REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Peggy Sue reveals her third opus, Choir of Echoes

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Back with their slightly matured third full length offering, Brighton's Peggy Sue show us a thing or two about dynamic harmonies and folk-esque landscapes... 

peggy sue  

Choir Of Echoes - Out Now on Wichita Recordings

I first stumbled across Peggy Sue (formerly Peggy Sue and the Pirates) at Truck Festival in 2011 and it was love at first sight (sound?). I had never heard of them before but decided to stick around and catch their set and enjoyed them so much I went straight to the merch tent and purchased their debut album, 'Fossils and Other Phantoms', a record I have since listened the hell out of. Their sophomore album 'Acrobats' was also great and continued upon the same themes; folk-pop with rich sound-scapes and luscious vocals that singers Rosa Slade and Katy Young skilfully yet effortlessly wrap around one another creating harmonies that have inspired me to return to the band over and over again. Despite having been around, tweaking their sound and playing live with some great acts (Jack White, Mumford & Sons, The Maccabees, First Aid Kit) for the best part of a decade, Peggy Sue for some reason have never cracked the mainstream, something which is an awful shame - I would happily eradicate the boring Mumford & Sons from the market in favour of Peggy Sue. Perhaps their third album is the one to finally gain them the success and attention they deserve. Peggy Sue have said of their latest release: “Choir of Echoes is an album about singing. About losing your voice and finding it again. Voices keeping each other company and voices competing for space. The call and response of the kindest and the cruelest words. Choruses. Duets. Whispers and shouts.” This is a statement that undoubtedly rings true; there is a certainty you can hear about how they have crafted their songs to allow room for the vocals to inhale and exhale, mingling with each other and the other instruments and this really is something that sets this album, and this band, apart from other tedious, folk-pop that seems to be oh-so prevalent at the moment. ‘How Heavy the Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth and Mine’ gives a great example of allowing vocals the space to breathe, creating something quite haunting – I would love to hear a live rendition of this. Not as saccharine and twee as previous offerings, ‘Choir of Echoes’ is slightly more mature in terms of content with a more grown up, slightly sultry sound: Peggy Sue are now more crackle and less pop. Flirting between indie-pop, folk, gospel and blues this album seems to have given the band a more anchored sound – still recognising the band’s previous offerings but moving forward. I do quite miss some of the more obvious pop hooks from the debut album though, but all three albums complement each other in a way that means they can co-exist harmoniously in your record collect. I will end on this: one of the best things about this band is that Slade and Young sing like women, bypassing this recent trend of singing like a little girl. Phew. 8/10