In June, The Secret Sisters will release You Don’t Own Me Anymore, a followup to 2014’s Put Your Needle Down and a record that sees the American duo reemerge from an immensely trying to period in both sisters’ lives.
About a year after that record’s release, Laura and Lydia Rogers found themselves dropped from their record label and facing an increasing struggle to make ends meet as musicians. After filing for personal bankruptcy and abandoning music so they could find jobs that would keep them alive, the duo found themselves in an all-too-common situation in the music world, and were on a brink from which few ever return.
But thanks to a helping hand from Brandi Carlile and a successful crowd-funding campaign, the two have climbed back on their feet, filled with a renewed confidence and ready to take on the world. After befriending the sisters when they opened for a 2011 co-headlining tour with Ray LaMontagne, Carlile offered to produce The Secret Sisters’ new record, a watershed moment for Lydia and Laura that, they say, leaves them eternally indebted to the singer-songwriter.
Today, Paste is excited to premiere the new single from You Don’t Own Me Anymore, “He’s Fine.”
“I remember when we were writing this song,” Lydia explained with a laugh, speaking to Paste over the phone, “we had gotten this house on the river and our main goal that day was just to try and write new songs. We were just really mad at each other that day; we were having a really hard time agreeing on anything, lyrically or melodically. Eventually Laura was like ‘Let’s go to separate places and write on our own and then see what we have.’ We did and about an hour later we came back together and my notebook was empty and she had written the first two songs on our record. She was a lot more productive that day than I was.”
“We used our anger and frustration at everything we had gone through and we personified it into a man who did us wrong.”
“Melodically, Lydia is such a genius compared to me. I can play like three chords on the guitar, and Lydia is way better at melody than I am,” Laura countered, before expounding on the song itself. “All of the songs on this record are very very personal. We went through such a hard time before we made this record and I think that, even though maybe on the surface you can listen to that song and assume that it’s about a romantic problem, we used our anger and frustration at everything we had gone through and we personified it into a man who did us wrong.”
It’s a sentiment that shows through in lines like “Once my tears had all run out/I learned how to live without,” or “Strangers know the songs I write/They come to hear me sing at night/They don’t know I’ve paid the cost/They don’t know what I’ve lost.”
That’s not to mention that the song is also catchy as hell; a foot-stomping folk-pop singalong that marks a clear progression from their sound before, and bears a passing resemblance to some of the tracks off Carlile’s last album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter.
You Don’t Own Me Anymore is out June 9 via New West Records. Check out the video for “He’s Fine” above, featuring footage of the Rogers sisters recording and palling around with Brandi in her studio, and give a listen to The Secret Sisters’ 2014 Daytrotter session below, where you can also see the duo’s slate of upcoming tour dates.
29 – Huntsville, Ala. @ Panoply Arts Festival
13 – Florence, Ala. @ 116 E Mobile
14 – Decatur, Ga. @ Eddie’s Attic
16 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ WCL upstairs
17 – Vienna, Va. @ Jammin Java
19 – Bay Shore, N.Y. @ YMCA Boulton Center
20 – Fall River, Mass. @ Narrows Center for the Arts
22 – Boston, Mass. @ Cafe 939
23 – New York, N.Y. @ Mercury Lounge
24 – Pawling, N.Y. @ Daryl’s House
25 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Music Box Supper Club
26 – Columbus, Ohio @ Rumba Cafe
27 – Newport, Ky. @ Southgate House Revival
28 – Nashville, Tenn. @ 3rd and Lindsley
02 – Seattle, Wash. @ Fremont Abbey Arts Center
03 – Portland, Ore. @ The Old Church
06 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Great American Music Hall
07 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Largo at the Coronet
08 – Del Mar, Calif. @ Brick 15
22 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Old Rock House
23 – Davenport, Iowa @ Redstone Room
24 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Cedar Cultural Center
25 – Evanston, Ill. @ S.P.A.C.E.
04 – Grass Valley, Calif. @ Center for the Arts
24 – Brownfield, Maine @ Stone Mountain Arts Center
25 – Rockland, Maine @ The Strand Theatre
27 – Northampton, Mass. @ Iron Horse Music Hall
27 – Louisville, Ky. @ WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays