Release Date: Oct 25, 2011
Record label: Yep Roc
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The second album from UK trio Peggy Sue arrives draped in black lace and casting an evil eye. Though its predecessor burst with folky sea shanties, Acrobats is all pallor and dread, icy ghost stories delivered in baleful moans. "I cut my teeth upon his flesh," Katy Young coolly coos over icicle-stiff guitars on opener "Cut My Teeth"; the group spends the remainder of the album torn between licking wounds and inflicting them.
At the heart of Peggy Sue’s second album is a darkness, a palpable unease, which is undoubtedly alluring, but which is not entirely new to the Brighton band. Their debut album Fossils and Other Phantoms may have been linked with the UK nu-folk scene, but it dealt with the ambiguities and grey areas of relationships. Acrobats is no Beatles for Sale, no abrupt admission by a sunny pop band that yes, love can be messy and complicated and fraught with difficulties.
PEGGY SUE play the Garrison Sunday (November 13). See listing. Rating: NNNN Peggy Sue began as an acoustic folk trio under the mega-shadow of fellow Brits Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling. By plugging in for their second album, they've achieved something much deeper and more powerful than their first.
It’s a bit silly in this day and age to be describing female singer songwriters as witches or sirens or any other form of mythological figures for that matter. That is especially true of Peggy Sue’s Rosa Slade and Katy Beth Young who on their previous album Fossils and Other Phantoms scarcely came across as marine temptresses or possessing any occult clairvoyance from relationship disasters. Rather it was an album that catalogued a history of misfortunes and misgivings.
In the wake of the all-encompassing Mumfordisation of British folk, [a]Peggy Sue[/a]’s 2010 debut seemed to get somewhat brushed under the carpet. Their name sounds like a ’50s rom-song or a character from Rosie And Jim; they play the accordion; they make some of their own instruments – nothing new here. Problem was, the London trio were actually a darker, cleverer and, well, just better proposition than most of their so-called peers.
Perhaps wisely jumping ship before the whole nu-folk scene becomes even more ubiquitous, Brighton trio Peggy Sue go electric for their second album, Acrobats -- a rather radical change in direction which sees them join the likes of Warpaint on the quest to revive early-'90s riot grrrl grunge. There are still traces of the acoustic indie-folk sound they pursued on 2010's Fossils & Other Phantoms, such as the lolloping percussion, mournful strings, and suitably somber melodies of the slightly gothic "Funeral Beat," and the a cappella harmonies, languid beats, and gentle glockenspiels of "Parking Meter Blues. " But for the most part, PJ Harvey producer John Parrish helps to create a rather unsettling and suspense-ridden, lo-fi atmosphere which recalls the likes of Throwing Muses and Sleater-Kinney more than the Marlings and Mumfords they were previously compared to.
An electric and enthralling second LP from the Brighton-based indie-folk-rockers. Jen Long 2011 When a band reaches their second album, words like ‘maturity’ and ‘development’ are typically expected to make appearances in any review. Of course, they’re not always deserved – and, often, they can signal a shift in style to the detriment of the act’s chances.