Release Date: Jun 1, 2010
Record label: Yep Roc
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Folk
Like the mythical sirens, Rosa Slade and Katy Young – the London-born, Brighton-based frontwomen of Peggy Sue – sing with a lilting sweetness that is wholly deceptive, belying the undercurrent of fury in their lyrics, the agitations of their music. Unlike the sirens, however, they sing not to lure men to destruction but to detail the wrecking of their own hearts. Whether it's Young musing on duplicitous relationships (Watchman) or brooding on how she would spoon with an ex (The Shape We Made), or Slade struggling to forget the smell of a former lover by slinking downtown, where "I see your face in everyone", the two women appear horribly bruised by love.
You would expect an album about having your heart broken over and over again to get a little whiny. A catalogue of chaotic relationships has left Peggy Sue’s Rosa and Katy audibly bruised. Their debut album’s artwork suggests a bleak void that their break-ups have left for them to crawl into. Luckily, neither of them chose to let emptiness consume them.
Around the same time we were first being blown away by the lungs of a girl called [b]Florence[/b], we were also seduced by a duo who shared her way with a dark tale, her bluesy bellow. Rather than blossom into big-money production or rush to emulate the Machine’s success, though, [b]Rosa Rex[/b] and [b]Katy Klaw[/b] have played a long game. Their spooky, sexy, dark folk is kept bare and bolshy, like [a]Laura Marling[/a] with sex and humour.
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.
Sleeve-worn emotions are expressed to the fore on this dense yet seductive debut. Matthew Bennett 2010 Brighton babes Katy Klaw and Rosa Rex took the name of one of Buddy Holly’s most-famous songs and instantly unleashed ambiguity when they released their first record as Peggy Sue and the Pirates, before switching to Peggy Sue and the Pictures. Now they are just plain old Peggy Sue.