Rocket Shop 6/18/2014: Bonita Secunda; Admiral

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by Lily Chau.

Bonita, or Bonny, Secunda made certain to don her bright red lipstick and blue alpaca beret before having her portrait taken on the Big Heavy World couch. She smiled sweetly for the camera and maintained her enthusiastic and welcoming demeanor when I sat down to chat about her music.

“I’ve been singing since I was five,” Secunda tells me. “I was raised Catholic, and I sang in choir for eight years. I just fell in love with music—period.” Originally from Pennsylvania, Secunda came to Vermont in the mid-90’s after finishing her country rock album. Secunda is able to play in a number of different musical styles: from country and rock to jazz and blues. “At my age, you get to be versatile,” she laughs.

Secunda’s upcoming album, titled Wild Blue Thunder is to be released under the moniker “Bonny Blue.” It was recorded at Charles Eller Studios in Charlotte, VT, and mastered by Lane Gibson. Additionally, VideoSyncrasies in Burlington, VT, filmed Secunda performing songs from the album, which she hopes to release as a DVD. In particular, Secunda is excited about the track “Jumpin’ the Gun” off her new record, and even pulled up the music video on her smartphone to show me.

“The song is about man’s love for guns and gun’s love for man,” she says. “I think it’s really the epitome of my alter-ego, Bonny Blue.” The artwork in the video, she tells me, was done by artist Nicholas Chamorro from Paris, France. “It took me a long time to get it,” Secunda explains. “The girl you see drawn, she’s how I imagine a hippie would look nowadays. I was a hippie; I used to wear the bell-bottomed jeans and everything.”

Secunda tells me she plans to just keep writing, and hopes to find a backing band so that she is able to play more live shows. In August she will be filming a music video for her song “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.” In the meantime, she has twenty-three songs recorded and more in the works.

The electronic duo Admiral

Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Lily Chau.

A beautiful thing about our Rocket Shop Radio Hour is the showcase of Vermont’s musical diversity, and this past Wednesday was no exception. I was able to sit down and speak with Ethan and Tyler of Admiral, an up and coming Lyndonville duo formed last year. Despite being new to the Vermont music community these two are combining their different influences, such as Ethan’s hardcore, punk and indie rock past as well as Tyler’s hip-hop and production experience, into an interesting blend of electronic and indie pop music.

The two Lyndon State College graduates and roommates started the project as Ethan’s indie punk band, Sails, which Tyler also manages, began to slow down towards a hiatus. Both had no desire for their musical ambition to wind down as well, and began to traverse outside of their typical genres of choice. All of this led to Ethan contemplating Tyler’s idea for what would become the sound of Admiral, a decision that came from wondering, “Can I write pop music and not hate it?”, and so far they’re doing just that.

Now with a well-received single under their belts they are focusing on promoting this platform which they’ve built up into the foreseeable future, with goals for more shows and new music at the beginning of the pipeline. It’ll all begin on July 3rd at Monkey House in Winooski, where they’ll play their first show within this new era, one which seems fueled by a sense of redemption for past musical experience. From there they have plans to release a compilation of remixes of their single “Lonely Graces” by various producers, before releasing their own EP by the end of the year.