In her 80th year, Peggy Seeger – folk queen, feminist icon, political activist, eco-warrior, muse – releases her 22nd and probably finest solo album.
Everything Changes is a perfect example of what a singer-songwriter album should be: songs with truths to tell, told sparely but with a great chorus, delivered passionately with intelligence and humour and never outstaying its welcome.
As a songwriter and performer, Peggy positively relishes breaking taboos and going near the knuckle. Songs about life, death, sex, drug addiction and tragedy sit surprisingly comfortably alongside humour, irony and some lyrics discovered on the back of a public toilet door. Despite the fact (or perhaps because) she is an older woman in world that doesn’t like its heroines to get old, she continues to innervate and experiment, delivering a supremely confident and contemporary album that echoes back across the years.
Remarkably, this is Peggy’s first solo album on which she has worked with co-writers and recorded with a band. Produced by her son Calum MacColl (Ronan Keating, Eddi Reader), the album features musicians Simon Edwards (Talk Talk, Kirsty MacColl), James Hallawell (The Waterboys, David Gray), Martyn Barker (Shriekback, Goldfrapp) and Kate St John (Dream Academy, Nick Drake). Not that Peggy is ever afraid to challenge herself, witness her 2012 ground-breaking collaboration with electro-dance producer Broadcaster which was shortlisted for an AIM Award.
Having found her voice at her mother’s knee, she’s never sounded more assured than she does here. Despite recently suffering major health problems, Peggy acknowledges that this album has reinvigorated her: “I felt like a bird in spring with the band putting wind beneath my new wings. I’m flying on this album and I love it.”