After A Blooming Career And A Breakup, Super Seasoned Secret Machines Restarted A Few Years Ago. We’re Stoked For This New Material.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Secret Machines – “Day 21”
RIYL: knowing the difference between this band and Diddy’s Day26.
What else you should know: There was a time in the mid-2000s that Secret Machines were pegged to be a huge band. Recording with Bono, touring with the Foo Fighters and turning down Bob Ezrin to produce their debut LP, the band (which originally formed in Dallas before they relocated to New York City), lots of excitement surrounded them. The band walked a great line between spacey rock, kraut, prog and psych — and tunes had plenty of warm melodies.
Consisting of the Curtis brothers (Brandon and Benjamin), they already had plenty of experience with Dallas legends UFOFU and Tripping Daisy by the time they hooked up with the powerful hammering of drummer Josh Garza. Two excellent albums and an EP were released between 2004 and 2006, before Benjamin left to concentrate on his School of Seven Bells project. (A third LP was released in 2008 before the band broke up, and Brandon very notably joined Interpol as a touring keyboardist in 2010.)
Many factors could have meant Secret Machines were a mid-2000s band what-if – especially the absolutely awful loss of Benjamin to cancer in 2013 – but Brandon and Garza restarted the band two years ago. A stellar reunion LP, Awake in the Brain Chamber, was released in 2020, and the band is about to release two new EPs in July.
Two new songs recently debuted online, and “Day 21” is our pick for Song of the Day.
Though Brandon and Josh claim “Day 21” is a little different than what they normally do as Secret Machines, repeat listens result in the thought this is the band through and through. Over four minutes of a solid backbeat and crunchy effects are complemented by plenty of tasty, laser-like guitar lines. Brandon’s lead vocals continue to be a blend of mystery and melodicism.
While the buzz for writers under deadline may have long passed, “Day 21” serves as a reminder that Secret Machines has continued to make extremely quality work.