By Jordan Reisman
Photo courtesy of Secret Someones.
The honeymoon period is always exciting whether it be in a new relationship, a new school year, or in the case of Secret Someones from New York City, a new band. The trouble with this stretch of time where everything seems to be on the up-and-up is that eventually the feeling wears off and it all starts to get “real.”
The powerpop quartet from New York, having just released their three-song self titled EP in November, is determined not to let that happen though if by nothing other than sheer will power. The band is comprised of three ladies and one dude: Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, Hannah Winkler and Zach Jones. What’s interesting about the band is that although this project is technically new, it’s the culmination of their respective solo outfits where they all collaborated. BTR was able to speak with all four of the major players in Secret Someones as they were en route to D.C. as the supporting slot for A Great Big World.
Speaking with all four of the members together would have been way different than speaking with them individually, as they maintain an energy that bounces off each other in a familial way, even when they’re apart. They had just come off of a show at New York’s Highline Ballroom which was, as Broussard puts it, “the biggest show that we’ve played as a band,” with each stop of the tour a similar sized venue. Suffice it to say, it was an exciting time to speak with them. As Jones says, “This time last year we were all playing in people’s living rooms together so it’s a pretty big jump” though not as Secret Someones, but as individual “solo artists.”
In Broussard’s own version of how the band started, her and Rogers have known each other for a “long time, about five years” and had done “a lot of touring together” through that period. Eventually, Hannah Winkler moved into Rogers’ house and the girls all started playing together. A few of them had played with Jones before, a trained “hired gun”-type drummer. Bess had arranged a tour with her, Winkler and Jones that Broussard “invited herself on.” It was there that they spent time together and made the decision to work off the chemistry they had found and start something.
About the freshness of the band Winkler says, “From the very beginning we’ve all been 100 percent down, super into this and super excited. That’s why we got our EP out quickly and we’ve been playing a lot. If the honeymoon period means that we’re all psyched, then yeah.”
Jones chimed in, “I will say that before we were even a band, we logged a lot of miles in the van together and still love playing music together. Our first day of tour we drove from New York to Miami so maybe we’re in a honeymoon period but the music is great and the hang is great. It just makes sense.”
Though the band is new, its members aren’t naive. They’ve all been in the industry for awhile and have had their share of sour experiences. They kept referencing the “pressure” that they all felt as solo artists but don’t so much anymore.
“Doing it as an indie artist even, having all the work to do on your own. All the pressure is on you, you create your own career. As a solo artist, you have a band that plays with you but they’re not invested as you are and so it’s really nice to have other people who are just as in it as you are,” says Broussard on Secret Someones’ unified “strength in numbers.”
Going even further than just the enthusiasm of your fellow members, Jones brings up money as an issue if you are only performing as yourself. To finance a record on one’s own, he says, “I feel like it’s impossible, I don’t know how people scrounge the money up to do it.” To make work that you’re proud of, he says, it’s hard to achieve if you’re by yourself.
Even more recently than their stellar teaser EP was the song “Never Stop Love” which was released as part of the compilation entitled Gayest Compilation Vol. 2 from the site EveryoneIsGay.com, an advice site for the LGBTQ community.
Much like the rest of their anthemic, powerpop tunes, “Never Stop Love” wears its heart on its entire outfit with its message. That message is simple: love is love is love. The sites creators, Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid, are longtime friends of the band and always include either Secret Someones or the previous incarnations on their compilations.
Rogers says that they “wanted to make a song that could be used for our band too, not just for the compilation.” Broussard asserts that the song is not necessarily about gay marriage but more for the ears of a homophobe who needs to be shown that, as Jones puts it, “There’s no reason to distinguish when it comes to love.”
November 4th, 2013 saw the release of the self-titled Secret Someones EP. The three songs act as a preview for what’s to come from the band in the future and much like the cinematic masterpieces of Sylvester Stallone, they leave you with a cliffhanger.
“We got it together quickly because we were going on tour and we wanted to be able to put something in people’s hands, so it feels kind of like the sampler platter of the band. There’s a lot more coming but that was a nice way to introduce people,” says Jones.
However they see the EP or how other people do, Secret Someones hasn’t pigeonholed themselves just yet with how they let the EP define them. While it is a look into what will happen later, it’s not all so cut and dried. As Jones puts it, “There are things I love about this band that I don’t think are represented on there yet which is cool.” Whichever era of the band they’re in right now, they’ve learned the art of always leaving the audience wanting more, which is cool.
Get a preview of what’s to come from Secret Someones by clicking here.
Check out Secret Someones’ music and interview on the latest episode of Discovery Corner on BTR.