Peggy Sue: Vices (French Exit) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 30th, 2020  

Peggy Sue

Vices

French Exit

Feb 26, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


London-based duo Peggy Sue, return with their fifth album, Vices, and their first in four years. Peggy Sue's Katy Young and Rosa Slade decided to take a break after 2014's critically acclaimed album Choir of Echoes, which saw them expanding their sound, their fan base, and playing to some of the biggest audiences of their careers. However the duo decided to step back. "We realised that the way we'd been doing music wasn't necessarily all that good for us, or for our friendship," Young explained in a press release announcing the album.

The result was a reconfiguration in how they made music, stripping things back and Vices sees the duo returning to their roots, whilst writing and recording songs more organically, without pressure. In doing so they appear to have found a route back to enjoying the creative process again and reconnecting with the buzz they first experienced when making their early albums. 

 

Vices is essentially an album of dysfunctional love songs, of light and shade, and balances the positives and negatives of being in a relationship. It's also an admission that defining and

validating yourself through a relationship is not always a healthy headspace to occupy. And Peggy Sue confront these feelings with honesty and a wry sense of humor.   

 

One of the album's highlights "Validate Me" plays with the power dynamics in relationships, and employs knowing tongue in cheek lyrics to acknowledge that whilst such feelings aren't exactly empowering in of themselves, admitting that they are unhealthy is the first step in taking back control. And that's a theme that runs through the album, indeed the band admit Vices is full of "love songs for things that feel good, but aren't necessarily good for you"

 

"Better Days" is perhaps the album's most optimistic track whilst "Motorcade" is the most sardonic, charting the feelings when your relationship begins to drift "you tell me that you miss me all the time/I miss you most when you're right here with me." The album ends with the undulating dream-pop of "In the Shallows," yet there's no real sense of resolution.   

 

As beautifully crafted as the album is, with Young and Slade's voices effortlessly combining and crafting melodies via the wistful nostalgia of an old '60s jukebox, it can start to feel rather one-paced. Whilst it is an enjoyable listen it is perhaps almost a little too polite and comes across somewhat imitative rather than innovative. (www.musicglue.com/peggysueband)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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