MNDR are already famous. You just might not have realized it yet. Thank Mark Ronson the next time you hear “Bang Bang Bang” for giving us all an informal introduction to one half of the MNDR duo, Amanda Warner. Bet you thought old Mr. Ronson ditching the horns in favour of the keyboards was the only fresh element of his increasingly influential work. He took Amanda and moulded all of her sassy, quirky charm into a hit. Bravo!
Ronson shouldn’t get all the credit for unleashing the MNDR beast on to us though. Before Warner had even been in contact with him, she’d been working with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, helping to set up the synths for their 2009 tour. Then she and Peter Wade, the invisible but talkative male half of MNDR, “semi-accidentally” went out to try and make some electro-pop. And lo-and-behold, MNDR was born! An American version of La Roux, surely? Well, not quite. MNDR may be a part of the same ever-expanding genre, and they have the boy-girl duo nailed. But they’re just coincidences. The fact is, MNDR have their own mountain and they intend to stick their neon flag on top of it. As each of their songs pass, so do the many ideas that the pair have in their heads: “I Go Away” is a restrained gem of a pop song, with a melody that wouldn’t be out of place in Kate Bush’s repertoire while “C.L.U.B” does what it says on the tin, bouncing around to its own banging dance style. Warner’s voice manages to keep the whole thing together, and while both she and Elly Jackson both have a shrill, nasal tone, Warner’s somehow manages to express some deeper emotion and insert added meaning to her lyrics. Surely she has the upper hand on her British counterpart?
Only time will tell if performing in Ronson’s live band and being a part of one of the coolest hits of the year so far will catapult MNDR to their rightful place as electro-pop royalty, but on the strength of their work so far, it’s not hard to see this duo taking over the airwaves.