Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Very Secretary ‎– Best Possible Souvenir (1997)

This mellow indie pop debut from Very Secretary is an extremely downbeat, minimal demonstration of vocalist/guitarist (and cover illustrator) David Johnson's many artistic abilities both in and out of the musical realm. The strikingly clean guitar work is the first thing most listeners will notice, as Johnson layers well-constructed chords and melodies into seven tracks of melancholy that move just enough to evade a sadcore label, but without any of the punk or rock leanings of emo - something like a medicated version of Castor. The first of only two albums, Best Possible Souvenir lacks the dynamic edge of Very Secretary's superior follow-up, Standing in the Shade, but Johnson's expressive songwriting, guitar work, and especially his nuanced vocals (an acquired taste) make this debut an interesting underground find. Music fans who adore the dreamy side of Midwestern indie rock will admire this simple, elegant release.
Jason Anderson

There is something unique with Very Secretary, like an emo version of slowcore with occasional interesting math-rock rhythms and a rural summer quality. But at the same time, their music never becomes completely or totally extraordinary. "Best Possible Souvenir" was their debut album and is more tense and dynamic than their second and final record, "Standing on the shade". It sounds very close to American Football and Gloria Record debut ep's but without song as strong as theirs.
Maybe it's a minor record but there is something unusual in their sound, something that could have been developed much more. The melancholic tension on "Under a rug" is just moving but never totally reach the potential hidden under the appearance. There are strong moments on this record but not as refined as they could have been. 
Once that said, I have to admit that I keep coming back to this record for their unusual warm and emotional fever, and probably there are no better proof of quality than that. 
Often something imperfect transmits an unexpected sincerity and truth, and by that way become precious.

Very Secretary ‎– Best Possible Souvenir (1997) 192kbps

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