Pleased to Meet You: Moon Revenge

Moon Revenge is a brand new project, and in a sense a brand new adventure for Marie Parker. You might, or you should, recognize her name as part of Secret Cities, who’ve released several great LPs for our friends at Western Vinyl. This project, at the moment, focuses on Marie’s move from North Dakota to Brooklyn, documenting a woman’s journey to finding where “her core lies.” Musically, it’s as broadly sweeping as one would expect, built upon the backbone of piano and voice; you’ll also get to hear plenty of layered instrumentation (strings, etc) to fill out the sound as it comes through your speakers. A pretty great introduction if you’re asking me. Look for a full length debut to come later this year.

Music Premiere: Secret Cities Unveil Thumbs

Secret.Cities.2014.3We’re happily here today to premiere the brand new single from Secret Cities; it’s the third track to be released on their forthcoming LP, Walk Me Home.  Up until now, the band have largely crafted their work via email and phone calls, but the work within this record was composed in a studio in San Francisco, a first for the band.  Whatever the cause, the music they’ve crafted for their 3rd LP has left us with some of the most dynamic tracks they’ve composed to date.  “Thumbs” will have you swirling in the dark pop crafted by the band, accented by touches of strings and horns, weaving a web of musical bliss.  You can grab this new LP from Western Vinyl on June 24th.


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Fresh Music from Secret Cities

2010_Secret-CitiesIt’s been a bit since we’ve heard from Secret Cities, but they’re returning now with a bit of a change in direction, one meant to better fit their live shows.  If you take in this single, you’ll immediately notice the bob and weave of the bass line, uplifting the band’s music.  Marie Parker takes the vocal duties on this tune, providing even more melody and pop sensibility than we’ve witnessed before from the group.  Now, we loved the group’s previous work, but I’m interested to see where they’re going on this new LP, Walk Me Home; it’ll be released by Western Vinyl on June 24th.


Download: Secret Cities – Bad Trip [MP3]


SXSW Interviews: Secret Cities

Keeping up with some of our previews for the upcoming crazy SXSW festival, today we’ll focus on up and coming band Secret Cities.  We fell in love with these guys last year when they released their debut LP Pink Graffiti and have been following them ever since.  Lucky for us, band member Charlie Gokey was kind enough to answer some questions about his band and their upcoming sophomore effort.  Follow the jump for his responses.

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New Music From Secret Cities

It’s fairly obvious that we here at ATH are big fans of Secret Cities and the sweet tunes they’ve been brining our way over the last year or so.  So only about a year removed from their highly under-appreciated debut LP from last year, the band is looking to release their sophomore effort this Spring on Western Vinyl.  New album Strange Hearts will be available on March 29th and features this new single “Love Crime”.  It shows a whole lot of promise and makes me think you might want to pick up this new album come March.


Download: Secret Cities – Love Crime [MP3]

New Music From Secret Cities

Secret Cities is a band that quietly released their debut LP Pink Graffiti on Western Vinyl earlier this year.  Receiving a 4 star rating from us means we’ll be paying attention to you when new material comes our way.  New material is just what we’re getting from the band by way of this new song “On Holiday”.  The haze pop filled jam is just a single release that also includes a cover of Ellie Greenwich’s song ” You Don’t Know”. That song is available for purchase and download on iTunes right now!


Download: Secret Cities – On Holiday [MP3]

Secret Cities – Pink Graffiti

Rating: ★★★★☆

You have to love it when your favorite labels discover little gems that you probably wouldn’t have gotten your hands on, which is precisely the case here as Western Vinyl have released Secret Cities new album Pink Graffiti.  Coated in psychedelic influences, with a huge leaning towards chamber music for bedrooms, this is an unexpected surprise that will be spinning in my head for months.

“Pink City” begins our journey through this beautifully crafted second album by building upon the backbone of a really solid drumming, yet ever so carefully the drums are peeled away, in favor of what sounds to be hand claps.  There’s a gentle coat of fog atop the song, yet the detailing of this song pushes it into the spectrum of more than atmospheric pop, making it a genuine winner in its own right.  You almost stumble right into “Boyfriends” using really light vocals and a tambourine to slowly climb your way to the top of this pop mountain, the peak of which comes near the 3:25 mark, taking you bounding down the other side, whistling all the way to the end.

What’s interesting here is that instead of filling an album full of songs blending melodies, psychedelia and coated noise, Secret Cities are happy to just explore their own musical direction.  They pause mid-album to offer you up “Wander,” which has a dark sound created by the tone of the piano.  You’d be close to call this music of soundscapes, but placed amidst the rest of the songs on Pink Graffiti, it allows you refresh yourself and take a moment to ponder what is you’ve just experienced.  Then we’re off and running again, as the ringing guitar from “Color” begins to soar into the front of your speakers.  MJ Parker’s vocals are magnificent, almost like fine crystal, but not in an overly dramatic way.  It’s a pleasure to see such restraint from a band who could easily fall the way of self-indulgence.

Really, you’re meant to listen to this album all the way through, and you really should.  Aside from “Wander,” Pink Graffiti is well organized.  So much so, that “Pink Graffiti Part 1” is out of order, but it’s energetic pulse provides a great energy to give you the extra lift towards the end of the album.  Something about the melody here that is so strong allows you to almost ignore the vocals completely, still capturing the essence of this brilliant song, which seems to have a bit of a cut and paste to it.  And you’re final landing will come with “The End,” a song that finds MJ again using her remarkable pipes to propel the song into an otherworldly region that will most certainly haunt you, that is until you press play and listen to entirety of this great work over again.

Secret Cities needs more recognition, and surely their craftsmanship on Pink Graffiti will earn them some notice from all walks of listeners.  Pieces emit a quiet beauty, while other moments demonstrate the band’s affinity for layering sounds on top of sounds, and others are adorned with psychedelic flourishes of the best type.  Do yourself a favor and let the wonderment of this record slowly sweep you away into a place of pure bliss.


Download: Secret Cities – Pink Graffiti Part 1 [MP3]

New Music From Secret Cities

I’ve recently really taken a liking to one of Western Vinyl’s newest signees Secret Cities.  Their jangly and sometimes epic take on pop music has been getting mad spins around the ATH offices.  Lucky for us, the band plan to release their debut LP Pink Graffiti on local label Western Vinyl later this summer on July 30th.  Have a listen to their first single “Pink Graffiti Pt. 1” until that date.  Dig.


Download: Secret Cities – Pink Graffiti Part 1 [MP3]