Meghan Remy has been making music under the moniker of U.S. Girls for ten years now and has taken her time to craft her sound away from the masses, slowly gaining exposure with each release. Her latest album ‘In A Poem Unlimited’ sees her cementing her place as one of the premier auteur’s of experimental pop music.
‘In A Poem Unlimited’ is a little more straightforward than previous album ‘Half Free’. While ‘Half Free’ was the first album to gain her a significantly wider audience, the risk was to stick or twist. The results are in between, darker in lyrical tone, but simultaneously more upbeat musically.
M.A.H.’s (abbreviated from Mad As Hell) psychedelic disco throws hints and winks to Blondie and disco classics. Dig below the surface and you’ll find that M.A.H. also represents Remy’s angry take on the repercussions of violence and pacifism. She’s an accomplished storyteller (and is into theatre and film making outside of making music), creating personas and characters to inhabit her songs.
Pearly Gates highlights Remy’s lilting, glorious singing voice. Remy has a way of teasing those last notes out of a lyric, leaving you hanging for more but it’s sparingly used. She wisely restricts overuse of this technique, avoiding the pitfall of the songs sounding too similar.
The shifting of musical styles leaps from dark synth pop (Rosebud) to glam rock (Velvet 4 Sale), to funk (Time). Even though ‘In A Poem Unlimited’ has over twenty collaborators across the album, it feels consistent in tone both musically and lyrically. Remy is not concerned about her music being an easy listen which is something she has attested to in interviews. Conversely, this is one of her most accessible albums to date, while at the same time not restricting her creative instincts.
This juxtaposition grabs hold of you quickly but, over the longer term, the lyrical content permeates and sticks around. It’s a winning combination. It’s pop music but a million miles away from the auto tuned, rent-a-beat facsimiles that perpetuate the charts.