After being asked to review ‘Mind, Man, Medicine’ by The Secret Sisters, I was immediately compelled to research their story. With almost one million monthly listeners on Spotify alone and an impressive two GRAMMY nominations under their belts, I decided to press play on the Alabama born siblings’ new record. There was one core question I had going into writing this article :

Who exactly are The Secret Sisters?

I am almost immediately overwhelmed by the emotional complexity of ‘Space’, the album opener. Although it’s my job to translate music into words, there are some instances where a song is much too perfect to be defined by text alone, but nonetheless, you can envision the feeling it gives you. Imagine you’re cruising down a deserted road, the sunset dances and glistens above the ocean to your left, you have the roof down on your convertible and the summer breeze is absorbing the tears on your face, which is now enveloped in the evening’s tangerine hue.

Thoughts of life, love and hardship fleeting through your mind as the song oozes through the car radio, it’s almost as though it has a comforting, warm presence about it. Vibrant melodies and sharp lyricism melt together to marinate in your ears long after the track’s four-minute run time concludes. That is ‘Space’ and it is simply ethereal.

‘Paperweight’ is the first instance where you can really hear The Sisters having fun while recording, if you observe them purely on a phonetic basis. The track is a classic country sounding ode to staying grounded with the help of love, it also exemplifies some stunning harmonies from the duo, which is without a doubt my favourite aspect of this record.

Although I don’t consider myself overly emotional in nature, I felt incredibly moved for the second time just three tracks deep when experiencing ‘If the World Was a House’. I interpreted this piece as a commentary on social issues, it’s deliciously subtle and the duo have clearly mastered the art of tackling poignant matters without appearing sanctimonious, which is a trap many musicians fall into when trying to create what this song achieves so seamlessly.

Curiously, ‘All The Ways’ doesn’t necessarily connect with me as much as the prior tracks do, it has all the subtle intricacies of a tender love ballad though and the genius addition of Ray Lamontagne certainly elevates it. Moving onto ‘Planted’, I found myself envisioning a lover dedicating this song to me and to be frank, I would simply melt in their arms. Not only is the lyricism devastatingly beautiful here but the melody emanates a feeling similar to that of a suitably haunting lullaby.

After five songs, I firmly believed I knew who The Secret Sisters were, but I stand corrected. ‘Never Walk Away’ is an ambrosial anthem, a cocktail of love and bitterness stampede through the track, flowing through a delicious 1960’s style groove, reminiscent of girl groups such as ‘The Shangri-Las’ or ‘The Dreamliners’. ‘Never Walk Away’ is possibly my favourite track I’ve ever stumbled upon while writing a record review, it exudes the nostalgia of a timeless masterpiece while simultaneously remaining both relatable and refreshing.

Seeing a title like ‘I Needed You’ was quite daunting after experiencing just how emotive The Secret Sisters can be throughout this record, it turns out I had every right to be nervous; I found myself on the brink of sobbing in the dark as The Sisters serenaded me. It is so very rare to hear such a vulnerable, heart-wrenching ballad in an era of artists forever insisting ‘I don’t need anyone’ and as per usual, the song is crafted flawlessly, especially as it erupts into a superb, almost cinematic-like climax.

‘Bear With Me’ is a very gentle track (and a welcomed break from the emotional intensity), highlighting the importance of self discovery in life, a necessity that we don’t always have the luxury, nor the time, to develop. Meanwhile, ‘Same Water’ offers a pleasant melody that would in my opinion be elevated to another level with a powerful life performance.

It’s devastating in some ways that once we love somebody so deeply, we can’t ever fully return to the person we were before we met them. The penultimate track on the record, ‘I Can Never Be Without You Anymore’, appears to explore that feeling without actually losing said person, it almost feels as if we’re hearing the artist project their fears that this relationship could potentially disintegrate. It’s a tender moment on the album and almost therapeutic to take comfort in knowing it’s a universal feeling. Concluding with ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ was an excellent artistic choice, the song is both thoughtful and joyous, it’s written tremendously and the overall message of love, care and positivity is infectious.

So, who are The Secret Sisters? They’re possibly America’s best kept secret, but after this record I long for them to receive a flurry of universal acclaim. It’s not a regular occurrence that I can take to a record so fast, but ‘Mind, Man, Medicine’ is simply a masterpiece and a blinding gem in the duo’s discography. The record is coherent, cohesive and has evidently been aforethought with absolute precision. The Secret Sisters are the personification of passion, they are hope, love, loss and everything in between, they are a formidable force in the folk/country scene and honestly? I will be aghast if this record doesn’t take them from GRAMMY nominees to GRAMMY winners.

The Secret Sisters: Mind Man Medicine – Out 29th March 2024 (New West Records)

Secret Sisters – “Paperweight” [Lyric Video] (