There's something vaguely dark and mysterious about Fargo, North Dakota's ambient, psychedelic, otherworldly-sounding trio Secret Cities. The term "secret city" refers to the towns in the former Soviet Union where weapons were manufactured and/or stored and weren't entirely made public until 1992. Though the band's sound may not be quite as dark or foreboding as its name would suggest, Secret Cities do have an air about them that keeps you guessing. Perhaps it has something to do with their roots in the stark, frozen northern plains, but their music is progressive and ambling while maintaining an unexpectedly sweet disposition. They've received recognition from the likes of Stereogum and IFC — even Fader touts them as "a fractured piece of music made from just about every possible sound under the sun, probably not too far off from what [Brian] Wilson's been attempting for his entire career." Though this excitable praise is hyperbolic, the band's ambient, highly conceptual tunes certainly give pause for thought. Maybe it's what Brian Wilson would have sounded like had he been more removed from sunny southern Cali.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.