The gas giant Saturn, famous for it’s rings is 6th planet from our sun which is approximately 1 and a half billion kilometres from our own planet so takes a considerable amount of time within it orbit for it to return to the same position in the sky. Although difficult to pinpoint a timescale precisely the period is around 29 years, where the astrological occurrence known as “Saturn Return” takes place for the planet to come back to the same place as when you were born and coincides with times of change in our lives that we begin to encounter from the end of our late twenties into our early thirties. The pull of the return brings about changes, realisations or reflections that affect us on a much less frequent scale than the phenomenon of Mercury Retrograde so the challenges we encounter are much more significant.
“Saturn Return” on it’s primary occurrence in a lifetime reflects on the planet’s role to reflect structural realisation and to present accountability and interpreting the world beyond adolescence so could be seen as the moment you officially have grown up and your life has been through some changes. These occurrences and changes have been particularly felt by Alabama sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers, The Secret Sisters who since their previous Grammy nominated album ‘You Don’t Own Me Anymore’ released back in 2017 have both become first time mothers and had lost both of their grandmothers so the phrase “Saturn Return” felt a fitting depiction of what their fourth album had been influenced by and portrayed their current outlook on these experiences.
The 10 track album was primarily recorded in Washington state at the home studio of Brandi Carlile who similar to their last record produced the album along with the Hanseroth twins, Tim and Phil. It is an incredibly deep, poignant and powerful story that echoes these reflective experiences that are brought to life through a highly honest and relatable account of modern life and the position the sisters are right now where many people in a similar phase of their life will share the same challenges and emotions.
If you are not overly familiar with The Secret Sisters and their sound, I would give First Aid Kit as someone to lead you in the direction of what to you may be drawn to. Like the Swedish Söderberg sisters Klara and Johanna, Lydia and Laura have an almost mystical harmony driven sound that treads the boundaries between country, folk and Americana in such a magical way that creates a really progressive sound that creates an aura similar to the iconic work of Fleetwood Mac and there is a strong sense of an almost 70’s infused sound being brought up to date particularly with tracks like ‘Hand Over My Heart’, ‘Nowhere, Baby’ and what was the the lead single ‘Cabin’.
What is really refreshing about this project from the sisters is how it is not purely reliant on being harmony driven, the angelic sound the sisters create in tandem is difficult to want to move away from yet with the beautiful piano ballad ‘Hold You Dear’ and ‘Late Bloomer’ especially showcase them as individual vocalists themselves which was something that Carlile as the producer challenged them to do. It is the penultimate track on the album ‘Water Witch’ which is the most striking and leaves the most impact where Carlile herself joins the sisters as a featured vocalist and the three part harmony is just mesmerising. With a UK return scheduled for this summer there are some tracks that are more uptempo and melodically driven which almost made for be played live with the first two singles and the opening track ‘Silver’ set to go down a storm to compliment the beautiful reflecting harmony sound that they deliver.
The album is a story, it is a complete piece of work rather than just 10 goods songs being the best that were there. It delivers an insightful journey that conveys so many powerful emotions which many people people experience and the astrological concept of Saturn Return is a fitting reflection on what the sisters had encountered to create it and really is a strong early candidate for one of the stand out albums of the year. When we spoke to Laura and Lydia just last week (which you can read our fascinating conversation HERE) they said they felt they had topped the last one and as difficult as that would appear to do, they definitely have!
The album is due for release through New West Records on February 28th which can be found HERE then Laura and Lydia return to the UK in June for a series of shows including an appearance at Black Deer Festival with tour dates below and further information can be found on their Website and socials: Facebook Twitter Instagram.
June 10—Bury St. Edmunds, U.K.—The Apex
June 11—Bury, U.K.—The Met
June 13—Gateshead, U.K.—Sage Gateshead
June 14—Sheffield, U.K.—Firth Hall
June 16—Leeds U.K.—Brudenell Social Club
June 17—Milton Keynes, U.K.—The Stables
June 18—London, U.K.—Union Chapel
June 19—Bristol, U.K.—St. George’s
June 21—Tunbridge Wells, U.K.—Black Deer Festival