Monday 18 November 2013

Secrets For September - Letting Go & 'Live' EP

EP review by

It can be notoriously difficult for bands from the far south-west, that is Devon and Cornwall, to get noticed and enjoy real success without emigrating. The closest major centres of musical activity that national press look to are Bristol and Brighton. So it's good going for Plymouth's Secrets For September to have made the upper reaches of the Amazon rock chart. But what of their chances of success it the national top 40? You'd have to say they're pretty slim, and this is by no means a slight on their music, it's more due to the fact that Secrets For September make music that's not in step with current trends and isn't produced or engineered to sell bucket loads and then be forgotten about. Essentially they're not the musical equivalent of Burger King; something cheap, omnipresent, throwaway, and ultimately a purely corporate project. These songs are made to leave a lasting impression.

Single 'Letting Go' is a breezy rock/pop track that doesn't reinvent any wheels and could perhaps even be described as almost easy listening. In another time this track would have garnered the radio play it deserves. The chiming guitars and pure vocals are clean but not too polished. In terms of production they've got the balance exactly right and at times recall The Sundays. If you purchase the whole EP on CD you get a glimpse of what they sound like outside of the studio, thanks to four live tracks, each of which shows a tight unit. If you listen blindly to 'To Behold' you perhaps wouldn't realise it was live until the applause at the end. The band cite folk and prog as influences alongside indie-rock, and you get a taste of both of these on the epic 'Upside Down', a song that sounds like a merging of mid-'70s Pink Floyd and Pentangle. The live version of 'Letting Go' reinforces what a good song it is and what an accomplished group they are. Rounding things off is 'Friends Forever'. At over ten minutes in length it emphasises the fact that Secrets For September aren't aiming for disposable, mass-produced pop, instead letting fly with some impressive guitar breaks. They may be offering us secrets, but we'd be more than happy to share them.

Secrets For September's website

Buy the single

Buy the EP

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