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Your Secret Safe / Luzerne

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Album Review

Two-CD sets by indie pop bands weren't common fare in 2007, but that's what Trollyvox offer on Your Secret Safe/Luzerne. While neither of the two discs are ballyhooed more than the other in the packaging, it's likely that the one titled Your Secret Safe is the one into which they poured their primary energy, as the disc titled Luzerne is wholly acoustic and partially instrumental. Your Secret Safe, in contrast, boasts full-band arrangements, offering guitar pop featuring Beth Filla's coolly haunting lead vocals. While not the most remarkable or brilliant of sounds, the band's combination of moody and meditative words and melody with fairly aggressive, guitar-driven backing is reasonably engaging. A few of the tracks, like "I Call on You" and "Reading," are a bit like hearing the Who with a more contemporary indie pop bent and a female vocalist, and in fact, the Who's "Our Love Was" is the only cover of the set. Other songs admit other influences into their approach, like ringing 12-string power pop on "Jean Jacket," though even that song has instrumental breaks with highly Pete Townshend-esque power chords. The other disc on this release, Luzerne, is not Your Secret Safe unplugged. It has entirely different songs, though the only instrumentation is provided by Trollyvox songwriter Andrew Chalfen (mostly on acoustic guitar) and Eve Miller (on occasional cello), and five of the twelve tracks are instrumental. In keeping with the format, these are gentler and folkier tunes, more Nick Drake than Pete Townshend, though they're less memorable than those on the Luzerne CD. There's a penetrating opening lyric of "Intermission," though, with more anguish than is apparent from the musical tone of the cut: "She found her broken heart in mint condition in the Japanese rent-a-car."

Customer Reviews

The Trolleyvox are the Best Band to Come Out of Philadelphia Since The Hooters!

Ok, so I'm not a huge fan of the Hooters but I will have to say all joking aside that this is an amazing double album! I heard The Trolleyvox single "I Call On You" on a Paste Sampler CD and fell in love with the band. While most of the songs are shorter in length, I love the 11 minute and 21 second "Cricket in Euphoria." I hope they come to Atlanta some time soon!


Formed: Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The early history of the Trolleyvox began when the multitalented guitar pop maven Andrew Chalfen (Wishniaks, Gimme, Joey Sweeney) recorded demos in 1993-95 with guitarist-vocalist Dave Gray (Idlewilds, Vegas Nerve) and engineer Adam Lasus (Helium, Madder Rose). Then Beth Filla answered a 1996 "vocalist wanted" ad that Chalfen had placed in a local Philadelphia paper. Chalfen suspected she was a witch because she smelled of burned wood and spices from a pagan ceremony, but she impressed him with her...
Full Bio
Your Secret Safe / Luzerne, The Trolleyvox
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