Label: Wichita Release date: 05/04/10 Link: Myspace After a stint of singles and EPs, we’ve been waiting quite a while for the debut album from Brighton based Peggy Sue. Fossils and Other Phantoms could be mistaken as a dismal album. Front women Rosa Slade and Katy Young appear to be completely broken and desolate if their songs are to be believed, but that’s the charm of Peggy Sue; these songs just wouldn’t work any other way. Peggy Sue are fierce and each song lurches and staggers, backed up with rattling percussion. ‘Yo Mama’, despite the slightly questionable title, contains some of the best moments on the record, “For someone new to make me blue now that we’re done.” They’ve sketched out every detail of their heartbreak and it all sounds incredibly raw, especially on ‘Green Grow the Rushes’, supported with sorrowful backing vocals and lyrics, “I’ll bury this love six feet under.” Fossils and Other Phantoms contains some truly beautiful melodies. ‘The Remainder’ steals the show with its gentle opening, soon drifting into bitter resentment. It would be fair to say that this is an album that should be played in its correct order; it makes for a beautifully bleak tale of Slade and Young’s heartbreak. The words are wound effortlessly around striking harmonies and stunning melodies, both voices fitting together brilliantly. The rough edges are part of the allure, as is the slightly unruly instrumentation, but despite this roughness there are unexpected moments of softness. ‘She Called’ is one of these moments, beginning gently; it builds up into thundering percussion and powerful guitars before returning to the softness of the start and this is where the sharp, rumbling percussion really shines. Fossils and Other Phantoms is a compelling album. Peggy Sue have the knack of conjuring vivid imagery with their words and music that won’t leave your head even after you’ve pressed stop. ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’ holds some of the best written lyrics of the album, “You like the way your name fits in the corners of her mouth.” It is songs like these that suggest Peggy Sue excel when it comes to simple, starkly arranged songs. The songs are defiant, twisted and wonderfully gloomy. This is an incredibly mature debut and sets an extremely high bar, one that I’m sure future Peggy Sue releases will reach. Photobucket