You don't have to remind The Secret Sisters about the three-year span between their self-titled debut and their just-released sophomore album, "Put Your Needle Down." They know all too well. "It was a long time in coming," says Laura Rogers. "Most people who have followed us over the past few years were probably wondering if we were ever going to put out a second record. We actually finished it in the middle of last year, and were just waiting for the right moment to put it out."
A recent invite to tour with Nickel Creek presented an opportunity to do just that. Sales have been strong as well, with the album landing at the top of the Billboard Heatseekers Chart in late April.
"It's been an amazing thing so far," Laura says. "I think we accomplished what we wanted to as far as the music kind of progressing in the right way. We were a little intimidated by it being it being our sophomore record, but it turned out well."
Check out the sisters' incredibly cool new video for single "Rattle My Bones":
Sister Lydia Rogers says that the album is a little different from their debut, so they weren't quite sure what people would think. "I think for us, it was about being worried that we might lose people. Because, with the first record, it was all covers with the exception of two that we wrote. We really wanted to showcase our songwriting on this record. It would have been real easy to do another album of country standards, but we really wanted to grow. Luckily, it's all been good," she exclaimed to The 615.
One cut from "Put Your Needle Down" that is definitely worth noting is the murky story song "Iuka," referring to a tiny hamlet in northeastern Mississippi close to the Tennessee River. The chilling murder ballad draws a comparison to Bobbie Gentry, which Laura said was right on the money.
"When we wrote that song, we had been listening to a lot of Bobbie Gentry," she said. "We were so inspired by her that we wanted to channel her darkness and that Gothic kind of sound. We had been thinking about this story of people who would go to Iuka to get married when they were underage. We decided to take it a step further and murder everyone," she offered.
Once again, the Secret Sisters worked with the highly-esteemed T Bone Burnett on the album. Lydia allowed that the creative environment was a little bit different this go around. "With the first record, we really didn't do a lot of studio work with him," she says. "It was him just kind of guiding the process, and the songs. And, we enjoyed the first record with him, but this was so different. We went in, and showed him all of these songs that we've been working on. He helped us pick the ones that were the strongest, and helped us to build the songs the way we wanted. He was so wonderful in listening to us and what we wanted to do with this record. He was the perfect partner. We've known him for much longer now, so we do feel a certain amount of friendship with him. So, it was much more of a collaborative process rather than two little girls that he took under his wing."
Touring-wise, the duo has been scoring rave reviews this year for their sets opening up for Nickel Creek. "It's been so magical," Laura says. "When we got the invitation to go on tour with them, we both cried. We were so excited. We grew up huge fans of them before we ever met them, and the music they created. To be given the chance to be them on such a big, important tour was a huge honor. It's been very fun."
After their leg with Nickel Creek ends, it's going to be more of the same -- a good thing, says Laura. "We'll be heading west, then we're going to the UK, and then some more shows here. It's going to be a crazy year, but we're ready for it!"