The Secret History is a New York “post-pop” group operating squarely in the realm of teenage-romance breakup scenes and secrets told under the cover of night. Led by primary songwriter Michael Grace Jr, formerly of the indiepop cult heroes My Favorite, the band is fronted by Lisa Ronson, who hooked up with the group through a Village Voice classified ad for a “tragic female voice.” Grace’s expertly crafted songs modernize classic New Wave tropes in a way that makes them a natural fit for the laptop-speaker era; Ronson’s plainspoken tone brings to mind the voice of the Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson, while adding even more of an emotional punch. Listen to the pleading “Sergio,” from The Secret History’s forthcoming second album Americans Singing In The Dark, below.
The Secret History’s forthcoming album is called Americans Singing In The Dark, and each song is based on someone Grace met over his past two decades in New York. (Names are changed, though, to protect the protagonists.) “These were friends, or peers, or just people I saw from the side of the stage, for whom finding their place in America, letting go of the indie dream, getting older—just surviving—was a spectacular challenge,” says Grace. “And the style of each track is informed by the record I listened to, or the places I went with that person. And in addition to this cast of beautiful losers, New York itself is almost a character.”