released June 1st, 2010

from the album, - Yo Mama

from all music

Brighton, England indie folk duo Peggy Sue was formed by longtime friends Rosa Slade and Katy Young. The group's signature blend of brooding anti-folk and fiery indie pop was born in basements, living rooms, and small clubs in 2006. A successful tour with like-minded British indie rockers Mumford & Sons earned Peggy Sue attention outside of the local scene, resulting in a record deal with Yep Roc. The bandís debut album, Fossils and Other Phantoms, was released in June, 2010.

album review

Rosa Slade and Katy Young, the lead vocalists and songwriters of the band Peggy Sue, call their music folk, and while it certainly draws on the melodic simplicity and stark presentation of traditional folk singers on both sides of the Atlantic, they've created their own dark little niche. Some call it folk noir, and that's as good a pigeonhole as any. The first thing that hits you is the intertwining harmonies, delivered in woozy, somnambulant tones that manage to sound both ironically detached and painfully involved in the romantic fray that most of the tunes traffic in. The harmonic intervals lend the duo's muted singing the quality of sounds heard in that strange state between sleeping and waking, when random words and noises can take on profound, and even frightening meaning. That feel is augmented by the lyrics, packed with images of lost connections, battered psyches, and passionate regret. The melodies are simple with hints of blues, jazz, and R&B slippin' and a slidin' through the arrangements. "The Reminder" is a stygian torch song full of ferocious yearning, and like "Fossils," has an implicitly sexual lyric. Both tunes start quietly and build to emotional crescendos that give drummer Olly Joyce a chance to deliver subtle percussion freak-outs. "The Shape We Made," a visceral song about the physical pang of lost love, has a Velvet Underground-like acoustic drone that complements its aching vocals, while the hardest-rocking track is "I Read It in the Paper," another tale of lost love that balances violent regret with inevitable resignation. Young and Slade both play all manner of string and keyboard instruments, but the arrangements here are as minimal as their vocals. Naming your band after one of the most famous rock & roll songs of the '50s takes a lot of chutzpah, but this trio pulls it off with a soulful, minimalist sound that's all their own.

Track Listing

1 Long Division Blues Churchill, Peggy Sue 3:47
2 Yo Mama Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 3:51
3 I Read It in the Paper Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 3:07
4 Green Grow the Rushes Peggy Sue, Slade ... 4:31
5 Watchman Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 3:25
6 She Called Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 4:37
7 Careless Talk Costs Lives Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 2:50
8 The Remainder Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 3:52
9 Matilda Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 2:50
10 February Snow Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 2:53
11 Fossils Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 4:05
12 The Shape We Made Peggy Sue, Slade, Young 2:55