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Peggy Sue - Watchman
Author:
Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs
Published:
Aug 27, 2010
Total plays:
22,872
Saved:
48 times
Why do we like this?
It's hard to believe that Fossils and Other Phantoms is Peggy Sue's first full-length album.  Last year, they released three stellar EPs (including Lover Gone and Body Parts & First Aid) that had the complexity of a band well established. The Brighton and London-based group actually began only three years ago when best friends and college roommates Rosa Rex and Katy Klaw decided they'd like to learn how to actually play some instruments. They added a drummer a year later, and Peggy Sue was born.

To say they sing love songs wouldn't be quite accurate. Songs of love lost describes their music better. But even that phrase suggests a focus on depression or sadness. Rex and Klaw certainly discuss those themes, along with regret and longing, but the two also express a beautiful understanding of love; one that acknowledges the joy and comfort it can bring while also accepting the unpredictability and inevitability of its demise.

This lyrical storytelling coupled with the duo's harmonizing vocals (the style brings to mind Azure Ray), and quirky musical arrangements (you'll hear guitar, piano, accordions, and all manners of odd and clever percussion) has made this trio one of my favorite groups of the past couple years.

Fossils did not immediately grab me the way the other EPs did. It is certainly a record that grows on you, and like any great album, it needs to be heard in full. Between commercial radio, iTunes, and Pandora, it's easy to become "single-obsessed," and just browse through a record for that one catchy tune. But you will be missing something if you merely scan this album.

If you're experiencing a dreary, San Francisco summer, I suggest you load this album onto your iPod and take a walk through the fog. I find this record so fitting for the cold because there is such a dark and eerie tone that runs throughout.  It's as if the gals were holed up in some dusty and cavernous Brooklyn apartment for months while they recorded the album. Actually, that's just how the album was made... and you can hear it in the echoing vocals and haunting percussion.

The band embraces the space they occupy, suggesting that Peggy Sue's next project will be completely different than Phantoms. It may be sunnier, more upbeat, maybe hopeful. And yet it could be even darker (maybe they'll record in the dead of winter in Minnesota). I'm secretly hoping for Tahiti.
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