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Peggy Sue — Choir Of Echoes [2014]

Peggy Sue — Choir Of Echoes [January 24, 2014]

GBR Flag           Peggy Sue — Choir Of Echoes
♥   A record of soulful depths and heady, emotional highs.
♥   On an album about voices, the folk-pop trio ditch twee and find a sound that's distinctly their own.
Location: Brighton, England
Album release: January 24, 2014
Record Label: Wichita Recordings
Duration:     46:31
01. (Come Back Around)      (1:30)
02. Esme      (3:27)
03. Substitute      (3:34)
04. Figure Of Eight      (4:04)
05. Always Going      (4:38)
06. Just The Night      (3:34)
07. How Heavy The Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth & Mine (1:57)
08. Electric Light      (4:16)
09. Longest Day Of The Year Blues      (3:09)
10. Idle      (4:43)
11. And Always Is      (3:36)
12. Two Shots      (4:11)
13. The Errors Of Your Ways      (3:52)
2014 Wichita Recordings Ltd.
♥   "Choir of Echoes was produced at the legendary Rockfield Studio in South Wales by Jimmy Robertson and mixed by longtime collaborator John Askew. Of the record, the band says “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 cruelest words. Choruses. Duets. Whispers and shouts."
♥   From Kate Nash harmonies to earnest pop purveyors doing things a little differently; Peggy Sue have come a long way since the release of their debut EP Body Parts in 2009. Their fourth studio album Choir of Echoes moves closer still to a sound that’s been hinted at for years, making minced meat out of the band’s competition in the process.
♥   When they began as Peggy Sue and the Pirates, core members Rosa Slade and Katy Young drew close comparison to then Bristol based band Lulu & the Lampshades. Interestingly Lulu have recently transformed into Landshapes. In doing so, they've mirrored Peggy Sue in more ways than one: both bands have developed their style and line-up radically over the years, all the while remaining comparatively close in sound. ♥   Whether by design or coincidence, Peggy Sue remain the reigning champions of their scene. Choir of Echoes cements the fact by scratching its mark across Landshapes’ 2013 album Rambutan with indelible ink. We’re willing to bet it will make a bigger impact critically, too.
♥   Choir of Echoes begins with the gentle yet persistent hum of “Come Back Around”. ♥   This quickly develops into a full blown onslaught of noise, by way of guitar and vocal. Starting proper midst this din, “Esme” is a luscious and billowing ode to the song’s subject. The narrative of the album is relatively similar to 2011’s Acrobats, but it feels fleshed out on Choir of Echoes. Acting as example, lead song “Idle” is unsettling and provocative, drawing on Peggy Sue’s fascination with the macabre. A trick perhaps learned from friend and sometime-collaborator Laura Marling; Peggy Sue’s dark potential is fully realised on Choir of Echoes for the first time in their career. They’ve grown into their boots and now they’re stomping about all over the place.
♥   The biggest disparity between Choir of Echoes and previous Peggy Sue material is that this album has a cohesive sound throughout. The tracks on Choir of Echoes belong together but are also inherently different. This is no mean feat given the length of the release. The band has failed to maintain control of their work in the past, resulting in forgettable moments. Not so on this album. At thirteen tracks long, Peggy Sue quench their thirst for the progressive format and indulge in a handful of +4 minute tracks, “Idle” being one of them. Rather than come across as indulgent, Choir of Echoes is engrossing from start to finish. Standout track “And Always Is” emphasises the effect by repeating the chorus refrain, “What they thought was gold was only the sun in their eyes,” throughout.
♥   In terms of instrumentation and composition, Choir of Echoes is one of Peggy Sue’s greatest achievements to date. It finds the right balance between the atmospheric layering of harmonies and the all important structural melody of their songs. Magnificent and compelling, it’s a very decent start to 2014. (http://www.drunkenwerewolf.com/)
In french:
♥   3ème album du groupe britannique. Une musique mélodique et sophistiquée.
by Doron Davidson-Vidavski, 15 January 2014; Rating: 7.5/10
♥   Peggy Sue's debut album, Fossils and Other Phantoms, was one of 2010's most unfairly ignored records. On it they glanced back on their quite hefty Myspace-era discography and took it a step further with a groundwork of effective vocal harmonies, guitars and drums. Follow-up, Acrobats, came out a year later and built on the sonics of its predecessor, adding a touch more darkness to the palette and cementing the identifying markers of the trio's style.
♥   The band's third (proper) album, Choir of Echoes, arrives after two and half years' hiatus (an esoteric Scorpio Rising covers album in 2012 notwithstanding) and, to be honest, it probably thinks itself more different from its older siblings than it actually is. ♥   This is not necessarily the be all and end all, of course, but for a talented band with quite a prolific repertoire of songs, to keep treading the same path — sound-wise — is notable.
♥   But that is the extent of the bad news.
♥   The good news is that Choir of Echoes nevertheless boasts a cohesive set of songs with some excellent compositions, which lodge themselves in your brain's music department fairly quickly.
♥   The press release refers to it as an album about singing, about losing your voice and finding it again. The band is quoted describing it by reference to "[v]oices keeping each other company and voices competing for space. The call and response of the kindest and the cruelest words. Choruses. Duets. Whispers and shouts." That's a pretty fantastic and accurate way to describe it. Rosa Slade and Katy Young's voices drive the songs and, even when they are at battle with the (at times) attention-seeking drums, there is a sense of beautiful, mellifluous cacophony.
♥   A cappella opening track, 'Come Back Around' is an instant reminder of how well Slade and Young's dulcet tones work in unison. It is followed by the percussive tremble of 'Esme' and the immediate foot-tapping 'Substitute', which alongside first single, 'Idle', stand among the album's outstanding cuts.
Like 'Substitute', 'Idle' kicks off with purposeful guitar, which pricks your ears from the go. Gospel-y vocals and chants of "Let the devil make work for my idle hands" cement this rhythmic blues rocker as a highlight. It's a song with drive and elegance which, in turn, gives a good taste of what the overall sound of Choir of Echoes rests on.
♥   The beautiful but all-too-brief 'How Heavy the Quiet that Grew Between Your Mouth and Mine' is reminiscent of Wichita label-mates, First Aid Kit, and the harmonies on it are some of the best on the album. Elsewhere, the song most closely resembling early-days Peggy Sue is 'Longest Day of the Year Blues', which could easily be mistaken for a Peggy Sue & The Pirates single from 2007.
♥   It would be interesting to hear Peggy Sue trying new arrangements and adding more instruments to their soundscape in the future but for the moment — all in all — strong lyrics, powerful vocal harmonies and unpredictable melodies make Choir of Echoes a fascinating, enjoyable listen. (http://thefourohfive.com/)
Also: NME | Rating: 8/10: http://www.nme.com/reviews/peggy-sue--2/15048
By Andy Baber | posted on 20 Jan 2014 | Rating: ****
:: http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/peggy-sue-choir-echoes
By Rosie Duffield | January 29, 2014 | http://musosguide.com/peggy-sue-choir-of-echoes/34692/comment-page-1
BY JOE GOGGINS, 20 JANUARY 2014 | Rating: 6.5/10
:: http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/peggy-sue-choir-of-echoes-144279
By Clare Considine | Rating: ****
:: http://www.timeout.com/london/music/peggy-sue-choir-of-echoes-album-review
Website: http://peggywho.com/
Shop: https://www.musicglue.com/peggysue/shop/
Management / UK Label: Ben Wileman ben@wichita-recordings.com
Live bookings: Stephanie Clive stephanie@codaagency.com
North American live bookings: Alisa Preisler alisapreisler@theagencygroup.com
UK online press: Frankie Davison frankie@stereosanctity.co.uk
UK print press: Kate Price kate@stereosanctity.co.uk
UK radio: Olli Dutton olli@obscenestrategies.co.uk
European / Japan / Australasian enquiries: Joe Edwards joe.edwards@pias.com
US label enquiries: Billy Maupin billy@yeprocmusicgroup.com
US press: Samantha Tillman samantha.tillman@sacksco.com
US radio: Brad Paul bradpaul56@gmail.com

Peggy Sue — Choir Of Echoes [2014]



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