Built to spill – keep it like a secret

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uilt to Spill is the brainchild of Doug Martsch, he is the only permanent member of the band, just how he planned it many moons ago in 1992. Doug originally envisioned a different lineup for every release. By the time Keep it Like a Secret was being born Doug was feeling burnt out from the previous release Perfect From Now on. The songs were lengthy and required a lot of work to bring to life. So from November 97 to May 98 the goal was to create an album of shorter more concise songs. Most of the songs were created by hours long jam sessions that Doug then meticulously would dig through to find interesting pieces which would then become the album.

The Plan, Carry the Zero, Sidewalk, Time Trap, and You Were Right would be enough to carry any album. The other songs hold their weight with the more notable tunes here. They were not just filler, Doug and the band had really hit a vein here. 

Built To Spill at Nelsonville Music Festival. May 29, 2015. Photo: Brian Bruemmer, Rubatophoto.com

How does it hold up?

I believe the aforementioned songs hold up quite well as do the songs that round out the album. As I was exploring the entire album for the first time in decades, I was surprised at how well the songs flow. Doug’s cynicism is endearing and easy to digest. The angst of the album is relatable in today’s global climate.

Where are they now?

Built to Spill is still going strong. Just as the original idea of the band was envisioned, there are a few different versions of Built to Spill that perform these days. Each iteration has its own feel. One not necessarily better or worse than the other, just always a great listen.

Should you listen?

100 percent yes. With a little digging you may know exactly what you are in for, but rest assured it will be an entertaining night of music. You may even get a few Keep It Like a Secret gems mixed in…or not. Just the way it should be.

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