Release Date: Oct 23, 2012
Record label: Fat Cat Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Meghan Remy's U.S. Girls project has always been a shapeshifting affair. Its earliest incarnations saw Remy creating raw solo sonics with an enormous reel-to-reel tape machine, and subsequent albums have filtered through post-industrial Throbbing Gristle-style harshness to skewed pop songs based on ragged loops of crusty girl group samples. Gem is by no means a debut for U.S.
Meghan Remy makes haunted highway songs. Her records, which she releases under the name U.S. Girls, conjure a moment deep in the bleary-eyed hours of an overnight drive, when you've stumbled upon an eclectic radio program hosted by somebody too hypnotizingly weird to be trusted with a primetime slot. (If they belong in any David Lynch movie, it's Lost Highway, no doubt.) The plural noun in her moniker is Remy's droll idea of a joke; you can tell without peeking at the liner notes that this is a project born of solitude and isolation, a catalog of one person's varied enthusiasms.
Hooks are primary elements in the construction of “pop” music. While other aspects might hint first at its pop aspirations, the hook provides perhaps the clearest indicator that we are listening to pop. But the hook exists as an ideal; the “perfect hook” probably still lurks somewhere out in the pop music seas, but we instead encounter members of its species that bear resemblance to their mythical paragon.
Sometimes, you can have the most banal memories. Case in point, I recall an hour-long drive home from a nearby small city to my small town as a teenager, riding shotgun in the passenger seat as my mother navigated the driving. It must have been late fall or winter, as I recall that we were driving home in the dark although it was still early evening.
Despite the plurality and nationality implied in the name, U.S. Girls is the project of one Meghan Remy, a Toronto native. This double gag of a moniker is only the first way Remy takes what is familiar and expected and then completely eviscerates it. U.S. Girls’ previous releases are noted for ….
If only for the fact that it has been such well-trodden ground, Meghan Remy’s solo project, U.S. Girls, arrives as a welcome reinvention of the 60s baroque pop of the Ronettes and the Shangri-Las. It’s understandable why this golden era has made its resurgence into the popular music of today: even the most uninspired and unsuccessful efforts to recreate it manage to sound pleasantly listenable.
The work of an intriguing young artist still shaping a distinctive voice. Louis Pattison 2012 U.S. Girls is the musical soubriquet of just one girl, and, in truth, one from a little north of the American border. Active since 2008, Toronto’s Meghan Remy has released a handful of albums to date, on reliably left-of-centre labels such as Siltbreeze and Chocolate Monk.