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How’s Your Week? – Official Secrets Act

Popular music has its edges tweaked and caressed by the Official Secrets Act continually. They make it sound easy. This maxim, gleanable from this review of their last single, is what makes them interesting. It is PM’s sincere hope that they listen to the work of Magoo, and in Magoo find solace, and one of these days meet up and have a chat about pop and that. This week, though, bassist Lawrence Diamond has been listening to Neutral Milk Hotel and meeting other people. Have a look…

Official Secrets Act

In a word, how’s your week?

Crazy-good: This is strictly one word, I checked in my made up dictionary of slightly made up words. It is crazy because we’re doing a secret support for a secret gig that is sold out on friday and that is rather exciting. We are also playing Loughborough University which has been a kind, kind city to us in the past. It was crazy because we finally got Alex MacKenzie our much loved drummer back from Scotland where he has been on a weeks recuperation from the car crash that laid him low 2 weeks ago. It was pretty serious and now he is back in our lives and ready to slowly get ready to reclaim his place on the drum stool.

What did you get up to last night and how was it?

Well we brought Alex back from the station and made him plenty of tea. All the tea in China it seemed. Then I went and visited some friends who are moving to Australia and ate far too many crisps. I also read Saturday’s paper, even though it was Monday, mainly ’cause there were lots of “Articles” that were informative and whose content hadn’t aged, despite them now being even older than “Yesterday’s News”.

What’s for dinner tonight and who’s cooking it?

I kind of missed dinner tonight, but tomorrow is Mike Evans’ (guitar) birthday so he is cooking dinner and we’re all going over to his and Alex’s to eat it, and it’s the first time we’ll have all been together since Alex got back and it’s going to be a perfect bit of OSA fun and jokes in an all-too fractured world.

What have you listened to today and did you like it?

I listened to Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on the way to see some people at our label this morning and it was, as always, one of the most amazing experiences. Everytime you listen to it it just completely envelopes you in its world and moves me in a way that I can’t put my finger on. I recomend it to everyone. I’m currently listening to a CD of our live album which we’re taking out on tour with us. We recorded it just before Christmas but i haven’t had a chance to hear it since we ordered it and everything.

What’s your favourite/least favourite thing that’s happened this week?

Playing Koko on friday night was absolutely brilliant, It was a real celebration of dancing and singing and everything we try and bring to our songs and our shows. The least favourite thing was that Alex wasn’t with us when we did it because he was still in Scotland recovering from the accident. Scotland didn’t play in any sporting events at the weekend which meant they couldn’t get beaten, so we kind of avoided that pain. Also I read a review of The Watchmen movie in the paper today and the fact that that is coming out soon was rather exciting. I’m going to renew my membership at the local library tomorrow and get out lots and lots of books, so that could be a favourite thing this week too.

OSA’s new single, The Girl From The BBC, is out on March 16th via One Little Indian. You’d be better off investigating that. The album’s very good, too, but I can’t be bothered looking up when it’s out. March time, though.



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Official Secrets Act – So Tomorrow

Official Secrets Act – So Tomorrow (One Little Indian)


 Official Secrets Act

Smash smash smash and it’s difficult to get excited. The limited charms that Official Secrets Act (terrible name, that) initially exhibit on first listen don’t do them justice. Drums in 16ths, high-pitched vocals and lyrics about dancing until the bitter end are completely identikit, but you must dig deeper. It’s not redefining the standards by which we judge pop music, but at least there’s intricacy, thought, cleverly constructed instrumental and vocal harmonies and, at the very end, about sixty-ten hundred things going on at once. Smart, like Magoo.

Listen to the guitar harmonies just before the first appearance of what you might call the chorus (the definition changes in a structure that is either clueless or genius), listen to the WAILED backing vocals over said sort-of-chorus, listen to the drum rumbles under the word “job”, there’s plenty to keep one’s ears pricked. Best of all, listen to the final push before the climax – it’s not rushed, and the reward is strictly limited. Now you can listen to it again.

Get to know it (properly) before The Guardian ruin it by saying it sounds like The Feeling.


So Tomorrow is out on December 8th on 7″ and download. Probably head here for that.

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