By Tara Schoenborn
U.S. Girls’ latest album, ‘GEM,’ goes experimental, and the result is good ‘n creepy.
U.S. Girls’ Meghan Remy, ironically a Toronto native, released her album GEM last fall, and it’s a bizarre vintage pop mix. While GEM is Remy’s most mainstream-sounding album, it’s still very far from something that could end up in the Top 40. The album really sounds like a hodgepodge of sounds that come together and somehow make music.
It embraces a very ’60s pop vibe that almost comes across too sinister at times. For example, in “Jack,” the harsh sound of the electric guitar alongside synthesized vocals gives the song a little bit of a pop vibe but also a somewhat disturbing, longing vibe that sounds like it should be in a haunted house. Apparently, the song is trying to capture a Jack the Ripper-like persona juxtaposed with a piano melody. The result just sounds creepy, but slightly addicting. Remy uses a mixture of discordant sounds that come together to sound sometimes like vintage pop, sometimes like glam rock, and sometimes just outright psychedelic.
Her last album, U.S. Girls on Kraak, had a lo-fi sound, but in GEM she really emphasizes glam rock, like in her song “Slim Baby.” This new album embodies Remy’s willingness to try new things and experiment with genres. In all of her songs, it is clear she wants to mix sounds that might not seem like they’d work well together in order to create unique textures.
The thing that makes Remy’s music very different from other artists is that the lyrics and underlying meaning of the song are not important, but the surface sounds, such as her voice, the mixture of weird contrasting noises, are the things that make a statement. In “North on 45” Remy’s relaxed voice with the mix of sounds give off a vintage, pop vibe reminiscent of a ’60s girl band.
Ultimately, what makes U.S. Girls an artist to watch is Remy’s focus on experimentation through the deconstruction of music, which is unconventional. Most artists do not dare to try because few are successful. So, be on the lookout for what weird experiment U.S. Girls tries next, because it could just be the next big thing.