Music Reviews


The two singers who perform as the Secret Sisters happened to be sisters in real life. Lydia and Laura Rogers have just released their second album, "Put Your Needle Down."

Reviewer Meredith Ochs is dazzled by their timeless sound.


SECRET SISTERS: (Singing) Please don't say goodbye. Give me another try. I'm black and blue worrying over you...

MEREDITH OCHS, BYLINE: The Secret Sisters are lovely. Porcelain-complected, red lip-sticked, blue-eyed and raven haired, their look seems cultivated to match their sound, as flawlessly retro as "Mad Men," as stunning and sassy as Bettie Page. Their voices ring in impeccable harmonies that soar straight into Everly Brothers' territory. And they've found a perfect partner in famed producer T. Bone Burnett, whose distinct sonic stamp frames their songs in a timeless fashion.


SISTERS: (Singing) I cannot find a way to say goodbye...

OCHS: The Secret Sisters' debut album was heavily influenced by classic country singers, having absorbed strum-and-twang while growing up in a musically inclined Southern family. This new album is a leap forward, showing artistic growth and sophistication. You can hear it in the jazz-inflected sound of this song, a demo that Bob Dylan started writing in the 1980s, but never finished.

It's the only song in their repertoire that they don't sing harmonies on, but by adding more lyrics and styling it up, they make it their own.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) Let's (unintelligible) be alone when the sun goes down, (unintelligible) I never loved you, baby, my, oh, my, and whosoever told you, told a dirty lie.

OCHS: Even in their lyrics, the Secret Sisters have mastered the art of looking backward and forward at the same time. Their love songs often explore the power struggle in romantic relationships. Sometimes they keep the upper hand, sometimes they don't. But from their lips, even forlorn acquiescence sounds more like ruminating in a Hawaiian paradise than a bad breakup.


SISTERS: (Singing) I'm dreaming on lonely island in a loveless ocean full of misery. I'll die here on my lonely own, unless you give your sweet love back to me.

OCHS: The magic of this new Secret Sisters album is that it transports you to another place and another time. And the music is so gorgeous that it doesn't really matter where or when.


SISTERS: (Singing) Oh, yes, (unintelligible) oh, yeah. You're making me weak. (Unintelligible) and I can't sleep. When are you going to be the death of me?

SIEGEL: The new album from the Secret Sisters is "Put Your Needle Down." Reviewer Meredith Ochs is a talk show host and DJ at Sirius XM Radio.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from