Only weeks after being blown away by British power folkies Mumford and Sons, Lonesome, Onry and Mean got another pleasant shock from Yep Roc Records' latest artist, Peggy Sue. Their new album Fossils and Other Phantoms has been in continuous rotation for a week now and we aren't tiring of it yet. And it sounds like nothing else we're currently spinning.
Like M&S, Peggy Sue is part of the current UK folk revival. Comparisons to Cat Power or even the Breeders aren't far off at certain points, but Peggy Sue eventually separates itself from the comparisons and is in fact something pretty unique in pop music right now. As with Mumford, the lyrics bleed directly from the aorta and the tempos rise and fall, giving the music an orchestral sweep at times in spite of the minimalist instrumentation by this guitar-drums-accordion three-piece ensemble.
But what really grabs LOM about Fossils is the lyrics and the way Rosa Slade and Katy Young deliver them. Beginning with the intriguing "Long Division Blues" - "our love is like long division" - Slade and Young sing with a sweetness that artfully masks furious anger and melancholy run wild. So far, our favorite track is "Yo Mama," and the lyric cuts like a psycho-scalpel:
"I'm gonna go downtown, I'm gonna find myself some fun/ I'm gonna go downtown, I'm gonna find myself someone/ Forget your hair, forget your smell until there's none/ I couldn't bear to sit and stare until they're gone/ I'm praying to gods I never need/ Saying I, I won't go out quietly."
Yeah, when these ladies go through a break-up, they feel like murdering someone. In a charming way, of course. Peggy Sue is touring hard in Europe, and so far there are no U.S. dates on their calendar.
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That needs to change - the sooner, the better.