A Secret History – The World That Never Was

A Secret History - The World That Never Was

“We are not, we are not really here /In the ghettos dreaming of meadows /But all of our lovers are Blue Boy pinups /all of our sorrows are antiques.”

How’s that for an opening line?

From the start it’s clear that The Secret History is one of those bands that live and die by the strength of their lyrics. Musically speaking, The World That Never Was is barefaced indie pop, whose only notable feature is – unlike their easily comparable counterparts Camera Obscura – its lack of brass. These are indie pop compositions coming from an indie rock lineup, which is a little curious but it’s definitely fluffy enough to settle neatly near the Belle & Sebastian section at the record store.

The lyrics, like I said, are what make The Secret History interesting. The band’s best song “God Save The Runaways” is literally an extended Frankenstein metaphor to describe what I assume is some sort of dirty, long-been-polluted love – and it’s stuff like that that makes The World That Never Was interesting. A lot of the songs seem to be about God, or more specifically, the struggle of religion – “The painted saints we carried on our shoulders /while we turned our back on Him” and the protagonist in these songs are almost always trying to escape something, regardless if it’s tied to religion. The upstanding “Love Theme (From The World That Never Was)” is about a young, misguided groupie – left behind by what she thought was her deliverance; “I listened to your band /just like everybody does /you touched me under the iron bridge /but left me on the moors /my body bound by chords.” It’s cold, but genuinely effective.

The World That Never Was really didn’t have to be as good as it is, the instrumentation, the melodies, (hell even the band name) is all equipped to be a boring, Zooey-loving indie pop band. But on the back of some of the strongest lyricism I’ve heard all year, it becomes something easily worth paying attention to.

The Secret History