Asheville-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Secret Shame can trace their origins back to summer 2016 when Matthew (bass) and Lena (vocals) met through mutual friends. As a duo, the band released their self-titled debut EP, but they mostly stuck to hometown DIY shows.
Nathan, who had released the band’s debut EP, later joined on drums and not long after, Aster joined on guitar. The Asheville-based outfit’s full-length debut, 2019’s Dark Synthetics was released to widespread critical acclaim with album single “Calm” being featured on The New York Times‘ playlist, and the album landing on a number of that year’s Best-of-lists, including landing at #77 on Bandcamp Daily and #1 on Post-Punk.com.
Building upon that momentum, the band embarked on an East Coast tour, which kicked off at Hopscotch Festival. They also recorded a split 7″ single “Dissolve/Pure” with Aster as the band’s sole guitarist.
Throughout the band’s growing catalog, they’ve maintained a steadfast refusal to a single genre, but pull from a wide range of influences including post-punk, death rock, shoegaze and dream pop among others. But at the core of their sound is a palpable and uneasy tension between rage and melancholy, the beautiful and the bleak that finds some resolution in the way the music reflects the lyrics’ mood.
2022 has been a busy year for the Asheville-based JOVM mainstays: They headlined this year’s Dark Spring Boston and they’ve quickly become a regular presence at Hopscotch Music Festival. They’ve also spent much of the year touring extensively, opening for the likes of Xiu Xiu, Wednesday, Soft Kill, Choir Boy, and Vision Video.
Secret Shame’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Autonomy is slated for an October 28, 2022 release. Recorded at Asheville’s Drop of Sun with engineer/producer Alex Farrar, the album reportedly sees the JOVM mainstays reaching a new level of maturity both musically and lyrically: While the 11-song album may be diverse and yet cohesive, the album’s material is centered with lyrics that directly confront the realities of addiction, body dysmorphia, abuse and mental illness with an unvarnished honesty.
Autonomy‘s latest single “Color Drain” sees the JOVM mainstays taking up a dreamy, shoegazer-like take on post punk, in a way that recalls Cocteau Twins and others paired with Lena’s achingly plaintive vocals and enormous, catharsis-inducing choruses. Lyrically, the song features some of the most painfully honest lyrics in the band’s growing catalog: The song details Lena’s long battle with anorexia and how it feels to walk through the world in an apathetic and dissociative state after realizing that they both wanted help and didn’t want to accept that help.
Secret Shame will be embarking on a month-long East Coast tour throughout October and November that includes a November 13, 2022 stop at The Meadows. Check out the tour dates below.
10/15 – Asheville, NC – Burnpile (festival headliner)
10/24 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
11/08 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
11/09 – Detroit, MI – Smalls
11/13 – Brooklyn, NY – The Meadows
11/14 – Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
11/15 – Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA
11/16 – Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall
11/17 – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
11/18 – Greenville, SC – Swanson Warehouse