Five Favourites: Peggy Sue

Set to release their upcoming fourth album next month, London duo Katy Young and Rosa Slade – aka Peggy Sue – create beautifully captivating offerings filled with luscious harmonies and a shimmering energy. A celebration of self love, the reverb-strewn, uplifting sound of latest single ‘In Dreams’ showcases all their is to love about them, a band who have now found themselves again after a four year hiatus.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Katy and Rosa, who have shared their “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with them. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to listen to watch the new video for latest single ‘In Dreams’ at the end of this post.

Porridge Radio – ‘Lilac’
Katy:
I fell in love with this song last summer, when we played a show for She Shreds with Porridge Radio at Great Escape. The refrain “I don’t want to get bitter, I want us to get better, I want us to be kinder to ourselves and to each other”, really spoke to me then and is a pretty good rule for life to be honest. I may or may not have recorded a sneaky bootleg on my phone at the time, but luckily it’s now out for real and sounds much better. They have a new album coming this year that I’m excited for.  

La Luz – ‘Sure As Spring’
Katy:
We did a support tour with La Luz in 2018 – there wasn’t really any reason for us to do it because the record wasn’t finished, but it was exactly what we needed to kind of force us into being a band again properly. I think their music has been a big influence on this new album – their sound is obviously incredible but it’s also clear and cohesive and consistent in a way that I think we strived for. Taking influence from lots of places is really important, but there’s something really powerful in turning all of that into one continuing sound that is all your own, which is something we’ve really tried to do on Vices more than we ever did before. But probably even more than any of that, being on the road with those girls was really inspiring, and their encouragement and support was a massive confidence boost exactly when we needed it.

Big Thief – ‘Paul’
Katy:
It feels like it’s so much rarer that I become totally obsessed with a band now – something that felt like it happened about once a week when I was younger. But Big Thief have been a bit of an exception to that in the last few years. At least five friends sent me this song, knowing I would love it. It’s so beautiful and tender and catchy as hell. I have probably had the first line in my head for three years straight. 

Beth Gibbons – ‘Tom The Model’
Rosa:
It’s kind of a cheat to choose this song; the chorus borrows so much Nina Simone’s ‘Do What You Gotta Do’, another of my all-time favourites, it’s a bit like sneaking two songs into one choice. When it bursts into that chorus, it’s the ultimate release after the slow creeping verses. The horns and strings are lush and kind of ominous. Beth Gibbons’ voice soars – walking that line between delicacy and pure force. I’ve always liked that she embraces darkness so unapologetically, and can make sweetness or desire as threatening or powerful as they are gentle. Listening to her music always feels like a solo experience. It’s impossible for me not to enter into the world her songs create wholly.

Landshapes – ‘Red Kite’
Rosa:
I love this song – it has made me cry perhaps every time I have watched Landshapes perform it. There’s a deep feeling of pride watching close friends play a song you think is truly objectively beautiful. The song just builds slowly and surely like this swelling wave. Jemma’s guitar solos have the ability to shift Landshapes’ songs into a totally different place, and when Luisa sings “in the face of everyone I swear this time I’m done”, it’s like this wave crashing down in a sort of haunting catharsis. Dan, Landshapes’ drummer, also played drums on Vices, and it’s a joy watching and listening to the different things he’s brought to both bands.

Massive thanks to Katy and Rosa for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

Vices, the upcoming fourth album from Peggy Sue, is out 21st February via French Exit. Watch the new video for ‘In Dreams’ here:

 

FIVE FAVOURITES: Mira Lu Kovacs (5K HD)

Austrian experimental-pop group 5K HD shared their new LP, High Performer, in September earlier this year, and their feet have barely touched the ground since. They’re currently touring the new record across Europe, filling stages with a blend of their poppy, jazzy, prog-rock beats. Vocalist Mira Lu Kovacs is regarded by critics and peers as one of the most expressive voices in the scene, and with a team of multi-instrumentalists behind her, it’s easy to see why 5K HD are in such high demand. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Mira to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for for 5K HD’s track ‘Crazy Talk’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Ani DiFranco – Evolve / Educated Guess
With Ani DiFranco I grew up! I remember I was 11 and my step father at that time played a mixed CD (it couldn’t have been a tape, it was the late 90s). He put on Ani DiFranco’s ‘Marrow’ right after Tori Amos’ ‘Cornflake Girl’, what a mix! I didn’t understand much, cause my mother tongue is German, so the only thing I grasped was the phrase “And where did you put all those letters that you wrote to yourself, but could not address?” I don’t know if it was her finger picking (or should i say ripping?) on her steely guitars, or her edgy playful singing? I think it was the seriousness of her songwriting, I felt spoken to. It was really magical. Later, I listened to all her albums. Now I would say my favourites are Evolve and Educated Guess, but to me Ani DiFranco is such a poet and what she does must be evaluated as a whole and not just one album. She inspired me endlessly, even if her sound aesthetic isn’t the one that I am looking for today.

2. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief
Hail To The Thief is maybe an atypical Radiohead album to start with, no? I think I listened to this one at the age of 14 and then traveled back in time to learn about Kid A, OK Computer and The Bends (which I only appreciated later in my musical career). Most Radiohead Hardliners don’t understand why this album is so special to me. But I think, again, the songwriting is especially good on this one and there is a new shininess in their sound with this album. Also – ‘Backdrifts’, ‘We Suck Young Blood” and “I Will “ (to date the only song I ever publicly covered – acappella) – what great songs to speak to a depressed teenager!

3. Aldous Harding – Designer
This one is quite new, and has been such an inspiration to me this year. I just love the boldness and uncompromising softness in Aldous Harding’s music. I didn’t allow myself this kind of softness for a while, and now I feel like it’s coming back. The allowance, it’s something that I was scared of, because: how else to defend myself? I thought I needed to be loud and clear and aggressive. I am that, too, but I need to allow the softness to comfort me, as well. I feel like the beautifully weird old/new voice of Aldous Harding reminded me of that part of me. Thank you ❤

4. Beth Gibbons – Out Of Season
I can’t believe I only found this album 3 years ago. What a production! What songwriting! What truth, what openness. Sorry, there’s not much else to say. She’s a genius. The arrangements are sparse and pompous at the same time. I think this is where I wanna go in the future and who I wanna be when I grow up.

5. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
I think this was the album of a whole generation. It changed many things, not only musically, but also in the industry. The simplicity set new standards. The vulnerability in his voice was a new level of emotion. Whatever genius album Bon Iver made after this, this one is still one of the most brutally beautiful ones that there are.

Thanks to Mira for sharing her favourites with us. Follow 5K HD on Facebook for more info on their current tour dates.

Photo Credit: Ingo Pertramer