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In the Post #59: Peggy Sue – Fossils and Other Phantoms

By on Thursday, 1st April 2010 at 12:00 pm

While generally being labelled a folk band, Peggy Sue have an under bubbling of all sorts in their music, from doo wop to jazz to indie. Their debut album, Fossils and other Phantoms, certainly proves to be a Pandora box of sounds, which at times are wonderful, and at others, not so.

Brilliant opener, Long Division Blues’, crescendo of jazzy ‘do do do’s’ are angelically catchy, while Fossils, a delicate sea shanty filled with energetic percussion and waving accordions, highlights the girl’s soulful vocals and ability to harmonise very well. Green Grow the Rushes is a further favourite, the humble acoustic complimenting the rich, bluesy vox, of which particularly echo Laura Marling’s latest, matured material. The gentle harmonies of said track skip away delightfully in the background, sugar coating this otherwise sinister sounding number.

Yo Mama’s tribal drums, and suave accordion, meanwhile, add a further layer of menace to the album, while The Shape We Made proves a truly adorable closer. Peggy Sue songs’ have a noticeable ability to take an unexpected turn, particularly proved via the jagged, uncomfortable percussion of this track. The lyrics, too, are incredibly touching, as the frail voice pines “I miss the shape we used to make. I miss your breath I used to take.”.

Matilda is a key example, however, of when Peggy Sue’s vocals can begin to grate. The twang placed at the end of words echoes the annoyingly LDN accents of indie stars gone-by. Watchmen, meanwhile, proves the duo harmonies can sometimes end up sounding more Kate Nash than First Aid Kit, alas bringing the elegant folk down to kitchen sink indie.

Don’t get me wrong – Katy and Rosa, the two front ladies of Peggy Sue, are undoubtedly a talented pair of songstresses. But I do believe their album does risk falling by the way side when amongst the likes of the more rich folksters ala Mumford and the Sons and First Aid Kit. Fossils and other Phantoms is a light-hearted, cute package, however, and will most certainly appeal to indie teens currently busy swinging their petticoats to Laura Marling and Kate Nash. And there’s a lot of them.

Peggy Sue’s debut album, Fossils and other Phantoms is out on 11th April 2010. Pr-order it from Amazon now.


Preview: Hop Farm Festival 2010

By on Wednesday, 31st March 2010 at 12:00 pm

“Paddock Wood is a small town and civil parish in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells and ceremonial county of Kent in England, about 8 miles (13 km) south west of Maidstone.”. Hey, thank you, Wikipedia.

On Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, said Paddock Wood won’t be just any old “small town”, though, oh no! The Kent village will be magically transformed into music fan’s wonderland, as it welcomes the absolute, down right legend that is Bob Dylan, who will be flying in to headline the fantastical festival that is Hop Farm.

The American singer-songwriter will be leading the likes of Mumford and Sons, Seasick Steve, Peter Doherty and Laura Marling on that glorious summers day, when the top of the crop in finger picking descend onto Kent in order to kick start this incredible show. More acts are yet to be announced, so brace yourself for more brilliance in the coming weeks.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest festivals going, musically and morally, Hop Farm says no to sponsors, branding, VIPs – taking the festival experience back it’s good old roots. (So you know, no Pixie get-a-job Geldof’s prancing around backstage being ‘papped’ by The Sun and all).

Tickets for Hop Farm are a mere £65, with an additional £25 for camping, and can be purchased at See.

Learn more over at the event’s official website now.


Preview: V Festival 2010

By on Thursday, 25th March 2010 at 12:00 pm

We like a good festival here at There Goes the Fear, and as those anticipated summer months swiftly approach, we’re going to start having a nosey round at some upcoming music events across Blighty this 2010. So, to kick things off, grab your wellies, we’re heading off to V Festival!

All the action will be taking place across the weekend of Saturday 21st to Sunday 22nd of August, at two major sites – Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex, and Weston Park, Staffordshire. Tickets for this year event sold out in record time – proof of the wide appeal of this varied festival.

As expected, the bosses at Virgin are serving up quite a commercial line up this year. While the two headliners, Kasabian and Kings of Leon, are certainly worth forking out for, how about the rest of the acts?

Well, erm, if Cheryl Cole, Chipmunk, Pixie Lott, Sugababes, Mika, Paloma Faith, Scouting for Girls and Paolo Nutini float your boat, then certainly, this fest is for you. However, if that’s not your kind of thing – never fear! There are some artists across the weekend set to salvage the festival from the prying hands of pop.


That husky voiced lot Stereophonics (pictured right) are the act on prior to Kings of Leon taking to the stage, as well as aging mod Paul Weller. Kasabian, meanwhile, will be following rave maestros, Faithless, and curly-haired indie kids, The Kooks.

Other acts appearing on the main stage at V include Editors, Madness, The Courteeners, Passion Pit and Skunk Anasie. Yay…

Headling the 4 Music stage this August is David Guetta and The Prodigy (who seem to have an inability to NOT appear at some sort of festival). Other acts appearing include Florence and the Machine, Calvin Harris, White Lies and The Temper Trap.

Meanwhile, The Arena shall be boasting of Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada, Goldfrapp, La Roux, The Charlatans, Ellie Goulding and Imogen Heap. So at last we can all breath a sigh of relief that there is some decent music at this year’s V.

To conclude – while this festival may not be for musical purists out there, if you’re looking for a fun weekend out, V Festival will certainly prove a jolly good weekend.

Tickets have now sold out for the event, erm, not that I’m sure you mind after reading this, however.


Bands to Watch #166: Victoria and Jacob

By on Tuesday, 16th March 2010 at 12:00 pm

There Goes The Fear are so super duper excited to be hosting their first official gig this coming Saturday (March 20th), we could actually, explode… Blog Off! will be taking place at the Roundhouse studios in Camden Town, London. You can grab all the details, such as ticket prices and starting times here.

Among the act’s playing on the night include indie synth superstars, Starlings (who we first introduced earlier in the year), as well as infectious electro pioneers Jazica.

We’re are also proud to be featuring upcoming duo Victoria & Jacob, on the bill.

Hailing from London, Victoria & Jacob are a robotic pair, making glacier electro with an ice creamy edge. The slow paces of the tin-foil synths have an edge of drowsy melancholy to them. The fairytail, bouncy vocals meanwhile (which NME quite correctly compared to a drunken Joanna Newsom!) allow for a silky contrast, resulting in an atmospheric morse-code mass of sound which is both ambient as well as eclectic (listen out for the temper-fuelled screams of Megadeath, if you don’t believe the latter choice of word!).

And remember to check out Victoria & Jacob, as well as Jazica and Starlings, live at Blog Off! this coming Saturday at the Roundhouse Studios, London. It’ll be ace.


Bands to Watch #163: LYREBIRDS

By on Friday, 19th February 2010 at 12:00 pm

I clapped my hands together rather gleefully when I first stumbled upon LYREBIRDS last week. The Brighton band proved an instant hit with me and I knew straight away that I had no choice but to share them with TGTF readers. So here I tap upon my keyboard enthusiastically, mighty excited to tell you of one of my favourite discoveries of the year so far.

It would appear guitar gloom is the way forward this 2010, with the likes of TAPETHERADIO and Chapel Club (who LYREBIRDS recently supported) all embracing those stormy, brewing sounds. And yes, this Brighton five piece we introduce today are really, no different, taking on those big, bad tunes which provoke the same old ‘Joy Division’ and ‘Echo and the Bunneymen’ comparisons. But hey, when you possess that deep, dark vocal drawl, Curtis and co are truly inescapable in print.

Amid all this name-dropping, I may as well mention White Lies while I am at it, because it’s undeniable, LYREBIRDS’ sound is incredibly similar to that of the Ealing trios’. But this certainly isn’t a bad thing – ‘To Lose My Life’ was one of my highlights of 2009. And anyway, I can pretty much guarantee that future material will distinguish LYREBIRDS from such comparisons.

But going on what we do have – I can already hear this isn’t one big White Lies tribute. You only have to listen to the wonderfully psychedelic ‘Human Symphony’ to realise this. Starting off like a humble acoustic version of ‘Space Oddity’, an onset of crooked guitars and explosive, near operatic harmonies ensue, truly blowing the house down with epicness. Believe me, if you listen to one song today, listen to this track!!

But it’s not just me digging LYREBIRDS. The band recently sent their demos to the demigod that is Stephen Street (yeh, yeh, that one that helped someone called Morrissey once, and that pair, erm, Albarn n Coxon or something?), who, upon listen, agreed to produce the band’s first single ,’Closer’. So, they’ve got a thumbs up from me and they’ve got a thumbs up from Stephen (who, come on, has pretty good judgement when it comes to new music), so seriously, hit LYREBIRDS MySpace page now! You won’t regret it.


Album Review: Marina and the Diamonds – The Family Jewels

By on Thursday, 18th February 2010 at 12:00 pm

There Goes The Fear have been avid supporters of Marina and the Diamonds ever since we first introduced her last February. Back then, Marina was pitched pretty low on musical radars. One year on, however, and Miss. Diamandis has signed to the big-wigs at Warner, and is releasing her debut album, ‘The Family Jewels‘, upon the country on Monday (22nd February). Not bad progress for 12 months, huh?

You only have to glaze your eyes over the numerous song titles on the back of the upcoming CD (‘Shampain’, ‘Hermit the Frog’, ‘Mowgli’s Road’, ‘Oh No!’), to realise that this is going to be a, well, quirky, journey of an album. So, cup of tea in hand, we all gathered around the record player to have a listen to this glittery serving from one of 2010’s biggest tipped artists.

One thing we love about Marina here at TGTF is her absolute brilliance when it comes to making quirky electro pop. This is reflected in a number of tracks on the album which you may have already heard floating around cyberspace. ‘Mowgli’s Road’ is a particularly colourful number, filled with animalistic “Coo coos!”, tribal percussion and cutlery-based lyrics (“Ten silver spoons coming after me!”). Yes, this terrifically catchy tune is exactly what Alice in Wonderland and Jungle Book would sound like if they were mixed into some amazing musical recipe. Similarly, ‘Hollywood’ – the song which has perhaps gained Marina the most radio-play – is destined for dancefloors. The sparkling synths and cliché American images provoked by the candy lyrics add to the pop monster that is the chorus of the track (believe me, you won’t be able to dislodge the hook that is “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America!” once it’s in your brain).

Marina is also pretty great at taking the speed down a little. ‘Obsessions’, for example, is a truly heartfelt number, the passion particularly reflected in Diamandis’ emotive voice. The delightful “ba ba ba” breakdown midway adds a further hint of glitter and the final harmonies awash over one another perfectly come the end. Likewise, ‘I Am Not a Robot’ tugs at the heartstrings with it’s hopscotch piano and wispy strings, and showcases some of the best lyrics on the album while it’s at it (“You’re vulnerable, you’re vulnerable. You are not a robot! You’re loveable, so loveable, but you’re just troubled”). ‘Rootless’, meanwhile, is another slower paced track amid the album. Despite the carousel synths tinkling away in the distance, this tune protrudes with a noticeably sinister sound, which is really rather enjoyable amid the sugary pop of the rest of the album. Certainly a highlight.

As you may have noticed, four out of five of those tracks I have just discussed have already been put out by Marina’s lot as singles. Sadly, they do turn out to be the highlights of the record – the rest of ‘The Family Jewels’ ultimately drags quite a bit, and is admittedly not up to scratch like I would have hoped.

‘The Outsider’ sticks out as being one of the worst tracks on the album. There’s nothing captivating about this track. It’s too cutty and ‘all over the place’ – the chorus proving particularly annoying with it’s repeating of “Inside the outsider (on my own again)”. Meanwhile, the unrelenting ‘Oh No!’ is a poppy mash of playground vocals – over-acted and too sickly to bear at points.

‘Hermit the Frog’ is evidence of how Marina’s voice can begin to grate. It’s around this point in the album you begin to realise that Diamandis uses the same vocal tricks (powerful and operatic, to comedic and characteristic, to light and fluffy) throughout the record. If you like your Mika, you’ll probably enjoy the magical instrumentals and “dum dum dums” of this track, but if you don’t, you might consider the song a little, well, childish. Meanwhile, despite it’s pleasantness, the string concoction of a ballad that is ‘Numb’ basically sounds like ‘I Am Not a Robot’ ripped up and stuck back together a little different.

And that is certainly one of the major criticisms I’d point out about this album. Marina doesn’t innovate much when it comes to her sound, which is why ‘The Family Jewels’ may prove a little hard going. Which is a shame, as when it comes to the sole singles, Marina is clearly a brilliant electro pop artist who’ll no doubt gain a huge following with her inescapable hooks. But to me, this Diamond is better listened to in short bursts, as a whole album risks ruining her quirky sound. Stretched over 13 tracks, the same techniques start to resonate throughout, and it can all begin to tire by the end, particularly her voice. But don’t get me wrong, I am quite bummed about this, as prior to hearing the album, I was really all out for Marina. And I still am, as I know she has the ability to be awesome. She already is! There are many great tracks among this album. There’s just another fair amount which let it down. But hey, I still think she’s a million times cooler than Florence (so pow!).


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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