Secret Flight – Secret Flight

Secret Flight first floated ethereally past my music radar at a performance at Milton Keynes Gallery in January 2020. Built from wonderfully delicate synth sounds, heat-haze hooks and brittle rhythms, overlaid with hypnotic, angelic vocals, that Secret Flight performance occupied a unique zone bordering lo-fi electronica, classical melodies and a sort of shoegazer-y feeling of numbness and detachment.

This self-titled album follows an initial release in 2018, My Forever Mirage. Secret Flight contains some truly mesmerising, haunting pieces, each constructed using that fragile, sparse approach to arrangements that left such an indelible impression on me back in 2020. Along with more resolutely ephemeral pieces comprising just voice and elegiac synth chords, there are some truly breathtaking standout moments. One of these is the seven-minute ‘A Prism’, laden with detuned beats, subtle arpeggios, a relentless spiral of synth tones and a chamber choir coda about grief that offers a sense of resolution and closure.

Another outstanding track is ‘On The Day’, which has a beautiful, 1981-vintage synth-pop outlook, the combination of precise, restrained electronics and soaring, beguiling voice recalling Yazoo’s finest moments. ‘Vertigo’ has a crunchy beat with a vaguely glam rock swing, the accompanying vocal having a sort of muted euphoria that reminds me of early Smiths, while the quietly defiant progressions of closing track ‘To Lose’ is going to be the music accompanying the final scene in the movie adaptation of the book I haven’t written yet.

Secret Flight is a remarkable, if consciously understated album. It maintains a firm hold on your attention, enveloping you with its delicate presentation and revealing more of itself and its sentiment the more time you spend with it. Its vocal themes are open and honest, yet also shrouded and deliberately obfuscated, offering a window into emotional turmoil, love, loss and personal anxieties. A powerful (yet subtle) journey from start to finish.

Secret Flight by Secret Flight is released May 26 2023.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2023 Further.

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