|The Secret Sisters||You Don’t Own Me Anymore|
The Secret Sisters — You Don’t Own Me Anymore (June 9, 2017) ♠•♠ Brandi Carlile and the Twins are producing our new album — come join all of us as it comes to life!Location: Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Album release: June 9, 2017
Record Label: New West Records
01 Tennessee River Runs Low 3:42
02 Mississippi 4:23
03 Carry Me 4:05
04 King Cotton 3:12
05 Kathy’s Song 3:44
06 He’s Fine 3:43
07 To All the Girls Who Cry 4:22
08 Little Again 4:03
09 You Don’t Own Me Anymore 3:51
10 The Damage 3:26
11 Til It’s Over 2:57
12 Flee as a Bird 2:34
♠ Lydia Rogers
♠ Laura RogersEditorial Reviews
• These songs came to be a record accidentally and unintentionally. They were written sporadically over a tumultuous two years riddled with more valleys than mountaintops. We considered it a victory when we could actually make ourselves get together to write, even if we struggled to produce anything of any quality. Creativity was tough amidst half~hearted business relationships, being dropped from our label, inconsistent touring, and filing personal bankruptcy. It took a toll on everything: our confidence, our outlook, our health, our happiness. In late 2015, our friend Brandi Carlile invited us to Seattle to play a couple of shows in her hometown. It was there that we explained all that had transpired with our career, how we were barely staying afloat. It was also there that she told us she would be producing our next record. Once we saw that this fantasy could actually become a reality, the frantic search for enough songs to make an album began. To our surprise, we had many things to say, and though some were difficult to write and slow to reveal themselves, we pushed onward. The songs here carry a common thread of what remained when we felt like we’d lost everything. It was in the hardest times that we saw the core of where our music and our souls originate. We still had our homes, our family, our friends, and our fans. This is not a record about rising from the ashes. Rather, it is a deep look into ourselves in an attempt to put out the flames. These songs are our catharsis; an effort to forgive, an effort to heal, an effort to look back into the darkness with newfound light and undeterred fearlessness, an effort to redeem ourselves. The damage was done, but our hearts remained; this is the product of that damage, for worse and for better. — Laura & Lydia (2017) © The Secret Sisters Band. Photo credit: Stephen Jerkins
• Our dearest friends and loyal fans,
• We are thrilled to announce that our third full~length studio album will release to the world on June 9th! This is the most honest record we have ever made, simply because these songs stem from the most honest of circumstances.
• This record is produced by our beloved Brandi Carlile and the Hanseroth twins. Brandi has been a champion and defender for the two of us since we first crossed her path. She is our cheerleader and our confidante, our muse, and our mentor. She has shown us nothing but kindness and encouragement along the way, constantly reminding us that our art is important, that we are stronger than we think, and that what we have to say needs to be heard.
• When we were at our most desperate, Brandi came to our rescue, listened to our new songs, and enthusiastically offered to produce our third record for us. Who better to entrust with your most tender, sincere songs than someone you love and admire so deeply? We wholeheartedly accepted her offer, spent most of 2016 in the studio with Brandi and the twins in Seattle, and are so proud of the outcome.
• This is uncharted territory for us. A new beginning.
• We love each of you dearly, and your support in this season means everything to us. We hope you love You Don’t Own Me Anymore.
• The Secret Sisters
• Laura and Lydia
Written By Hal Horowitz // June 6, 2017 // Score: ***½
• It’s accepted that the music business has its ups and downs, but few have experienced its extreme peaks and valleys as radically as the Muscle Shoals-based Secret Sisters.
• Laura and Lydia Rogers (a.k.a. the Secret Sisters) went from having their first releases produced by such roots icons as T Bone Burnett, Dave Cobb and Jack White, touring with or opening for Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson and amassing a bulging file of critical raves, to filing for bankruptcy in 2014 with Laura taking a job cleaning houses to pay bills.
• Enter Brandi Carlile, who offered to produce and play on the Sisters’ third full length, and a successful PledgeMusic campaign that exceeded its goal in about a month to fund the proceedings. Signing with respected roots indie imprint New West sets the stage for an unexpected but highly anticipated comeback for the talented duo.
• Anyone who has heard the Sisters’ previous work knows how seamlessly and effortlessly they harmonize, so that’s table stakes here. But it’s the honest songwriting, sympathetic arrangements and subtle playing on these dozen tunes that combines to create a perfect storm of artistic ambition all the more rewarding coming after the Sisters’ recent problems that would have sunk less ambitious acts.
• Not surprisingly that has birthed songs about standing up to deception, adversity, scummy guys, salvation through integrity and an overall reliance on philosophical strength. As the album’s name implies, some of the sisters’ issues seem romantically generated. That’s especially true on “To All the Girls that Cry” (“When he makes a promise/ that he doesn’t mean to keep … it’s alright to spend your night/ In tears ‘til the fire dies”) where their angelic voices are set to mournful cello and piano. The same goes for the unsettling “The Damage” (“If it’s a race we were running, you’ve already won/ shot me with the starting gun”), and the defiant title track (“Now I’ve learned my lesson/ love is not possession”), a striking folk~rocker that reflects the duo’s steely reserve.
• The opening “Tennessee River Runs Low” features just the harmonious voices of the sisters before banjo and an acoustic band kick in as they correlate the titular river with a rocky relationship. Other than the jaunty, finger~popping “King Cotton” that expresses a love for their home state of Alabama, there isn’t a lot of joy here. Even a glistening cover of Paul Simon’s lovely “Kathy’s Song,” with just acoustic guitar and cello, reverberates with loss and anguish (“I don’t know why I spend my time/ writing songs I can’t believe/ with words that tear and strain to rhyme”).
• Carlile perfectly frames these songs with accompaniment that keeps them from getting mired in darkness. She focuses on Laura and Lydia’s iridescent voices and sparkling harmonies, a contrast to the issues presented that show everything may not be philosophically harmonious in the Secret Sisters’ world.
• You Don’t Own Me Anymore is a strong, welcome return and a reminder of just how powerful and moving the merging of two stunning voices can be.
♠ There are two ways of handling a dangerous, raging river: you can surrender and let it carry you away, or you can swim against the flow. For The Secret Sisters, there was a point after the release of their last record when they could have chosen to do neither — instead, sinking to the bottom as the weight of the world washed away their dreams. They went from touring with Bob Dylan to losing their label, purging their team, filing bankruptcy and almost permanently trading harmonies for housecleaning. But there's a mythical pull to music that kept sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers moving forward, and they came out with a biting and beautiful third LP, produced by Brandi Carlile, You Don’t Own Me Anymore. Their first as New West signees, it's a document of hardship and redemption, of pushing forward when it would be so much easier to drown in grief. And it's a story about how passion and pure artistry can be the strongest sort of salvation — how art is left, like perfect grains of sand, when everything else has washed away.
♠ “We are more proud of these songs than we have ever been,” says Laura. “Some of the songs are a little more cryptic, but some of them are very pointed and honest and direct. And we had to let those songs happen. We had to let ourselves be angry again, and bring up things we wanted to forget.” (excerpt)
|The Secret Sisters||You Don’t Own Me Anymore|