Approaching a third year under the moniker LPX, Lizzy Plapinger, the former frontwoman of electro-pop duo
MS MR, continues to take the pop scene by storm as she prepares for the release of her sophomore EP; Junk of the Heart.
Following last years explosive Bolt in the Blue EP, LPX breakout out year concluded with the release of Might Not Make It Home, an adrenaline fuelled offering from her forthcoming EP. Kickstarting 2019 with another taster, Give Up The Ghost, a romantically soaring and empowering break-up anthem, we caught up with LPX before Junk of the Heart drops next month to chat about life as an independent artist, the importance of live performance and bridging festival line-up gender gaps.
This year will be your third under the LPX moniker and with a ton of incredible achievements under your belt already, your sophomore EP; Junk of the Heart is also due out next month; How are you feeling ahead of its release?
Surprisingly calm. I’m just excited to share the next chapter of LPX. I’m releasing music in real time as I’m evolving as an artist and it’s exciting to share that growth with an audience as it’s happening. I’ve had an internal plan since the start to release 3 EPs, each a different island in the same waters, and culminate in an album that brings their worlds together. I’m honestly proud of myself for putting one foot in front of the other and making it happen.
Bolt In The Blue was a really distinguishable moment breaking yourself away from MS MR and it has been so incredible watching your journey as LPX unfold; Reflecting on this upcoming collection, what would you say are the biggest things you’ve learnt about yourself as an artist?
It sounds so obvious, but that my strength lies in being myself and making the work as specific to my vision and heart as possible. This entire experience has only given me more confidence and agency as a person, woman, writer, performer and even on the business side as my own management and label. I’m learning just how much I’m capable of and it’s powerful to feel I’m only scratching the surface.
Give Up The Ghost, although definitely as much as an anthem as Might Not Make It Home, offers a slightly more sombre tone than we’ve previously heard from you, What inspired you to take that direction and is it indicative of what we can expect to hear on Junk of the Heart?
Give Up The Ghost is definitely more of a slowburn epic than immediate fist punch the way Might Not Make It Home Is. But I see the whole EP being connected as if it was a modern alternative John Hughes movie soundtrack. It’s drawing from references like New Order, LCD, U2 (Joshua Tree), Arcade Fire, War on Drugs etc.
On your Instagram stories a while ago you mentioned that at the time of writing Give Up The Ghost you thought it would be the last song you ever released ~ Why was that and what then made you want to continue with music?
I’ve never worked so hard on something in my life as LPX. I’m doing the work of a team of people but I’m only one. It’s A LOT, and it’s even more challenging being your own greatest champion. Not to mention I’m still investing all my own money into it, so financially it’s a challenge. I was feeling discouraged by the end of last year. I had already written and mixed Give Up The Ghost and knew I’d release it I just didn’t know if that would mark the end. I went into the Australia tour with a lot of internal questions about was this the right path for me anymore and I just knew for better or worse those shows would answer my questions. And it did – loud and clear. I’m never happier and more sure of who I am and my purpose as when I’m on stage. That tour was the result of a lot of handwork and investment and to be back on the other side of the world as a fully independent artist playing to a sea of fans, it just affirmed – I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this.
Looking back at your previous releases, there’s everything from political anthems to break-up anthems; How does your songwriting process generally work when tackling numerous different and often very personal/emotional themes?
I’ve never been the kind of person who can just write a song a day. It has to be born out of direct experience of what I’m going through. I literally have no other coping mechanism. In that way the songwriting process for me is a really natural one where as long as I’m being honest about what’s consuming me, and I’m a little scared to say sing it, I’m on the right path.
Can you talk us through the process of your forthcoming EP?
I was in the studio the same week Bolt in the Blue came out so Junk of the Heart has been the journey of this past year and so is the third EP I’m working on now to come after that. I never want it to feel like a stop and start for me creatively.
I always have the seeds of the next thing on the horizon.
Your music videos and live performances are known to be pretty whacky, wild and energetic; How important is the visual/performance side to music for you as an artist?
Very. THE most important piece of the project and being an artist to me is the live show. I would tour and play everyday if I could afford to be on the road. It’s where the music and I come most alive.
Speaking of performing, You’ve spent a fair bit of time playing shows and festivals around Australia, do you have any plans to bring your new EP to New Zealand? (We’d love to have you here!)
Working on it!
Last year saw you co-curate an all-female line up festival with Maggie Rogers. Can you tell us a little bit more about the initiative behind that festival and why you think it’s so important for young females to experience such an event?
I’m deeply passionate about bringing festival line ups to 50/50 billing between female and non binary artists and male acts. All in the hopes of providing more opportunity for growth and future female festival headliners. It feels rigged from the start against encouraging women to those top tier spots and it’s ridiculous. Also to show that there is a range of artistry within gender. You can be any kind of woman you want and there’s space for all voices and perspectives.
As the co-founder of a label as well as an artist yourself, what is your take on streaming and social media sites; do you think they’re beneficial for young artists trying to break onto the scene, do they make it harder or easier for artists nowadays?
I think it’s different for each act but as an independent artist they’re vital tools for me but just one piece of the larger puzzle. It’s a way to connect direct with fans and have more control over my own project. I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own without those platforms. However in the wake of more algorithms and commercial buy outs it’s harder and harder to cut through the noise. So I think it’s about being mindful of how to best navigate those lanes. It’s all a tool but it only really means something to me if those people on the screen listening and interacting come to a show. For me it all comes back to live.
Do you have any advice you could share for other young women out there who are perhaps trying to break into the music scene right now?
Take yourself seriously and so will others.
Lastly, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for you following the release of Junk of the Heart?
More music, videos, and shows!
LPX sophomore EP; Junk of The Heart is due out in March 2019.
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[Cover photo by David Goddard / Insert by Tafv Sampson]