Artist: U.S. Girls
Album: Heavy Light
Genre: Experimental Pop/Indie Pop/Gospel/Soul
U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy at this point has solidified herself as one of Rock and Pop’s most intriguing and innovative artists. Following her breakthrough album In A Poem Unlimited, I didn’t expect her to release a follow-up so soon, let alone depart from the album’s sound almost entirely. On her new album Heavy Light, Remy goes in a bolder direction which might turn those who enjoyed the infectious fusion of Psychedelic Pop, Disco, and Art Pop of her last album off, but if you know Remy’s catalog you know that she is always reinventing her sound. Just compare her debut album Introducing to an album like In A Poem Unlimited and you will not believe both albums are from the same person. Much of the instrumentation on Heavy Light is stripped back with more focus on a beautifully crafted array of backing vocals evoking a Gospel feel, a subtle but detailed combination of various percussion, and a dominance of piano balladry. Though her sound has shifted, Remy sticks to her guns of topical storytelling told from the perspective of various characters touching on topical subject matter. The sardonic take-down of the U.S. economy on the Funk-driven track “4 American Dollars,” the Spanish spoken message of prospering with a positive movement on the track “And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve,” and the realization that humanity isn’t as significant as we think in the grander scheme of the planet on the track “The Quiver to the Bomb” are all topics Remy and her collaborators paint vividly with a tone that is hopeful despite the grim nature some of the subject matter suggests, and as much as Remy is looking to the future of her sound, this album isn’t without an acknowledgement of her past. There are three older U.S. Girls songs that get reworked. “Overtime,” State House ( It’s a Man’s World,)” and “Red Ford Radio” all sound better than ever polishing the lo-fi bedroom-recorded sound of the older versions. Though In A Poem Unlimited was the most collaborative U.S. Girls have sounded at the time of it’s release thanks to the contributions of the band “The Cosmic Range,” Heavy Light feels even more like an ensemble effort with various voices heard, and this is a perfect progression for Meg Remy, someone who understands the beauty of collaboration. I’m already looking forward to seeing what Meg Remy does next.
Written By: Steven Sandoval