Hannah, Leah and Sarah Peasall are three young sisters from Tennessee, the oldest of which just graduated from high school. Their big break came when they were featured on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack although, because they come from such a devoutly Christian family, the sisters were not allowed to see the movie until their father compiled a censored DVD copy with all the “bad language” excised.
The diminutive Peasall Sisters look and sound like angels—angels in sneakers. Their harmonies—the sort of vocal harmonies attainable only by blood—are incredible, not to mention creepy, primarily because of the Jesus factor and the repeated references to His Blood. They cover the old A.P. Carter ballad, “I Never Will Marry,” with its darkly perverse lyrics: “I expect to live single all the days of my life/The shells in the ocean shall be my deathbed/The fish in deep water swim over my head…” Immediately thereafter comes Jim Brasher’s “The Old Church Yard,” which is about the joys of burial, followed by the traditional “Fair And Tender Ladies” and its advice that “Love is pretty while it’s new/But love grows cold as love grows old.” Shall we commit suicide now or wait until we’re at least 16?
For fans of local references, there’s the girls’ original “Logtown,” which name-checks the Pearl River although somebody should’ve told them that there’s no way you can “Smell camellias on the air” because camellias, like most winter-blooming flowers, have no scent. Anyway, there’s little that can tear me away from the Mars Volta these final days as we await the Rapture (the eschatological event, not the post-punk band) but the Peasall Sisters are a perfect delight—especially for any fundamentalist pedophiles in the house.