By Arielle Lessard
Royal Mountain Records
Often described as idiosyncratic, Meg Remy of U.S. Girls has now made a decade of creative work and used fuel from her 2016 Polaris Music Prize Shortlisting to build an inquisitive, well-produced and bizarre portrait of a disenchanted yet disarming reality in In a Poem Unlimited.
Never without hook and never without it’s draws from pop to magnet listeners in, Remy twists expectation on itself to create completely danceable and somewhat perplexing disco-loaded schemes. Remy’s blunt use of repetition, computerized undertones, and sometimes breathy, sometimes undulating pitched vocals, never quite suit the traditional confines of pop and add to an inner richness that frames something elusive.
Remy uses quaking siren-like guitar and saxophone lines that are catchy and captivating; breathing a modern air into their reverb and fully capitalizing on their strength in songs like “Velvet For Sale” and “Rage of Plastics.” What Remy does excessively well, it seems, is splice discordant, no-wave reactionary elements with more reliable basics of pop and disco. The album elaborates but doesn’t overcomplicate some intoxicating boogie while keeping with real emotion.
Including a short clip of her decimated voice stating the obvious, Remy follows this with the most harmonious and easy going, alpha wave infused “Rosebud,” and curtails this immediately with the wailing “Incidental Boogie” — opened up by words on abandonment. The groove never lets up, and Remy’s natural lean towards reinterpretation and repetition is exploited in great combination with varying rhythms and constantly engaging material.
Closing with “Time,” Remy picks up some massive speed for her final piece. “There is no time” she repeats as she delves into over seven minutes of guitar and sax solos. She eases in and out but never slows down, and things quickly get jumbled together, layers pile onto a solid groove. The instruments seemingly improvise their own end while the albums’ many elements ring on and shake it off.
In A Poem Unlimited, U.S Girls