Rock trio the Secret Machines headed to upstate New York to record its second Reprise album, "Ten Silver Drops."

Rock trio the Secret Machines headed to upstate New York to record its second Reprise album, "Ten Silver Drops." The eight-track set is the follow-up to 2004's "Now Here Is Nowhere," which has sold nearly 90,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"We started writing the record last January in preparation for the touring we did last year," vocalist/bassist Brandon Curtis says. "Basically, all the material, with the exception of maybe two or three songs, was really finished and completed structurally and lyrically on tour. The feedback from performing in front of an audience was really instructive in how the songs were put together. I'm not sure I'd say I'd do it every time, but it was an interesting thing to do."

Curtis is particularly excited by "I Want To Know if It's Still Possible," which features a guest appearance from the Band's Garth Hudson. "At first he sat down on the Hammond [organ]. He was playing really beautifully, but I don't think anybody was thinking it was really working," Curtis says. "We took a break and he came back and picked up the accordion. We wound up running it through a remodulator and a low-pass filter and really kind of freaking it out."

Curtis admits that while the new songs run to similar lengths as the often-epic material on "Nowhere," they "are all more focused and a little sharper. It's funny -- it just seems like we can't write a song shorter than five minutes. Maybe we're just long-winded and we can't get to the point," he says with a laugh.

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