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U.S. Girls, a revelation in disco hedonism, glam-rock power and dark electro

 

With her album “Half Free” released in September 2015, Meghan Remy, a.k.a U.S. Girls, unveiled the scope of her talent caught between disco hedonism, glam-rock power and dark electro. Today she releases her latest video.

It’s the rare voice of Meghan Remy – like an instrument that never needs to be tuned because its perfect pitch comes more from her gut than technique – that renders every one of her productions unique. ​

Starting to listen to Half Free by U.S. Girls is like setting out on an American highway, the car radio blasting out a brilliant burning symphony of rock, dark electro, dub and disco. A crazy chase a la Thelma and Louise, evoking the most beautiful musical moments of Yoko Ono (Walking on Thin Ice), the early days of Blondie and punk groups like Bikini Kill from the feminist movement Rio Grrrl. With the name of the project, U.S. Girls (plural), American artist Meghan Remy, today living in Toronto, couldn’t better express her ambition to take on the guises of all these women and many more. I admire Cindy Sherman’s work she tells us when passing through Paris, “The way she disguises herself and so truthfully embodies all sorts of different women in her photos, I find it fascinating.” The young American recently shaved off her 80s Debbie Harry locks and is now channelling pure Sinead O’Connor. In her music Meghan Remy strives to tell stories about girls, often unhappy, occasionally sordid in the style of Joyce Carol Oates, i.e. is interested in the beauty of her characters and defending their dignity. “I discovered the movies of John Cassavetes just as I was writing the album. He really influenced me. Cassavetes has the ability to make individual stories universal and he always brings out the truth from his characters – good or bad, often bad – without judging them or focusing on the miserable. That’s my only ambition when I write my songs.Sororal Feelings, a psychotic ballad with Lynchian overtones tells the story of a girl who marries the man who slept with her sisters for money… A story inspired by Michael Ondaatje’s book, Coming Through Slaughter

Musically the same sincerity prevails. Meghan Remy avoids the pitfalls of pastiche by never trying to reproduce the sounds of an era, but by reviving certain energies, rock here, disco there, and above all by introducing more contemporary dub and electro beats. Thanks to her entourage her album is characterised by a profusion of genres. On the three tracks produced by Onakabazien, the drum is all-powerful, the sound less complex. The beat of the magnificent Woman’s Work that concludes the album is reminiscent of Austra’s majestic compositions, another immense band also living in Toronto. But it’s the rare voice of Meghan Remy – like an instrument that never needs to be tuned because its perfect pitch comes more from her gut than technique – that works on rendering every one of her productions unique. “A voice like a UFO,” she says of herself, deliciously accompanies all the voyages she invites us on. On the track Window Shades, a masterful disco anthem that blends pianos and chords while paying tribute to Giorgio Moroder’s incredible 1970s productions, the sensual voice of a young woman draws inspiration from sexual deviances and backseat couplings. Then as night falls on the highway, her voice becomes that of a crooner – The first concert I ever saw, aged 4, was Billy Joel – for moment of mad blues that leads bodies away in a mystical procession (Red Comes in Many Shades). It’s not U.S. Girl’s first attempt to break into the public’s imagination. But this, her third album, at the excellent 4D label, should finally be the one to consecrate her status as a major independent artist who knows how to simultaneously handle glamour and grime. 

 

 

Half Free, U.S. Girls (4AD). Available on September 25th.

 

By Thibaut Wychowanok.

“Better to die for a noble cause than to live and die a slave.” Neneh Cherry
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“Better to die for a noble cause than to live and die a slave.” Neneh Cherry

Music A performer sans frontières, Neneh Cherry has just released her new album, Broken Politics, after four years away from the recording studio. A magisterial disc, it updates her trip-hop groove for today’s troubled times. With her customary elegance, Cherry shares her emotion with respect to the world’s many injustices, lending her voice to those who are without one. A performer sans frontières, Neneh Cherry has just released her new album, Broken Politics, after four years away from the recording studio. A magisterial disc, it updates her trip-hop groove for today’s troubled times. With her customary elegance, Cherry shares her emotion with respect to the world’s many injustices, lending her voice to those who are without one.

“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” Why is Dolly Parton the ultimate icon?
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“It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” Why is Dolly Parton the ultimate icon?

Music The 72-year old country singer is the unexpected muse of Gucci’s spring 2019 collection. Singer, actress and writer, she continues to seduce with her wild stage outfits and her awesome one-liners. Those millennial popstars have got nothing on Dolly. The 72-year old country singer is the unexpected muse of Gucci’s spring 2019 collection. Singer, actress and writer, she continues to seduce with her wild stage outfits and her awesome one-liners. Those millennial popstars have got nothing on Dolly.

Dandyish musical sophisticate caught somewhere between Daft Punk and the classical cannon, but who really is Chilly Gonzales?
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Dandyish musical sophisticate caught somewhere between Daft Punk and the classical cannon, but who really is Chilly Gonzales?

Music Canadian composer, musician and rapper, Chilly Gonzales forms the central focus of “Shut Up and Play the Piano”, a documentary that hit theatres on October 3rd. Directed by German journalist Philipp Jedicke, the film explores his path to date, and his dual personality. Canadian composer, musician and rapper, Chilly Gonzales forms the central focus of “Shut Up and Play the Piano”, a documentary that hit theatres on October 3rd. Directed by German journalist Philipp Jedicke, the film explores his path to date, and his dual personality.

Meeting with Lenny Kravitz, unbeatable rock icon
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Meeting with Lenny Kravitz, unbeatable rock icon

Music With his inimitable look and solar charisma, he embodies the archetypal rock star, on whom time has no empire. A one-man band capable of playing all his own instruments, Lenny Kravitz is back with a new album, “Raise Vibration”, a groovy and militant manifesto, the eleventh opus in his career. Weaving gospel and Native American chants into his rhythms, in homage to his black and part-Cherokee roots, Kravitz also celebrates figures such as Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson on this vibrant and intimate disc. Numéro caught up with him af ter his stomping Paris concert this June. With his inimitable look and solar charisma, he embodies the archetypal rock star, on whom time has no empire. A one-man band capable of playing all his own instruments, Lenny Kravitz is back with a new album, “Raise Vibration”, a groovy and militant manifesto, the eleventh opus in his career. Weaving gospel and Native American chants into his rhythms, in homage to his black and part-Cherokee roots, Kravitz also celebrates figures such as Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson on this vibrant and intimate disc. Numéro caught up with him af ter his stomping Paris concert this June.

4 things you should know about Lana Del Rey, the vintage star with an irresistible pout
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4 things you should know about Lana Del Rey, the vintage star with an irresistible pout

Music With her vintage allure and her throbbing vocals, Lana Del Ray is nothing short of captivating. Just a week after the unexpected release of her “Mariners Apartment Complex”, she unveils “Venice Bitch”, a 10-minute track that wraps up summer perfectly, while announcing her sixth album, “Normal Fucking Rockwell”. Numéro looks at four must-know facts about the diva with the irresistible pout. With her vintage allure and her throbbing vocals, Lana Del Ray is nothing short of captivating. Just a week after the unexpected release of her “Mariners Apartment Complex”, she unveils “Venice Bitch”, a 10-minute track that wraps up summer perfectly, while announcing her sixth album, “Normal Fucking Rockwell”. Numéro looks at four must-know facts about the diva with the irresistible pout.

With “Love S.O.S.”, Justice serves up a cocktail of strip-tease, voyeurism and violence
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With “Love S.O.S.”, Justice serves up a cocktail of strip-tease, voyeurism and violence

Music Currently promoting “Woman Worldwide”, the live version of their “Woman” album, the Justice duo have delivered a video that is as sexy as it is violent to accompany their new track, “Love S.O.S.”. Currently promoting “Woman Worldwide”, the live version of their “Woman” album, the Justice duo have delivered a video that is as sexy as it is violent to accompany their new track, “Love S.O.S.”.