Category Archives: Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue Announces US Tour Dates, Release “All We’ll Keep” Video

Peggy Sue is finally coming back to the US. They’re skipping the West Coast, so I’m still out of luck, but you East Coasters and Midwesterners are in for a treat. Check out the dates below, and the video for “All We’ll Keep” above.

11/6 Washington DC @ Montserrat House
11/7 New York, NY @ Knitting Factory
11/8 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
11/9 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
11/10 Minneapolis, MN @ Turf
11/13 Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
11/14 Montreal, QC @ Sala Rossa

More great news? Yeproc is offering a sweet presale price for Acrobats, which is out October 25th.

Crazy Week for New-Folk!

As many of you likely know, this is a crazy week for new-folk, English music, and just music in general. It feels like there have been a billion album releases: Laura Marling, St. Vincent, Slow Club, Peggy Sue, Blitzen Trapper, Girls. I’m still working through reviews, but here are a couple I’ve gotten out recently, followed by some news bits and bites.

Slow Club, Paradise (Thank Folk for That)
Slow Club’s debut album, Yeah, So, is indie-pop perfection. It’s just the right mix of sincerity and whimsy; sweet without being cloying, heartfelt without being trite. Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson captured the topsy-turvy spirit of post-adolescence, from bubbly songs about broken hearts to wistful tunes about new relationships. I figured Slow Club’s follow-up would be more of the same: a little older and wiser, perhaps, but full of their signature folk-pop duets. They’d done so well the first time around, I couldn’t think of any reason to tamper with such a charming formula.

I was dead wrong. One spin of Paradise proved that this sophomore effort is not only different, it’s so much better. Rebecca and Charles have moved far beyond adolescence, switching spunky folk for sophisticated pop. Elements of their earlier sound are certainly present, but even those are more mature: think of songs like Hackney Marsh as I Was Unconscious, It Was a Dream, version 2.0. If Yeah, So was the perfect encapsulation of one phase of life, Paradise shows that same lyrical sensibility in this new one. (Read the rest.)

Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (For Folk’s Sake)
As the only Californian on the For Folk’s Sake writing roster, I felt it was my duty to grab Nothing Is Wrong by Dawes. Not only are they from Malibu, an oceanside haven near Los Angeles, but they sound more Californian than most other bands from the Golden State. The quartet draws inspiration from the Laurel Canyon music scene (which historically includes such musicians as Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, & Nash), and even named their 2009 debut North Hills. Their sophomore effort still gives a nod to their esteemed SoCal heritage, but moves far beyond homage or imitation – Nothing Is Wrong is truly, and magnificently, their own. (Read the rest.)

Catch Laura Marling performing “The Muse” on New York’s KFUV:

Florence and the Machine have also announced details about their sophomore album, Ceremonials. Here’s the track listing:
‘Only If For The Night’
‘Shake It Out’
‘What The Water Gave Me’
‘Never Let Me Go’
‘Breaking Down’
‘Lover To Lover’
‘Seven Devils’
‘Leave My Body’
‘All This And Heaven Too’
‘What The Water Gave Me’

Peggy Sue have released a video for “Song and Dance” off their new album Acrobats. Though out in the UK as of yesterday, Peggy Sue fans in the US have to wait until October 25th for the Yep Roc release.

Peggy Sue – Song & Dance from Wichita Recordings on Vimeo.

And finally… Summer Camp have released an adorable video for “Better Off Without You”. This is the first video where we actually get a glimpse of Jeremy and Elizabeth, and it’s a charming mix of modern and 80’s footage. And it starts with “Welcome to Condale”, a nod to their fanzine of the same name (and the LA suburb where a lot of their songs take place).

EXCITING NEWS: Communion Readies US Launch

I was a bit ornery when a text message woke me up early this morning, but it turned out to be a blessing in sleep-addled disguise. Without that premature wake up call, I wouldn’t have seen the tweet about Communion Music coming to the US.

I’ve made my love for Communion pretty clear on this blog, and I have the incredible fortune to count Kev Jones as one of the speakers on my SXSW Panel Proposal (thank you for voting–fingers crossed!). If I could design my dream job, the label/club night would be it. They represent everything I love about English new-folk: the culture of support and collaboration, emphasis on creativity and individuality, and just effing great music. I’ve yet to meet a Communion artist I don’t like, and I fully expect that to continue when they hit my side of the pond.

To celebrate their launch, Communion has set up a North American tour AND a three-day party in Big Sur called “Communion in the Redwoods”. (Having grown up just outside of Big Sur, the thought of three days of folk music down there does sound like a religious experience.) On the tour, Matthew and the Atlas will be joined by the David Mayfield Parade and Lauren Shera (who also grew up just outside of Big Sur). Dates are below. If you want to join me for an awesome party in the redwoods, let me know–we can carpool.

18 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hotel Cafe
20 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Swedish American Hall
21-23 – Big Sur, Calif. @ Communion In The Redwoods
25 – Seattle, Wash. @The Tractor Tavern
26 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios
28 – Denver, Colo. @ Soiled Dove
29 – Ames, Iowa @ Maintenance Shop at Iowa State University
30 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street Entry
31 – Evanston, Ill. @ Space

1 – Rock Island, Ill. @ Rozz Tox
3 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Blueberry Hill
4 – Nashville, Tenn. @ 3rd & Lindsley
5 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Smith’s Olde Bar
6 – Raleigh, N.C. @ Lincoln Theater
8 – Vienna, Va. @ Jammin’ Java
9 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ World Café Live
10 – New York @ Mercury Lounge
11 – Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
12 – Boston, Mass. @ Cafe 939 at Berklee College of Music

P.S. As if you weren’t in a good mood already: Peggy Sue’s Acrobats is now streaming exclusively on The Line of Best Fit. Check it out before the September 12th release.

Peggy Sue Announce New Album, Free Download, & UK Tour

Oldie but a goodie: “Once We Were Strangers” at Bandstand Busking.

The lovely duo/sometimes trio known as Peggy Sue has announced the September 12th release of their new album, Acrobats. They’ll also be going on a September UK tour:


Download new song “Cut My Teeth” here.

A Box, A Cab, and a Laundromat Walk into a Bar….

Not really. That would be pretty bizarre. But my earlier post on venues got me thinking about the variety of weird-ass performances spaces that have cropped up as videotaped sessions, and I thought I’d compile a playlist of some of my favorites. Just for kicks.

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts (check out Fanfarlo’s)
Probably one of the most well-known recording sessions ‘in miniature’, the Tiny Desk concerts take place at the desk of Bob Boilen, the host of NPR’s All Songs Considered. Surrounded by the familiar chaos of a packed office, musicians from Adele to the Antlers have graced the space.

Bandstand Busking (Peggy Sue, above)
Bandstand Busking brings an assortment of fantastic musicians to abandoned bandstands around London. I happen to think it’s the bee’s knees, and I know from experience that it’s a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Black Cab Sessions
Black Cab Sessions has featured everyone from Laura Marling to Little Boots. Artists squeeze themselves and their instruments into the back of a cab, play a great song, and call it a day. One shot. My personal favorite is the fabulous session with King Charles, but the acoustic version of “Was It Worth It” by Summer Camp is also wonderful (and sassy!).

Balcony TV
Balcony TV films bands on balconies (duh) all over the world. They’ve spread from the UK to everywhere from Mexico City and Auckland. Balcony TV is very likely to have filmed the band you’ll be listening to obsessively eight months from now. Their Mumford & Sons video, for example (and by far their most viewed), was filmed not too long after the band was formed….and look at them now. I’m rather fond of the Spindle & Wit session above.

Lavomatik Sessions
This French recording session takes place in a laundromat. I never would have thought of that as a possible recording space, but admittedly the acoustics would have to be pretty good. Jeremy Warmsley’s session starts with “Take Care” and ends with a sweet little piece of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

Folk In a Box
Folk In a Box doesn’t record anything, and you should consider yourself pretty lucky if you happen to hear one of their concerts. The premise is simple: one person walks into a small wooden box. Someone in the box is playing folk music. The audience member listens.

Songs from the Shed
It’s like Folk In a Box, on a larger scale–with ‘larger’ being extremely relative. For one, these concerts are actually taped. The Shed has been doing quite well for itself; it was featured in a BBC documentary, and has gotten a lot of press coverage. You can see in the Admiral Fallow session above that it’s a pretty tight fit, but bands seem to do just fine.

Bird Song – Alessi’s Ark (TWHP Session) from The Wild Honey Pie on Vimeo.

The Wild Honey Pie Buzzsessions
These things take place everywhere. King Charles played in a horse-drawn carriage; other bands play in New York’s Union Square, LA vintage stores, random apartments, various parks, creepy New York alleys. The Wild Honey Pie also has a lot of concert footage and filmed interviews. The above session with Alessi’s Ark is beautiful.

Yours Truly
Yours Truly ( hails from San Francisco and has produced some wonderful, high quality music sessions. The one above by the Morning Benders was the very first thing I ever heard by the Berkeley band, and it got me hooked. They produce lovely videos, and get great artist interviews/behind-the-scenes looks. It also features the clever gimmick of artist letters–signed Yours Truly, of course–written to whomever they damn well please. The Morning Benders, for instance, wrote to Phil Spector.

These sessions are the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t include the obvious ones, like Daytrotter (yeah, it’s audio…but it’s fabulous) or La Blogotheque. If you have any favorites or sessions in particularly zany locations that I’ve missed, leave me a comment!

M Magazine: Young Folk, New Traditions

Photo courtesy of Broadcast 2000’s Joe Steer. This is currently my computer background.

For Folk’s Sake founder and all around awesome person Lynn Roberts recently wrote an article for M Magazine about new-folk’s steady rise in popularity. Guess who’s featured in it? Me! Needless to say I’m pretty excited to be in print, but I haven’t actually been able to get my literal or figurative hands on the text until today.

Lynn traces the roots of the ‘new-folk’ movement (and, of course, challenges that categorization) from its early Bosun’s Locker days to its present mainstream successes. To read the full article, click here.

Blog Fail

Hello delightful readers,

I have to apologize for the massive blog post shortage over the past few weeks. Besides the ridiculously heavy work load for school, I’m also moving–which means most weekends find me putting baby pictures in boxes and throwing away six year old movie ticket stubs. I’ve now realized that there isn’t a whole lot that separates me from the people on Hoarders.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be reading about freak shows right now (we rhetoric majors have all the fun), but expect increased activity in the next few days.

In the meantime, enjoy this short playlist of study jams du jour.

The Acorn, Restoration (Four Tet Remix) (YouTube)
Anais Mitchell, Wait for Me (feat. Justin Vernon) ( YouTube)
Arcade Fire, Rococo (YouTube)
Beach House, Used To Be (YouTube)
Broadcast 2000, Rouse Your Bones (YouTube)
The Drums, Down By the Water (YouTube)
Johnny Flynn, Churlish May (demo) (YouTube)
Laura Marling, Don’t Ask Me Why (from album #3!) (YouTube)
Left with Pictures, June (YouTube)
Mumford & Sons, Nothing Is Written (YouTube)
Of Montreal, I Feel Ya Strutter (YouTube)
Peggy Sue, Lover Gone (YouTube)
Ra Ra Riot, Keep It Quiet (YouTube)
Stornoway, Watching Birds (YouTube)
Timber Timbre, Demon Host (YouTube
Wild Nothing, Golden Haze (YouTube)

Happy studies and happy listening!

Peggy Sue Rocks the Hill

Photo courtesy of Natalie Alfaro.

The British duo-turned-trio Peggy Sue has long shied away from the ‘new folk’ label, and it’s easy to see why. Their list of musical influences spans as many genres as they do, and includes everyone from Lauryn Hill to Janis Joplin. They embody one of the potentially surprising truths about this particular London scene: its aesthetic diversity. Though Katy, Rosa, and friends (their current formation includes drummer Olly and a string section) borrow folk-designated instruments like accordions and banjos, they prefer to consider themselves a new sort of soul.

Regardless of their musical categorization, Peggy Sue is certainly soulful. Their performance at San Francisco’s quirky Bottom of the Hill (which would more appropriately be called In the Middle of Nowhere) was a rocking, rolling, rollicking blend of styles tied together by the remarkable vocal harmonies of Katy and Rosa. After a fantastic set by up-and-coming experimental pop band Pepper Rabbit (both bands, by the way, are friends of the buzzy and wonderfulLocal Natives), Peggy Sue launched into songs from their new album. Released in the US in June via Yep Roc Records, Fossils and Other Phantoms is an energetic and spirited showcase of Peggy Sue’s fantastic songwriting and unique sound. Their show at Bottom of the Hill presented a band ready for the big time: after years of performing, and tours with everyone from Mumford & Sons to the Maccabees, Peggy Sue can captivate an audience. Songs like “Watchman” and “Yo Mama” are even more compelling in their powerful live presentations; their cover of Missy Elliot’s “All In My Grill” illustrates just how far from the folk tree these talented musicians have decided to fall.

Fossils and Other Phantoms transforms the age-old pains of heartbreak into something fresh and unique; it captures the passion of the inimitable Peggy Sue. Pick up the album and check out more from the group here.

Peggy Sue cover Missy Elliot’s “All In My Grill”.