BTR’s AOTW: Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue is an indie-folk duo from Brighton, England. The group is comprised of two ladies with feisty names, Rosa Rex and Katy Klaw (Rosa Slade and Katy Young) who released their first full-length album, Fossils and Other Phantoms, this past April on the UK indie label Wichita Recordings. Formerly known as both Peggy Sue and the Pirates and Peggy Sue and the Triplettes, the duo shortened their name to simply Peggy Sue to pay tribute to the iconic Buddy Holly song. Originally Rosa and Katy sang together and plucked their guitars like a sensitive man’s heartstrings without further accompaniment, but they have recently added a third musician to the duo, drummer Olly Joyce, whose percussion adds considerable gravitas to their latest album.

The band’s take on rural-Americana folk is ruggedly authentic for young women from London. Peggy Sue plays gritty, melancholy tunes whose subject is lovesickness and heartbreak. Despite the occasional tendency towards sullenness, most of their songs are powerful odes to the painful chemistry of breaking up. Peggy Sue has proved, once again, that for talented songwriters, the much-used subject of love lost has an infinite variety of expressions.

One of their most outstanding songs, the playfully-named “Yo Mama”, seduces the listener only to forsake him once he has been seduced. The catchy melody lures us in, but the lyrics haunt us: “I’m gonna go downtown/ I’m gonna find myself someone/ To forget your hair, forget your smell, until there’s none…For someone new / To make me blue/ Now that we’re done.” The stirring vocals from the two front-women take turns, weaving in and out of each other, and then join together for harmonic emphasis.

Peggy Sue has had considerable success in the UK, touring with bigger names in the British indie scene like Kate Nash and The Maccabees. Now that they have  released their first full-length album and added a full-time drummer and a part-time string section, the test will be to see how they hold up, especially “across the pond” in the US market. But for a relatively young band, their songwriting has a surprising depth and complexity that can only bode well if they play their cards right.

Listen to BTR all week for new songs from Peggy Sue!

Upcoming shows:

June 9 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
June 10 – Pianos – New York, NY
June 10 – Pianos – New York, NY
June 11 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
June 12 – Divan Orange – Montreal, Quebec
June 13 – Sneaky Dees – Toronto, Ontario
June 14 – Schubas – Chicago, IL

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– Hunter Stuart


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