voice. What is this song!” and then I will realise “Oh that is my song” *laughs*. I once heard ‘Dark Doo Wop’ at La Guardia and I was like this is a really dark apocalyptic song to play at an airport *laughs*. It was really funny.
But LPX is such a different project for me because I’m doing everything on my own. I’m writing recording, doing all the distribution, contracts and marketing. And its so gratifying to come to the other side of the world, like when we arrived in Tasmania I realised that I don’t have a major label pushing my music out to this side of the world but here I am. And everyone was singing along to not just the singles but all the B-sides too, so it was such a crazy and rewarding moment.
TB: You will be releasing your second EP for the LPX project in February. So reflecting on this upcoming collection compared to ‘Bolt In The Blue’, what would you say are the biggest things you’ve learnt about yourself as an artist?
LPX: It’s been really really exciting just being in the studio with different people. What was really amazing about ‘Bolt In The Blue’ was that it was the real coming out moment for LPX and the distinguishing factor from MS MR. It was this high octane, aggressive and emotional collection of tracks and so when I’ve went into the studio to work on this second body of work I’ve created something that is almost a left turn sonically. It actually feels like a modern day John Hughes Soundtrack, now that I think about it. ‘Bolt In The Blue’ was inspired by early 2000’s Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Bloc Party, TV On The Radio and interpol where as the new EP is very New Order and U2’s’ Joshua Tree’ inspired. It’s still emotional and high energy but it is different. And I love that I can release music to allow the audience to grow with me. So the plan is to release 3 EP’s that all have a bit of a different flavour before releasing an album. So I’m just always writing, creating and trying to get pieces together.
TB: What inspired you to go towards that ‘Joshua Tree’ euphoric sound on this new collection?
LPX: I think it’s funny because for me it’s all about dipping into the different pockets of my musical identity. I was raised on guitar music and I think there was something in my system that needed to do something aggressive for that first EP to show the world a different side of me. But I started thinking about what artist I wanted to be and what feeling I wanted to give the audience if I got to headline a festival. To me ‘Joshua Tree’ is the all time festival album and so I wanted to create something that made me feel the way I did when I listen to that album. There is a song on the EP called ‘Black And White’ which to me is a full on festival anthem and I can’t wait to release it into the world. I think there is something more romantic to the soundscape of this new EP which is exciting because the way the third EP is shaping up it’s like there is another twist and turn.
TB: One of my favourite lyrics of yours is, “Hearts aren’t always made to break” from ‘Tightrope’ because it holds this raw vulnerability amongst a very angsty production. So where did the vulnerable and honest lyric originate from?
LPX: Thank you! I just think there is something so powerful and unique about wearing your heart and your emotions on your sleeve. I think as a woman your constantly forced to do it in a soft and non confronting way. Whereas for me I love the concept of being aggressively vulnerable and really laying it all out and almost opening up your veins so they can see inside.
I’m really trying to be this powerhouse of a rock n roll woman who looked up to people like Shirley Manson, Karen O and Gwen Stefani growing up. But I am trying to find the perfect balance of vulnerability too like how Hayley Williams from Paramore has nailed.
TB: Going from vulnerable songs like ‘Tightrope’ to the politically charged ‘Bolt In The Blue’, what would you say is the most vulnerable moment on the new EP?
LPX: One of my favourite songs I have ever written is a song called ‘Give Up The Ghost’ which is going to be the next single off the EP. I had this sort of out of body experience when we were laying down the chords in the studio where I just jumped behind the mic and the melody and lyrics just flowed out of me. And before I knew it I was in tears and it’s sort of this beautiful love song about finding a new beginning after breaking up with someone. How do you move forward after you’ve had this amazing past with someone?
So yeah, it’s a love song to my favourite ex. It’s about how we move on and find a new normal as we’re no longer together but always going to be so incredibly important to one another. It was something I had been going through at the time and it just crystallised how I felt and how I wanted to move forward. It’s a beautiful love song that could have been sweet and slow but almost has a second life of energy halfway through. Which also echoes to me the second life of a friendship with someone that you have such a powerful history with. Like, I’m friends with all my exes. It is possible.
TB: I think that song is so universally relevant right now especially because I’ve been going through a break up recently and Christmas and New Years was extra tough because I just wanted to be hanging out with them and celebrating the last year. And i know that I’m not the only person who has been reflecting like that over this period.
LPX: It’s so hard! You just have to find a new normal with that person. I think if someone means everything to you then they are always going to mean everything to you. When you break up, you don’t just lose that piece of your heart that lived with that person. I am friends with all my exes and it’s taken time but there is a way to still be in each others lives. But boy, I feel you!
TB: You’re currently in Australia for Falls Festival. So how are these shows going? Is it insane seeing the crowd singing along to every track?
LPX: It is BLOWING my mind Thomas! I’ve been nearly moved to tears every time we have performed so far. My favourite thing is seeing the fan that knows every word next to the person who has no idea who I am but immediately falls in and becomes hyped on the show. I think the greatest compliment I can get is when I come off stage and people come up to me and say “I didn’t know who you were when I came to see you but you became my favourite act of the festival”. That’s a massive accomplishment.
TB: Last year when we chatted, we spoke about the New York Womens March and the advice that you had for women to stand up and believe in themselves. And 2018 saw you co-curating an all female festival line up with Maggie Rogers. So that must have been a really empowering moment seeing it all come together and step into the world as LPX with this massive initiative?
LPX: 100%! I think it’s so important to have representation of women of all different voices, backgrounds and genres because the wider the representation means the wider space for the next generation of females to occupy. I think it was obviously very powerful to put that festival on in DC but to come over to Australia and see how female dominant the Falls line up is with Amy Shark, Tkay Maidza, Bishop Briggs and Jack River is incredible. It should be something Australians are proud of.
TB: I do think Australia is really leading the way with diverse festival line ups at the moment from Falls to Field Day which had Cardi B headlining to FOMO which is kicking off this weekend with Nicki Minaj headlining. it’s so amazing seeing females headlining festival because for so long this wasn’t happening.
LPX: OMG incredible! I’m really impressed being here and seeing it all because it does really feel significant.
TB: Now I have to ask. Have you and Max discussed a MS MR return yet or is it still up in the air?
LPX: There is nothing on the table at the moment but it will happen at some point. He’s really happy in Los Angeles writing and producing and I’m working on the LPX EP’s and album. So I feel like we are just in two different creative spaces at the moment. But we are both still really good friends and talk a lot. I’ve been messaging him heaps whilst I’m in Australia because I obviously have so many amazing memories with him here. But yeah, nothing on the cards at the moment but it will happen one day I’m sure.
TB: So let’s play a little game of rapid fire questions where I’m going to ask you some questions that you just answer with the first thing that comes to mind;
TB: The emoji that best describes my new EP is…
LPX: The sparkle emoji!
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
LPX: Rad! I like it so much *laughs* It’s a weird and wild twist that I’m all here for
TB: This morning I…
LPX: Woke up and walked straight over to get Australian coffee to inject into my veins
TB: My pre show pump up song is…
LPX: ‘Everything Now’ by Arcade Fire
TB: The most unexpected thing on my rider is…
LPX: Nothing that weird, but a lot of tequila *laughs*