By Michael Grondin
CALGARY – The music of U.S. Girls, the moniker of American expat Meg Remy, is always sentimental, socially aware and elusive.
Remy, the Toronto based songwriter and producer, is known for her obscure samples, produced by old tapes and recordings that are stretched and dismantled as well as fuzzy beats. Her Illinois tinged voice tells stories of despairing sadness through a glowing voice. Though challenging, her experimental singer/songwriting is hopeful and vibrant.
U.S. Girls has not released an album since 2015’s Half Free, a vivid, dreamlike collection of anecdotes that also dive deep into Remy’s imagination, partnered with music videos that complement its dreamy qualities.
In a phone interview with Remy while on set for a new music video in Kingston, Ontario, she explains that a brand new album is in the works.
“I just finished a record. It’ll come out early 2018,” she says, not giving away too many details.
“I don’t know if I can tell you what it’s called.”
Making a turn from her minimalist beats, Remy says she wanted to explore new ways to approach writing an album.
“It’s a record like I’ve never made before with lots and lots of musicians. Like 20. So it’s very elaborate but not ornate at all,” she explains.
“It features a band, and from now on I’ll be playing with a band.”
Indeed, her upcoming tour features a full band.
“There’ll be drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, saxophone,” she explains with a laugh.
Without getting too political, Remy discussed the ways in which the current social climate seeped into her new work.
“A lot of this album was written during the course of the U.S. presidential election. So, there is a lot of that in there,” she says, again without going into detail.
“It’s like asking for an opinion on the bible or something. I’m just sad, but also not surprised unfortunately. I don’t know what else to say.”
She says that even if not directly, any we can asks bigger questions is important regardless of the medium.
“Any platform or vehicle to address social issues can be good. If it’s a poster on a wall, or a conversation two people have, or a film or a song, it works. Music is as good as any other,” she says.
U.S. Girls perform October 6 as part of Up + Downtown Fest at the Vinyl Needle Tavern (Edmonton). They’ll be playing with Tei Shi, GGOOLLDD, and Lyra Brown. They perform October 7 with Crystal Eyes and Child Actress at The Palomino Smokehouse & Bar (Calgary).Child Actress, Crystal Eyes, GGOOLLDD, Lyra Brown, Tei Shi, The Palomino Smokehouse & Bar, U.S Girls, Up + Downtown Fest, Vinyl Needle Tavern