Americana duo The Secret Sisters – Laura and Lydia Rogers – hail from Alabama and were discovered after auditioning for music business executive Andrew Brightman and producer Dave Cobb. The sisters were soon signed to Universal Republic Records with whom they released two albums – 2010’s self-titled debut and 2014’s Put Your Needle Down. In 2015 the sisters were dropped from the label but they found a new home with New West Records, which has recently released their third studio album You Don’t Own Me Anymore.
The Secret Sisters certainly know how to grab your attention and they do so with ease on opening track Tennessee River Runs Low. The sisters harmonise together incredibly well and that’s their strength that shines throughout the entirety of the record. For You Don’t Own Me Anymore, Laura and Lydia have teamed up with singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who acts as producer and co-wrote three of the songs contained here.
Things get a little darker on the second track Mississippi, a track the explores a a father down on his luck who brings a baby into the world only to fear that it will leave him once it grows up. It’s an interesting perspective for a song, made more so intriguing as it’s sung by two women. Towards the mid-point of the record, The Secret Sisters put their delicate take on Paul Simon’s Kathy’s Song, and it’s one of the most beautiful moments on the record.
Elsewhere on You Don’t Own Me Anymore the acoustic He’s Fine tells a tale of a woman in love with a man who is getting his pleasure from another woman, the gorgeous Little Again laments on the passing of time and the inability to get your youth back, and the heartbreaking The Damage explores being broken down and destroyed by the actions of another person.
The standout moment on the record is the piano ballad To All the Girls Who Cry. The Secret Sisters find the beauty in sadness and heartbreak as they appeal to their fellow women to not feel alone when they’re crying over a man. It’s relatable and powerful stuff, and the finest track included here.
How The Secret Sisters aren’t a much bigger deal is beyond me. They have clearly provided inspiration to the likes of Nashville sister act Lennon and Maisy Stella, and their music has a purity and honesty that is often lacking from contemporary music. It’s true to say The Secret Sisters blend many genres including Americana, folk, country and even a bit of the blues, and that makes You Don’t Own Me Anymore all the more interesting.
Track List: 1. Tennessee River Runs Low 2. Mississippi 3. Carry Me 4. King Cotton 5. Kathy’s Song 6. He’s Fine 7. To All the Girls Who Cry 8. Little Again 9. You Don’t Own Me Anymore 10. The Damage 11. ‘Til It’s Over 12. Flee as a Bird Record Label: New West Records Release Date: 9th June 2017