Album Review: Secret Cities – Pink Graffiti

Fargo, North Dakota. It’s known more for a Coen Brothers movie and lots of cold weather than probably anything else. But from over the hills and far away, here comes a little trio with intentions of putting Fargo on the map for something else: good music. And wouldn’t you know it, Secret Cities is doing a damn fine job so far. Pink Graffiti is nothing short of magnificent.

Right away, Pink Graffiti is like one of those dreams that you don’t want to wake up from. It’s beautifully stunning and stunningly beautiful. Its’ scope is enormous, hugely expansive and layered with a delectable coating of rolling, wondrous sounds. As sweet and fluffy as fairground cotton candy, yet not without quite a kick, Pink Graffiti is the sonic equivalent of having your cake and eating it, too. “Pink City”, the dreamy, pretty little opener, is soft and full, and totally mesmerizing. “We had a lot to say/but it would take all day” goes the song, as it undulates along a placid, shimmering path. For all intents and purposes, it’s one of those rare songs that manages to encapsulate the feel of the song in a song title. It’s a song to tiptoe through tulips to. “Boyfriends” immediately follows, paying homage to Brian Wilson both lyrically and sonically (don’t tell me you don’t hear the Beach Boy undercurrent). A bit more substantial, from a guitar angle, than the song before it, “Boyfriends” is every bit as wonderful.

I love the jaunty piano that begins third track “Slacker”, another song that capitalizes on the band’s fantastically fuzzy sound. It brings to mind late summer afternoons, where the sky is filled with rolling, dark grey clouds yet shining bright with sunlight, and the foliage whispers with the hint of a storm soon to break. “Wander” ambles along carefully, cautiously, yet a little more ominous than the fluff that comes before it. Strictly instrumental, it shows yet another side to Secret Cities. Things pick back up with “Color”, a delightfully playful song. It’s a little bit like an aural Candy Land (and so is the rest of the record).

Pink Graffiti is definitely not a record I would ever have associated with the state of North Dakota, but the place of origin is no matter. I can pretty much promise it’ll appear in my Best of 2010 list, and you can place some easy money on my list not being the only place that’ll give it heavy praise. You heard it here, friends. Secret Cities made one hell of a record, and I just love it to bits and pieces. Take a bite yourself and see if you don’t go back for second helpings.

mp3: Boyfriends (Secret Cities from the forthcoming Pink Graffiti, on Western Vinyl)


  1. Hey
    thanks for the cool post, I liked their album very much and also posted about their album myself.

    Yair, Small Town Romance


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