Secret Cities, ‘Pink Graffiti’ (Western Vinyl)
While SPIN’s No. 1 Album of 2009, Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, had its head-swimming sonics instantaneously integrated by other bands (hello, Yeasayer), it has taken until the second album by North Dakota’s Secret Cities for anyone to properly mimic Brooklyn’s other breakout band, Grizzly Bear. From grandiose opener “Pink City” to the haunting mixture of reverberating voice and piano on the title track, it’s evident that singer-songwriters MJ Parker and Charlie Cokey have closely studied Veckatimest’s artisanal harmonies. But with the dancey percolations of “Pink Graffiti Pt. 1″ and the sweeping strings of “Vamos a la Playa,” Secret Cities gradually find their own voice.