Meg Remy continues to flip pop music upside down while managing to root her lyrical sentiment in everyday life as U.S. Girls. Unafraid to take on political issues, stand up for feminist points of view and act as different characters with each song; Remy is both an artist and a musician. She has come a long way since first finding her passion for music during her darker teen years and is now coming forward with an even stronger voice on her newest record, and first for 4AD, Half Free.
“Coming face to face with death made me realize I might as well just do what I can with life.”
As a teen girl, an era of both self-discovery and raging angst, Remy found her love of music through the gateways of punk and liberation of the riot grrrl movement. “What clicked right away wasn’t that I wanted to be a musician but I knew didn’t want to live the life the way my family did,” Remy said. Screw insurance, f**ck steady jobs – the alternative path was the only path for Remy and a life she wanted to make the most of. “I suffered depression a lot as a teenager. I was suicidal and just totally fucked up. Coming face to face with death made me realize I might as well just do what I can with life,” she said.
Remy, Canadian-born, has made music under her U.S. Girls moniker since 2007 and just signed to illustrious label 4AD who have hosted the likes of St. Vincent, Grimes and Purity Ring on their roster. While inspiration from art, Casvetti films to Rineke Dijkstra portraits – has always been prevalent in her work; Half Free marks a dynamic shift in Remy’s music as U.S. Girls. Instead of hiding behind lush and demanding Giorgio Moroder synth sounds, she is bringing her voice forward and thus making her lyrics more powerful than ever. “I think lyric writing has kind of disappeared,” Remy said, “there are never lyrics that just punch me in the gut.” Feminism has always been present in her lyrics, something Remy thinks is so bizarre that people are still shocked that a woman is writing about women’s experiences. As U.S. Girls, Remy unabashedly inhabits characters of protest in her lyrics, from the raw emotionality against the political system (‘Damn That Valley’) to the strange world of plastic surgery (‘Woman’s Work’).
“I wanted to make something sci-fi but realistic and to me, there’s nothing more sci-fi that’s going on than plastic surgery,” said Remy. On ‘Woman’s Work’ Remy serves as songwriter, director, videographer and editor to tell the ego-fueled story of plastic surgery. “All of this junk we do to look younger is a fear of death and our egos are so big that we can’t imagine ourselves dying,” she said. Having her hand in every aspect of the storytelling is both in Remy’s nature as a control freak and her way of sharing her true self. “It’s me out there and I just want to make sure everything is in line with what I stand for and what I want people to be thinking about,” said Remy.
“If you want to make a difference or leave a mark, know that it takes time.”
U.S. Girls belongs to everyone: young women, men and those who don’t associate with gender. To those looking up to Remy and her art, she offers a few words of wisdom: “If you want to make a difference or leave a mark, know that it takes time.” U.S. Girls’ fifth LP Half Free is out now via 4AD.
About The Author: Shannon Kurlander
Shannon Kurlander hails from the blazing desert of Tucson, Arizona and now calls NYC home. When she's not writing about women conquering the music industry, she's conquering it herself at Baby's All Right, Elvis Guesthouse, Terrorbird Media and with her own music. Follow Shannon on Instagram and Twitter .
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