Monday, May 11, 2009

peggy sue, 'lover gone' review

I'm a bit (alright, totally) obsessed with the new Peggy Sue single, 'Lover Gone'. It's just the most beautiful, wistful, two-minute pop song. When I first saw Rosa and Katy a year or two ago I really had no idea of how good they’d become, nor how coherently they’d form a signature sound, a set of sounds, images and ideas so evocative and true. Every new song they do is their best yet – which makes you wonder just how good they'll get.

'Lover Gone' – which is out on March 18th; you can pre-order it from their myspace - opens with a delicate, quiet combination of plucked strings, piano, and unspecified, distant percussion. Like lots of Peggy Sue's songs, the low key, muffled sound belies the soaring melody to follow. At first, the vocals, too, are gentle; the first lines sad, confident.

"Lover gone - this song is a good one,
In four years I'll be anyone
But for four years I was there
where you are".

Rosa and Katy's singing style is, technically, amazing, but the key is the intuitiveness of their approach – they sound instinctive rather than practised; the way that their vocals overlap and rise and fall together. And when Olly starts hitting the snare and they open up their voices they seem to occupy so much space that the sparse arrangement sounds suddenly huge.

The lyrics, meanwhile, are simultaneously a lament and a celebration – an elegy for a dead relationship, where the protagonist "gave to you four years out of my twenty four"; reflecting not on where things went wrong but what remains; the tan on skin from a summer on the beach, the confidence nourished through four years of support. And yet things change. It's just immensely moving…

When the song ends, suddenly, prematurely, a mere two minutes in – it closes in a moment of perfect, satisfied completion, acknowledging its brevity – like a sad, soft parting breath.

"This song is not a long one.
But for four years we played safe
In a place that was warm".


GUGAW said...

just about to go buy this!

GUGAW said...

btw if you buy the cd from their blog is it the same as the cd from yep roc records in the states?

Jonathan said...

Hi Claire,

Think they're exactly the same! The packaging is gorgeous so you're in for a treat...


W.A.S.T.E. said...

Just discovered this EP and it's f'n PHENOMENAL.

Gorgeous, soulful, delicately wistful... what else is out there? I want more!