"It's a very personal record, we always use songwriting as quite a cathartic process" – hmv.com talks to Peggy Sue
Brighton's Peggy Sue have spent the last eight years quietly establishing themselves as one of the UK's finest indie bands. They're back with a new record titled Choir Of Echoes and we caught up with singer Katy Young to get the lowdown on the album and to find out why the Pixies put them in a really good mood...
Your new album Choir Of Echoes has just come out, are you feeling excited or nervous right now?
"Really excited, we finished it last spring, so we're glad it's finally come out, I can't wait to find out what people think of it."
Why did you decide to release it now if it was done almost a year ago?
"It just seemed like the right thing to do. It just gave us the chance to get everything we wanted in place and it's good way to kick off the year, so it made sense."
You recorded at Rockfield Studios, where lots of legendary records like Oasis's Definitely Maybe and The Verve's Urban Hymns have been made, what was that like?
"It was brilliant, it was especially brilliant because when we got there we found lots of boxes with 'Pixies' written on them and we discovered that the Pixies had left three days before. So we spent a lot of time digging around trying to find the demos for the new album, at least half an hour going through the computer to find the demos, demos which they'd very cleverly deleted before they left. It just put us in a really good mood for the start of the album too."
The album's called Choir Of Echoes, why did you pick that title?
"It's got this metaphor running through about finding your voice and celebrating the confidence you get when you can use your voice, so it seemed like a nice way to tie that together."
Did you write lots of songs and whittle them down? Or was it a more streamlined process?
"We actually were better this time about being selective, we were able to figure out quite early on which songs would fit within the album, we only ended up recording one song which didn't make the record. Normally we argue about the tracklisting a lot too, on Acrobats we argued so much, this time it only took three drafts before we agreed on it, so I think we knew what we were doing a lot more this time."
Are there any new influences?
"There's a bit of a doo-wop influence there this time, that's always been there, but more in the background. I've also been listening a lot of 'Greatest Hits' compilations so maybe that made me think about writing songs with a more pop mentality."
What kind of record is it lyrically?
"It's a very personal record, it's quite anecdotal and we always use songwriting as quite a cathartic process, I always know I'm going to be ok whenever I can turn an experience into a song, there are a few of those. There's sadness on the album, but lots of self-assertion too."
Are you a more confident lyricist now?
"I've always thoughts of lyrics as one of our strengths. When we started I couldn't really play guitar so the lyrics had to carry the songs, we're all definitely better musicians, but I don't think we ever thought out lyrics were a problem area, being able to play more two strings at the same time was a bit, but not anymore."
What's 2014 going to be like for Peggy Sue?
"Lots of touring. We're going straight to America after the album comes out, then Europe. We didn't really tour last year, so we'd like to correct that and we're excited to get back out to playing shows. As for festivals, we'll be wherever we're invited."
Peggy Sue's new album Choir Of Echoes is out now. You can preview it by clicking on the icon on the right hand side of the page.