In line with the album's title, Choir of Echoes begins with the funereal voices of Rosa Slade and Katy Young, the two friends who initially formed Peggy Sue & The Pirates in Brighton in 2005, setting the tone for this slightly brooding yet mesmerising third studio album.
Having largely ditched the twee-indie-folk style that got them off running in the mid-nougties, as well as dumping The Pirates part of their name, and the Kate Nash vocal stylings before it got too irritating, Peggy Sue have quietly gone about the business of developing as songwriters, singers and musicians, culminating in this, their best yet; a mature reflection on life through their eyes, but also an album about singing and the art and complexities of communication. For the most part, they sing in unison, their reverb-soaked harmonies forged through years of singing together, and to each other… you can't imagine one without the other, such is their subtle chemistry.
This time around, the percussive work of long time third member Olly Joyce is given more prominence, and his energetic yet intricate drum work lends many of the songs a depth and dynamism that has sometimes been lacking. Where sometimes Peggy Sue would get overly maudlin, musically speaking, Joyce's drums makes it sparkier, although there are still moments (thankfully very few and far between) when they fail to rise above a rhythmic depression, drowning a little in uninspiring self-wallowing.
But, taking their cue from their Peggy Sue Play the Songs of Scorpio Rising album of 2012 (their take on the original songs that were included in the original soundtrack to the Kenneth Auger cult movie), their love of doo-wop and early rock'n'roll has inspired the raucously dreamy song Longest Day of the Year Blues. Another standout is the short and sweet and beautifully named How Heavy The Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth and Mine, a stripped back country-folk song that perhaps points to the future for Peggy Sue, a band who are in essence as traditional as Buddy Holly and the aforementioned doo-wop; very little but guitars, drums and voices feature throughout, a master class of economy and song craft from this most unassuming of bands.
Out 27 Jan 2014
They play the Green Door Store, 3 April 2014
Band Website: http://peggywho.com/