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The Secret History

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The Secret History is an NYC-based band featuring cult songwriter Michael Grace, Jr. and his decade-long co-conspirators from the adored (but obscured) indiepop group My Favorite. The band features the debut of vocalist Lisa Ronson (daughter of glam rock legend Mick Ronson) supported by Jamie Babic. Grace’s lyrics create drive-in theatres out of bare bedsit walls, while Ronson’s singings alternates between the emotive and the plaintive — one minute channeling Dusty Springfield, the next, Kirsty Macoll. Behind them, guitarist Darren Amadio, keyboardist Kurt Brondo, bassist Gil Abad, and drummer Tod Karasik tailor soundscapes to each changing mood. Together, they are creating a new kind of cinematic post-pop, drawing from the rainy jangles of C86, the buzz and stomp of glam, and the light and air of the classic girl groups (particularly apparent in Babic’s harmonies). The end result has drawn comparisons to The Patti Smith Group, Roxy Music, The Smiths, and Felt.

The Secret History crystallized when Ronson answered an ad placed by Grace, Jr. in the Village Voice seeking a “tragic female voice.” She noted that the influences he listed — Dylan, Bowie, Lou Reed, Morrissey — had all worked with her father. Living with her mother on the edge of Chelsea, Ronson had never been in a band before, content to occasionally sing back-up for artists like Ian Hunter. After growing up around great music in London and Woodstock, NY, she was willing to wait until she happened across songs (and people) she could believe in. As she explains:

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