The Sound Cafe
Robinson Kirby Release Fresh Folk Ode To Blossoming Relationships With The Track 'Secret Lover'
By Eric Alper.
Last year, the Toronto-based folk-rock duo Robinson Kirby released a seven-song EP, Little Dreams, and a summer anthem, “Summer of Love.” Now, they add to their discography with a fresh folk jam, “Secret Lover.”
Robinson Kirby mentioned that their previous EP focused on songs “about love, searching for connection, and finding your place in the world.” “Secret Lover” picks up where Little Dreams left off with an ode to a blossoming relationship. Moments so novel you spend your free time sneaking around friends and family, eager to cherish those early days before the relationship blooms into something concrete and known.
Robinson Kirby mentioned that originally “Secret Lover” started with a slower melody and a completely different tone than the “upbeat, grooving feel” it emanates today.
“We wanted to capture some of the spirit of our shows and celebrate playing live again, which we had really missed,” Robinson Kirby said.
“Over the course of the last year, as shows started happening again, it became a highlight in our set,” they said.
A soothing guitar intro opens the song, soon joined by a light percussive element and Kirby’s sweet vocals. She beckons her “secret lover” to “Sneak away with me/So our friends don’t see.” You can’t help but lean into this tale of a tight-lipped affair.
“‘Secret Lover’ is about the excitement at the beginning of a relationship - when you get butterflies around the other person, maybe even feel those first feelings of love. You have hope for the future, but it’s uncertain, and the relationship is undefined,” Robinson Kirby shared.
The catchy tune begs the attention of the listener with a call into a beautiful, clandestine universe. The vocals and guitar riffs entrance the listener with this evocative tale.
About a minute and a half into the song, the guitar spills into a tremendous solo filled with powerful vibrato tone. This electric interlude then returns to the folk anthem of the enchanting origins of love.
Harrison Lenz engineered the track and added his superb bass playing to the instrumental backing, while Ryan Johnston lent his talent on the drums.
“We cut the basic tracks at Gold Standard Recorders in Toronto with our live band. We used the live vocal take and guitar solo in the final track, which feels like a cool step for us. When we’re in the studio, we can be perfectionists, so it feels great to keep full takes, not fuss over every little detail, and just let the song speak for itself,” the band said.
Luke Robinson and Madelyn Kirby met at Berklee College of Music and bonded over a shared fascination with 70s music and the pop scene. “Secret Lover” marks their first release following their 2021 EP Little Dreams and single, “Summer of Love.” Robinson Kirby also collaborated on “Venice” with Julian DelGrosso and “Tired Eyes” with Darby Loves You before releasing “Secret Lover.”