Secret Weapon is Australian songwriter Jo Schornikow (and keyboardist in Phosphorescent)’s stunning label debut. It’s a devastatingly beautiful indie-pop album that eddies into dreamy nooks, while staying firmly rooted in strong melodies. It’s a quiet record, adorned with subtle swells of synths and shimmering washes of guitars. Jo’s calm, assured voice is that of a touring musician who’s spent much of the past 10 years on the road in Phosphorescent and The Shivers and is now very much at home in this world. She’s been the secret weapon to other songwriters, but now she’s stepping out and sharing these gorgeous songs.
While her partner Matthew Houck’s band Phosphorescent carves a wide swath through cosmic country, Jo’s songs thrive in a dusk-lit territory neighbouring pop, shoegaze, and ambient experimental music. These are very much folk songs, but translated through the tools Jo Schornikow has at hand.