While they live in a land famous for frigid weather, husband-and-wife-fronted five-piece Bora York’s music is undoubtedly summer-esque. Their first new song since debut album Dreaming Free is "Let Loose," and takes their sound to a new direction - tighter, funkier, and dancier, all while maintaining the ethereal dream-pop feel of the first album. Creating a stir in their hometown of Minneapolis and online, it served as the birth of a second album, Secret Youth, that was written by frontman Chris Bartels from a different perspective - through the lens of what had been exciting from their live shows.
"The Way You Groove" and "Arrest Me" further expand on the climate of Secret Youth's first single, melding the danceability of "Let Loose" with fresh layers of vintage synths and memorable falsetto hooks. While the influence of a variety of 80's synth pop is clear throughout, it's the full-on funk breakdown halfway through "Arrest Me" that points to the influence of the classic Minneapolis funk sound.
Recording a large amount of their songs in Chris and Rebekah Bartels' humble 2-bedroom apartment, not to mention with the company of their newborn son, Bora York is all about working with what you've got. While this lends to an organic feel, the polished production is still undeniably impressive. Brian Seidel (vocals, guitar, keys), Bjorn Nilsen (drums), and Jamie) Kauppi (bass) join Chris and Rebekah to complete the outfit, and have helped shape the sound of both albums, and also in creating an exciting live experience. The entire production and release process was done independently through Chris’ own Anthem Falls Music, releasing July 21, 2015.
Each Bora York song gives the impression that Chris is drawing from memories of his past, and yet those memories feel strikingly familiar, as if from a shared past that every person has experienced at some point in their life. Secret Youth is a danceable ode to young love, perseverance, and nostalgia.