Formerly known as Peggy Sue and The Pirates (and Peggy Sue and The Pictures) Peggy Sue have toured with a few well known indie artists of the calibre of Jack White, The Maccabees and Mumford & Sons. Obviously held in high enough esteem to work live with these acts, does their recorded output pass muster?
The Wikipedia entry claims that the band says their album - “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 cruellest words. Choruses. Duets. Whispers and Shouts”.
The opening song “(Come Back Around)” – the brackets are part of the title - is a wordless acapella song so the description seems valid. This is backed up later in the album by “How Heavy The Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth and Mine” that features the two females from the group (Rosa Slade and Katy Young) backed mainly by a single guitar.
The first conventional song on the album – “Esme” is certainly different to a lot of the other indie music and showcases the vocal talents of the aforementioned Slade and Young. The music keeps you on your toes, frequently changing direction and the drums are definitely not your standard “four on the floor”. The drums on this album are used as an additional instrument, rather than a way of keeping time. There’s an ethereal, floaty almost cinematic quality to the music and the tunes are worth a listen – BUT – to these ears, the album’s mix seems a bit muffled. It’s almost like the band were recorded with the microphones picking up their instruments from the other side of the room which considering the album was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios and mixed by their “longtime collaborator” John Askew, this indicates that this was a deliberate choice but it seems a bit strange to me.
A confession – I’ve not heard any other material by the band to be able to compare this album to and presumably they’re very happy with the sound they’ve achieved here. For me it’s a distraction from what are some very interesting songs that I think would work very well in a live situation. This is worth searching out if only to make up your own mind about the album’s production/mix.
Stand out tracks - Esme, Substitute, Electric Light, And Always Is
Review by Adrian Grainger
1. (Come Back Around)
4. Figure of Eight
5. Always Going
6. Just the Night
7. How Heavy the Quiet that Grew Between your Mouth and Mine
8. Electric Light
9. Longest Day of the Year Blues
11. And Always Is
12. Two Shots
13. The Errors of your Ways