Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Albums of The Year # 32 U.S.Girls - Heavy Light

 Not quite as fine as previous album In a Poem Unlimited. But still pretty fine:

Great to see Meghan Remy, (Aka U.S. Girls), back with a new record, only a couple of years after In a Poem Unlimited, one of my favourite albums of recent years. She's a fiercely independent voice, defiantly political, genuinely funky, her songs full of ire and wit.

Heavy Light, her new album, focuses on the concept of hindsight and the inner child within us all including a re-working of three of her early songs as part of the overall concept It's noticeably more immediate, stripped down and percussive than its predecessor, much of it having been recorded live in the studio. As a result it's less glossy and detached than In a Poem. coming across as less of an art statement than an urgent missive from the frontline.

I gave the record a few listens before posting this at it seemed important to find out whether the songs here were durable enough to stand the test of time. I'm pleased to report that I think it will. First to get its hooks into me was opening track 4 American Dollars one of the most genuinely funky songs I've heard in ages.

Remy is clearly an artist always seeking to make a point and Heavy Light certainly addresses the world it finds itself in. She's an entry-ist, using accessible pop formats to make comment on the complexities we face, governments that lie, societies that enforce constructions of self on the individuals within it, the way we hurt each other and ourselves.

Here this leads to the sense that a fight for our very survival is taking place. This leads to genuinely soulful performances at times. Remy stretches herself and shifts shape from record to record. If we have a female equivalent of Bowie right now it's probably her. Heavy Light is another fascinating record.

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