A sense of darkness peers through the screen and onto a spectacular patch of uncorrupted silence as we enter the music video for Keyawna Nikole’s “Secrets.” Angst, an implied yearning, and potent but unspoken emotionality dot the landscape in the lingering moments ahead of the song’s proper beginning, but as Nikole starts to sing an even thicker nocturnal glow overtakes the sky as we’re transported to a bold collaboration with none other than Kellin Quinn. The mood is quite solemn in spots here, but believe it or not, we’re on our way to something surprisingly optimistic on the other side of the dark road ahead.
Nikole’s singing is punctuated with a sense of hunger that beckons us to inquire further, and we watch as Quinn approaches her to do just that under the dim light of the video’s unique color scheme. It seems that in this performance, Nikole wants to make it clear to us that chemistry is beyond the collaborative element when she gets into the studio; this is a vibe, an attitude if you will, that we’re being made to feel alongside her. As wonderfully cinematic as the music video is, it’s somewhat difficult to focus on its theatrical elements alone for the sole reason that Nikole’s voice is so entrancing and magnetic.
Around every twist and turn in these verses is another harmony that is larger than life and waiting to take us somewhere we’ve never been before.
It’s pretty common for rock artists to shell out a couple of hooky love songs when trying to build their cred in the industry, but “Secrets” has an indelibly personal feel to it that makes me think that its origins were nothing but organic and unsolicited. The alternative scene’s past recordings set the tone for this single, but there’s something undeniably different about this piece. Our singer is perfectly composed in the delivery of her lyrics, and her nimble transitions between the verses are streamlined and remarkably efficient. All of the ingredients for a radio-friendly rock song are here without any of the overindulgent bark and bluster of so-called “crossover” pop releases.
As we reach the homestretch of the video for “Secrets,” Nikole and Quinn find their way into what feels like the most cathartic conclusion a light metal number could have introduced us to here, and at the whim of a bold melody they venture into the future with the same confidence we encountered in the chorus. If you’re a member of the alternative rock faithful or you’ve been craving something just a little bit heavier than what the standard in present-day pop music is calling for, “Secrets” is a powerful rock ballad that is relatable to almost anyone who has ever needed a good track to blow off some steam with. I highly recommend giving this track a spin this autumn – it’s an awesome addition to the young discography of a deeply gifted singer and songwriter who has found her signature sound and isn’t afraid to push it to the very limit.
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