Based in London, but hailing from different continents, Armada of Secrets is a melding of African vocals with UK beats…or something like that. After immigrating from Burundi, Caroline Kabera met English bassist Carl Dawkins at music school. For a while, Dawkins toured globally with various bands and Kabera kept her singing national while working for women’s care refuge charities. Skip ahead a few years and these two talented artists combined their skills and became the explosive, genre-defying Armada of Secrets.
We have a brief history behind us, so what about their music? Almost impossible to label, the duo refers to themselves as “post-punk power-pop alternative dance-rock”. At the core, however, it is a blast of sound with a serious attitude and a punk edge. ‘Tragic Love’ is one of the most recent releases following a brief hiatus.
“All of our songs come from experience, but we felt that we were laid bare with this track. So much so that we delayed releasing it and even went on hiatus as a result of writing it. It brought all of our anxieties, fears and accomplishments (and even lack of) to the forefront…this track symbolises our return, a coming to terms with who we are and what we believe in.” – Caroline Kabera on ‘Tragic Love’
Completely unique and innovative, Armada of Secrets is an eruption of high-speed drums, guitar and synths blended with raw, gritty vocals. While Kabera’s vocals are highly reminiscent of Skin from Skunk Anansie, Armada of Secrets is harder, rougher and more spirited than Skunk Anansie. The raw honesty is evident, but it’s powerful “in your face” sound makes me think of Skin’s collaboration with Maxim in ‘Carmen Queasy’.
A dynamic single, ‘Tragic Love’ offers an aggressive and brusque attitude, yet maintains a seemingly comfortable sensation amidst the frenzied sound – organised chaos, if you will. Reverberating through your brain, down your spine and making you twitch from pure ecstasy, Armada of Secrets is something everyone can enjoy.