The Secret Light
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The Secret Light

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Dark Wave





The Secret Light are one of Portland’s hidden gems among the slew of endless goth bands it consistently breeds. Featuring members of The Xploding Boys, they have an experienced electronic sound to them. I recently had the privilege of experiencing them live at Dave Cantrell’s Songs From Under the Floorboard Showcase #2 in November 2016, where they played with The Prids and Sex Park. I was completely blown away by these guys. I actually saw vocalist Viktor’s previous synthpop band Pink Noise back in 2011. Without further ado, let’s get into this beautiful album.

“Circuits Collide” has a sentimental mood about it, especially lyrically, but it remains upbeat and danceable not unlike a New Order song. In fact, the bass line is very reminiscent of New Order as well. It really sounds like it’s coming to you straight from the 80s. The synth is particularly catchy, especially about halfway through. It’s the type of song you don’t want to end, which is fitting as it’s nearly 6 minutes long. Gratefully, every song on Mirror Mirror has a satisfying length to it.

“Clockwork” opens up with atmospheric guitar and beeping synths, evolving into a masterpiece of new wave goodness. If you’re into Depeche Mode, you’ll love this track specifically – Viktor is throwing out major Dave Gahan vibes to the point where you could almost mistake this for a DM song if they didn’t have their own flavor to them. At this point, I should stress that while Viktor himself has a prominent stage presence, the music is not driven completely by his vocals, but rather they compliment each other. You can be dancing to their music without vocals for several minutes, and when they chime back in, it’s not intrusive in the slightest.

“Mirror Mirror” is the only track that was previously available to listen to and download off the Bandcamp page earlier last year. I might be slightly biased toward this song because I was able to hear it before I even saw them live, but this is my favorite on the album. The synths are dreamy, the guitar reminds me of the guitar in New Order’s Power, Corruption, and Lies, and the vocals are both catchy and sad. This is the one track I’d play for someone who wants to get a good feel for their music, because it encapsulates their sound perfectly.

The next track is actually an unassuming cover of Clan of Xymox’s “Back Door,” the closing track on their second album, Medusa. Viktor Nova once again proves to be great at vocal mimicry, as you almost can’t differentiate his voice from Ronny Moorings’. The Secret Light really bring their own touch of synthpop flavor to this song; it’s easily one of the best Clan of Xymox covers I’ve ever heard.

“Endless Loop” starts off with a bass riff reminiscent of Joy Division before the other instruments chime in. This one is a little more upbeat than the previous tracks. Viktor’s vocals are deep, dark, and echoing over different fun synth effects. It actually sort of sounds like what I would call moody video game music, and it’s one of the most danceable on the album. I can easily imagine hearing this one being played in barcades regularly.

“Posthuman” opens with creepy, surreal audio of a man counting down, followed by a slow beat. This is one of the most danceable tracks on Mirror Mirror (which is saying something, because they’re all beyond danceable), and it leans slightly more on the darkwave side than synthpop. It feels like a journey from beginning to end, female vocals chiming in beautifully at the last minute.

You can purchase their album on Bandcamp, but it’s also available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Google, and more. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, especially if you’re local and want to catch a show! Their record release show was in December, but they’ll be supporting The Prids for their record release show at Doug Fir Lounge on February 3rd.

Sär is a writer and music enthusiast born and raised in the Portland, OR area. They have been an avid listener of goth, postpunk and deathrock since 2003 and their ultimate goal is to introduce as many people to as many of these amazing bands as possible. - Cvlt Nation

"Making sound as good as The Secret Light does on this record is actually very difficult"

When I first listened to Mirror Mirror the debut record from Portland based dark wave band The Secret Light I thought to myself “why aren’t more bands doing this nowadays?” By this I mean embracing the dark sounds of ‘80s synth-pop mixed with slightly gothic elements and a bit of the star-studded glam antics that artists from Bowie to Robert Smith and Depeche Mode did.

The conclusion that I came to however was a stone cold one that I guess I had never thought of before because I was so lost in the power of the music. That reason being is that as gaudy and strange as the sounds and costumes which act as the face of this genre are, making this style of music, and making sound as good as The Secret Light does on this record is actually very difficult.

From front to back Mirror Mirror is a classic mirroring of albums by such classic ‘80s synth-pop acts as Depeche Mode and the Cure. The synths and deep cavernous drums hit perfectly beginning with the dark opening track “Circuits Collide” whose bass lines, which in this case make a world of difference in cultivating this sound, are reminiscent of the Joy Division and New Order master craftsman Peter Hook.

Next comes the unmistakably catchy future synth-pop sounding “Clockwork” which sounds like it could have just been dug out of a time capsule that was buried thirty years ago as could the title track “Mirror Mirror” which to me sounds more like Depeche Mode than Depeche Mode does. Yes it’s just that damn good.

Yet it’s not all a gothic fright fest on Mirror Mirror as is proved on the more upbeat brighter synths and more danceable beats of “Endless Loop” though if you were hoping for any sort of uplifting lyricism from singer Viktor Nova, you’re not going to get it.

​Anyone looking for a fresh yet authentic take on ‘80s electronica and synth pop that isn’t in the form of a reunion show or the dusting off of an old genre given a new spin then Mirror Mirror is that album. It’s been a long wait but The Secret Light make it well worth it. - Divide and Conquer

"PORTLAND MUSICIANS CORNER With DJ Sonic Szilvi – Interview with The Secret Light"

Shamefully, I must admit I have never seen The Secret Light live before. There are so many shows and bands in this city of ours, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them. I have heard their music and checked out some of their live footage on Youtube. That’s something, right? But on a totally positive note, The Secret Light will finally shine down on me from the stage of Portland’s Paris Theater at 2018’s PIGFEST.

The Secret Light is a tasty blend of some darker melodic genres. Viktor Nova provides sultry vocals backed by danceable rhythms and synth magic. Michelle Pecchia adds support to the infuses beats with her bass, and Kiisu D’Salyss adds more melody with his guitar. The outcome? Fantastic music.

Now let’s get to the interview!

Q: What came first, the band name or the band? Can you guys share with us, how this band came about?

The band. We’ve all played together in different bands, Viktor and kiisu in Pink Noise, Viktor and Michelle in theXplodingboys, and Michelle and kiisu in The Oblik. We all actually played together in a merging of Pink Noise and theXplodingboys while performing a cover once. Pink Noise and The Oblik broke up around the same time, and the 3 of us began jamming together. That’s how the band was formed.

The name “The Secret Light” had all the elements we required; mystery, ambiguous occult themes, general nerdiness…also the .com domain was available and we found no other existing bands using the name.

Q: Why this genre? What is that draws you towards playing in the darker genres? And would you want to play anything different at all?

There is no genre we are trying to emulate. We make the music we want to hear and the music we create happens organically. It’s a culmination of all the previous bands we’ve enjoyed and been influenced by. We’d argue that we’re just as much pop as we are dark. That aside, darker genres have more depth of subject matter and style that appeals to us.

As far as other aspirations, kiisu woud like to be involved in something more industrial with elements of black metal but that will have to wait until he finds the time machine mentioned in a question towards the end of this interview. Viktor is finding his calling as a synthwave DJ and is exploring composing soundtracks. Michelle would like to move to Sweden and become the new bassist for Agent Side Grinder. *LOL*

Q: What is more important to you as a band, the message or the music? Why do you feel that way?

I’m not convinced those are separate items. The message and music are so intertwined they are essentially the same thing. We are who we are becoming and we are trying to become better in everything we do. The world is dark and brutal and our message is of alternate universes and timelines where life can peacefully exist and where broken robots can find love and happiness…

Q: What is the biggest goal for The Secret Light? What do you do to achieve that goal?

Ultimately we’re into being able to quit our day jobs and do music full time but that’s the generic dream of most bands isn’t it? As far as pragmatic realistic goals we’d like to get on a label where we can have a mutually beneficial relationship that will expose us to a larger audience. We would like to continue making music that we, and hopefully many others enjoy. We do this because we love creating and performing.

Q: I like to throw in some fun fantasy questions, so here is one. You go to the Oregon coast and find a hidden time machine! You can go anywhere you want the past or the future. Where would you go and why? What would you do once you are there?

Ultimately we would have to travel to the future as we still have hope that humanity, or perhaps highly evolved cephalopods will have gotten their act together enough for a peaceful space traveling society. We’re all science fiction fans and hope to one day see a future of space travel beyond the solar system. Before that however, we’d have to travel to the past to hide our time machine/DeLorean better, and to play a series of long playing pranks involving eyes and triangles.

Q: One last question. What can we expect from The Secret Light in the near future? Any projects in sight? Tours? Changing the world? - The Freeform Portland Blog

"Here’s some peppy and poppy darkwave out of Portland"

The Secret Light, “Mirror Mirror”

Here’s some peppy and poppy darkwave out of Portland which leans heavily on chirping keys. Should appeal to those still pining away after Nightbreed style electro-goth, but updated to speak to current synthwave interests. Also, we assure you that the similarity in album art here and above is entirely coincidental, but if you want to take some message from happenstance, be our guest. - I Die You Die


Mirror Mirror

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The Secret Light brings a unique take on darkwave producing songs as if from an alternate, yet familiar universe. Their music is a high-energy combination of driving post-punk influenced bass, heavy sequenced dance beats, one of a kind effects charged guitar, live keytar synthesizers and powerful, effected vocals. 

Band Members