London-based duo Peggy Sue, made up of Katy Young & Rosa Slade (neither Peggy nor Sue) are back with new album Vices, which was released via French Exit. Swerving from genre to genre with the same gritty bass, Vices is laden with 90s inspired garage-rock break up anthem, as well as the rest.
It has taken the band four years to complete the album and work through all of their Vices. Their fourth album is their first full-length release since 2014’s Choir Of Echoes, is heavy on bittersweet lyrics despite the grooves and oft up-tempo percussion. Unarguably irresistible in style, the fusion of delicate harmonies and the raw, stark guitars. With much of a retro sound the new LP is clearly very inspired by the perfectly constructed pop songs of the 1960s, and yet also the dissonant anthems of nineties bands like the Breeders. Precisely what Peggy Sue fans enjoy most about the band.
After Choir of Echoes and their success there, they looked back to their early days, as a duo, and decided to strip everything right back to its bare bones. So with Vices they took it right back to their living rooms – the first time they had written together that way since their debut album, Fossils and Other Phantoms. It didn’t take them long to realise that this was part of the process that they enjoyed.
With content Peggy Sue have always looked to the darkness as well as the light, often creating balance within the same song. This album is no different. The raw and the grit perhaps comes from the process but the harmonies are strong with some notable stand-out tracks amongst the ten. The opener, I Wanna Be Your Girl, has head nods to Courtney Barnett, that surf-rock sound with those velvety vocals. In Dreams is particularly retro (and could sit nicely on the Mermaids OST), that western-snare underpinning those romantic lyrics, “I will be the greatest love you’ve ever had in dreams”
The title track, Vices, has not only a strong bassline but is as candid and bare as you would expect with this title,”of all your vices, who’d think I’d be the thing you had to quit.” However one of my personal favourites has to be Souvenirs. A perfect Summer track with that surf rock vibe and those sultry vocals, this track washes over you like a smooth wave. Lyrics such as “these days it’s best I move along, lost in a haze of do’s and don’ts,” it’s a stunning track. Validate Me, however, has and holds my attention with it’s stark nakedness (“stop me talking with a kiss, validate me”).
It’s a great album all in all, seeing Peggy Sue back to doing what they do best, combining the light with the dark, the harsh with the smooth, and for that you will want to listen to Vices time and time again, a strong result.
Vices is out now, via French Exit.