U.S. Girls ready to bring the “woah” factor to Johnny Brenda’s
When I first came across Meg Remy’s Break Free, I was driving my dog to get a haircut. He’s pretty small—a Chihuahua bred with something else that’s small—and he scares easy, so I usually try to keep the stereo volume at a minimum. Usually.
“Sororal Feelings” is the first track off of this year’s record by Remy’s U.S. Girls project. It glides in with a looping, tumbleweed-like (creaky) sample that has you maxing out the sound in anticipation of what’s to come. It teases, runs through the song, which is really a story about the handful of sisters some mystery Marlborough man has affected. “Now I’m gonna hang myself / Hang myself from my family tree,” she sings, and brightly.
The next song is “Damn That Valley,” which I had to turn up a little bit more, even. This one is kind of dubsteppy (in a good way) and it’s about a woman who’s looking for answers in the questionable death of her man, who she’s still looking for, “‘cuz there ain’t even bones for me to own.”
Meg’s songwriting is so diverse and cinematic, lyrically and musically, that it’s an instant hooked or hate situation. Originally from Philadelphia, Remy released her first two noise records through the local mainstay Siltbreeze. More recently, she’s been turning that harsh, experimental tape sound into much more accessible songs (like the two my dog and I were listening to above.) The culmination of that is this: the bohemian 9-track record that she’s touring behind today.
Maybe it was moving to Canada that softened Remy’s sound a bit, turning away from the turbulent tape recordings of her Philadelphia past life, but I’d have to say a big thanks to Canada, if that’s the case. Listening to the U.S. Girls from 2010 gives me a headache. It’s performance art that just doesn’t speak to me. Of course, that’s my opinion only. Whether you like Remy now or then, you’ll likely get a dose of both at next week’s show and then you’ll be able to form your own judgment about her art.