Breakout Artists Secret Someones Shine at Brighton Music Hall

Julia Steele ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Lelia Broussard, Hannah Winkler, Zach Jones, and Bess Rogers of Secret Someones. Photo Credit:
Lelia Broussard, Hannah Winkler, Zach Jones, and Bess Rogers of Secret Someones. Photo Credit:

The buzzing line forming outside of Allston’s Brighton Music Hall may not have been for Secret Someones, but the fans of Wolfgang and Sir Sly were in for a better show than expected on Friday, September 12th. The girl-powered group called Secret Someones was opening for their label-mates, on one of the early dates of their most recent tour, but they brought the place down before the headliners even started.

Hard-hitting and harmony-driven, the band has quite the unique vibe. It’s not often you see a band fronted by a woman—never mind three. Secret Someones is made up of guitarist Bess Rogers, Hannah Winkler on keyboard and guitar, bassist Lelia Broussard, and Zach Jones on drums. All three girls share the spotlight of lead vocalist, each one taking the reigns on a song or all three harmonizing. This creates a sort of dichotomy in their music—gorgeous, feminine harmonies backed up by shredding guitars. This is not something you hear everyday.

The femme-heavy group was sort of never meant to be—the three ladies toured together as solo artists long before they decided to become a band, after fans of all three persisted that some collaboration would be quite interesting. When they hit the road once again with drummer Zach Jones added to the roster, they ended up returning a fully formed four-piece band called Secret Someones.

The girl-fronted alt-rock sound conjures images of The Veronicas or (if you’re more old school like me, the 80’s hair band legend that was Vixen), but this band has more power. Not only do they rock because they’re a band of (mostly) women, but they were all fairly accomplished artists in their own right before they came together and are still sharing the stage impeccably. The power that these four artists serve up as individuals as well a cohesive group is unreal. The moment their harmonies kick in, you’re sucked in.

The title track of their new EP, I Won’t Follow is not quite a ballad, not quite an anthem, but also not quite like any other pop song of its nature. The song starts out so simply and pretty—just lead vocals and an acoustic guitar—and then the guitars come crashing in and it turns into something so much more impactful. Their lyrics are dreamy and poetic as well as empowering, and their music sort of clashes in the best way possible. The band credits artists as varied as Joni Mitchell to Weezer on their website, and that’s the exact sound they churn out. The heart of Joni with the musical soul of Weezer.

As unique as it is, the I Won’t Follow EP is nothing compared to the punch that Bess, Hannah, Lelia, and Zach pack live. Their music, their voices, and their personalities shine onstage and they almost always get the crowds going—whether the audience has heard of them or not. My first experience with Secret Someones was at The Sinclair in February of last year, and not only did I fall in love with their sound, but every person I attended the concert with ended up buying their EP at the end of the night. This night at the Brighton Music Hall was no different.

The band opened with the first song they ever wrote together “Quit Pulling Me Down.” While it doesn’t appear on the new EP, the song is a crowd pleaser. It has an hard-hitting chorus and heartfelt lyrics that sucked the audience right in. The seemingly indifferent attendees in the first few rows had started jamming along with the band, and continued for the rest of the set. They had the whole place rapt in attention—granted, the venue isn’t big, but with a bar in the back and plenty of space to mill around, they could have very well lost the interest of the crowd. But they continually pulled us all back in, song after song, even playing an interesting harmonized take on Nirvana’s “Breed” that also appear on their new EP.

Through their whole set, though, I found myself upset that they hadn’t played “Surrender” yet. “Surrender” is the song that gets a lot of people—I can still see my friends shaking their hips to it among the crowd at their February show at The Sinclair. The infectious bass/vocal line that kicks off the song is what made me a true fan of theirs; the song was stuck in my head for a solid week afterwards.

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Sure enough, six or seven song into their set, “Surrender” filled the room, and the crowd was dancing once again. A girl wearing a Sir Sly t-shirt even shouted out “What was that last one called?” when the band finished their set, meaning to find it on the internet later.

The band closed the set playing their hearts out on “I Won’t Follow”, and they left the crowd satisfied. Secret Someones had done it again; they’d won over what seemed to be another entire venue of fans. But hopefully they’ll see some familiar faces the next time their in the Boston area—because once you’ve seen them once you won’t stop going back for more.

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