The Secret Sisters | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Free At Noon Flashback: Secret Sisters play joyously “depressing” music in arresting afternoon set
With 2016 coming to its hotly anticipated close, it’s about time we got a little sentimental. The eve of yearly self-reflection is upon us, and with that in mind, maybe some sad, slow country songs from The Secret Sisters were just what the doctor ordered. Laura and Lydia Rogers were self-deprecating throughout, calling their music “depressing,” but they backed it up with a passionate, arresting performance that I’ll be thinking about into the new year.
The Secret Sisters’ not-so-secret weapon is their peerless, close harmonies, and they wasted no time showing that off with the nimble melody of opener “Tennessee River Runs Low.” Hank Cochran standard “Make the World Go Away” followed to excited applause before providing a dose of holiday cheer with “Little Drummer Boy.” After lively original “Black and Blue,” which they co-wrote with Brandi Carlile, the Sisters played “The One I Love is Gone,” a song so sad that its original composer, Bill Monroe, couldn’t finish recording it. You can see why they would be attracted to it.
The Rogers rounded out the set with a triptych of originals, starting with “Dirty Lie,” a song culled from an old Bob Dylan demo. The emotionally intense “Bad Habit” and new song “He’s Fine” followed. Where the former was tortured and raw, the latter was cheeky and standoffish, but they shared a common thread of being two of the strongest selections of the afternoon.
At the end of the set, The Secret Sisters joked about how their recent happiness was making it difficult for them to write new songs, but with a new record on the horizon, they have more than enough time to figure it out. With the aforementioned Brandi Carlile taking on production duties and everything I just heard this afternoon, I expect nothing short of glorious, “depressing” greatness. Listen for yourself and check out photos below.
Tennessee River Runs Low
Make the World Go Away
Little Drummer Boy
Black and Blue
The One I Love is Gone