Two years ago, a chance meeting in Deep Ellum between (now former) Home by Hovercraft member Shawn Magill and local musician Joey Noga resulted in an up-and-coming band: Secrecies. The group has been steadily building buzz since signing with the long-standing homegrown indie imprint Idol Records in 2018. Now the electropop duo is fresh off the release of their self-titled debut album, which dropped in June.
“We always hoped for this day to come and to be at the point where people are interested enough in our output to make our schedules fill up,” says Noga, Secrecies' guitarist. “It's definitely hectic, but we love it. We've both been working musicians for many years. The one odd thing is that we seem to be gaining more traction internationally than in our hometown.”
There certainly wasn’t a lack of local support for Secrecies on Friday at Three Links for the band’s official album release party, judging from the sizable crowd gathered for their set. Also on the bill were equally notable Dallas acts such as Zoe Zobrist and NITE, but the main attraction was undoubtedly Secrecies, who played the album in its entirety and debuted visuals custom-made for each track. Designed by Magill, the visuals added another narrative layer to the album.
“We both grew up loving Pink Floyd's The Wall, The Who's Tommy and other immersive album experiences,” Noga says. “It's not as cohesive as a full-on movie or rock opera, but it's kind of our own take on a classic approach. It's like making a movie from a book. You get attached to your perspective and personal relationship with the art.”
Landing somewhere between the kind of visual swirlings one might see projected behind a band in someone’s living room and a traditional music video, the band says most of the visuals they used chose them, as opposed to the other way around. The interplay between cut-up, stock footage of knights saving damsels, swarms of insects and Magill’s spacey vocal choruses is synergistic, matching perfectly with each of the chiming swell of synths or brooding 808 beats.
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The use of visuals may seem simplistic at first, but the end result worked remarkably well to elevate the atmospheric quality of their music during the release party. On the night, the mood was aided by live lighting and aerial projections by Courtney and Cameron Ware, which were second only to Helium Queens' set, which closed out the night. The neon laden moon madams put on a downright Seussian “Aztec flower ritual” that led to onlookers clogging the wide Elm Street sidewalk. Who really wants to follow that?
“Since we met April 2017, we sparked this mutual vision that we've been tenaciously chasing ever since,” Noga says of Secrecies’ debut. “The culmination of changing instruments and voicings and rerecording songs a few different ways, well, it's crazy. We never thought this is where we'd be when we were playing on old pianos and pots and pans when we first met. We're so happy with how the album came out and are so thankful for our little corner of the Dallas music scene.”