The ladies of Peggy Sue (formerly known as Peggy Sue and the Pirates) on Yep Roc records, released their “The Body Parts EP” followed by “The First Aid EP” for free in April of 2010. Both albums are cathartic and stripped to the bare bone of lust, desire and instability. Their three members, Rosa Rex, Katy Klaw and Olly Joyce, all hail from Brighton, England and have toured with a number of artists in the UK including Kate Nash, Mumford & Sons and The Maccabees.
These former albums radiate personification. Lyrics glistened by alt-folk string and minimal percussion. The delicate lyrics in the track “Clockwork”, ‘My heart, it beats for you and my mind it thinks for two, but you wear my heart on your sleeve…’ take you on galloping and stick to your skin like a rash. Peggy Sue is a must in your survival kit, whether it is a heart to break or falling in love, their music is meant to soothe you oh so well.
It is important to acknowledge that movements of the past created by or affecting women in the art and music worlds are immensely influential, but there is potential for the original sentiments to lose potency if the meaning is misinterpreted or not redesigned for a modern context. Even the riot girl movement is kind of obsolete now. You never really hear people talk about that ‘new riot girl’ band. Musicians owe a great deal to that lineage, from which the foundation is difficult to determine, but it’s time for something new.
Their latest release “Acrobats”, by Peggy Sue, was safe in sticking to the anatomical theme their previous albums have acquired. “Acrobats” received less praise and more press. Over produced and digitized to fit a mold, the album is one far more difficult to sink ones teeth into.
The mixture of spine pinching vocals with the sultry seduction of a guitar goddess that so many female musicians attempt to imitate can only be mastered if time were turned back to the days of Nico or even Stevie Nicks.
The band that had built a reputable folksy integrity in their songs has transformed their song with a simple amp, fuzz and gutteral guitar solos.
Sure their lyrics always had a twist and sadistic quality that counteracted the melodies in joyful irony. Now the lyrics match the sound, like riding the elevator with the humdrum music you’s expect to hear on the ride.
The key distinction that the new album has that previous recordings lacked was the band’s decision to play it safe and venture into a new craze: recreating 90’s lo-fi with adding high quality recording and an amass of sampling a formula destined for boredom. And let’s face it, how many sub genres must we restrict ourselves to until the segregation of music foreshadows a bleak future where musical taste defines and confines who we are?
Why try to re-invent the wheel when the original will always be identical in purpose? It is designed the same as it is today: to invent a source of constant motion. Music stripped of effects and reverberation are simply sounds that are pleasing (or displeasing) to the ear.
This tangent does not tie around neatly in the end. If we were to play by the rules the tangent would flip and twist back around to wrap up a review of Peggy Sue’s latest album “Acrobats.” But for now its fair to say that if the music industry is going to say fuck the rules and attempt to get weird with it, the critic may as well follow suit.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery but we have continuously misinterpreted this as innovation, even though its cyclical bullshit.