Secret Rivals are an Oxford based four piece who create pleasant yet punchy indie pop. The group formed in late 2008 and released their debut EP Start Fires on Josaaka Records in October 2010. 2011 has so far seen the group sign to London’s Kittiwake Records, who have scheduled the band for an album release later this year. In the meantime, the group will be releasing their new single, Tonight Matthew in April, which has already been previewed as Rob Da Bank’s record of the day on BBC Radio 1. The group have had a lot of positive coverage on the BBC in general recently, and have been featured on BBC Oxford’s Introducing… programme and on BBC 6 Music.

The group describe their work as “unashamedly lo-fi”, but this is only part of their sound. Their music is upbeat, and varies in significantly between poppy indie and more grungy, punk numbers. They are cut from a similar cloth to The Wombats and The Thermals, with their hints of synth and attractive guitar centric melodies. Male and female vocals take the lead, which are provided by vocalists Jamie Corcoran and Clouds Jaez. Corcoran and Jaez clearly have chemistry, (their relationship goes beyond the music), and they spin attractive yet dynamic vocals.

With their cool, accessible indie sound, clever song lyrics and talented musicianship, Secret Rivals have a lot of promise, and 2011 looks like it is shaping up to be their year.

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