Whilst at first glance the name may conjure ‘Volleyball teams and cheerleading squads’ as suggested by 20jazzfunkgreats, others read a military connotation – some kind of legendary all female American crack squad. Whatever the imagery, the first listen suggests a divergent story. In truth, U.S. Girls is the creative force of a lone American woman, Meghan Remy. For the past four years she has pursued her minimalist aesthetic with a militant by-any-means-necessary attitude, merging experimental compositions tracked on borrowed four track recorders with her distinctive photocopy-art visual aesthetic to deliver starkly defined statement LP’s like ‘Introducing…’ & ‘Go Grey’ on Siltbreeze Records.
While Lo-Fi recording techniques have seen something of a renaissance in recent years, Remy’s favouring of this approach was born less of aesthetic choice and more of necessity. Even as she’s inevitably been lumped in with other DIY solo artists such as Inca Ore and Sally Strobelight, her influence has unwaveringly been declared to lie with oldies radio and the distinctly American songcraft of writers like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen (whom she covered to startling effect on Introducing…). It’s in this light that her true vision is revealed. While her music has been said to evoke “particularly blunted Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry remixes of Cambodian Rocks covers of western pop tunes,” – (Artforum), more accurately she can be thought of as an unapologetically modern pop revisionist merging the audible artistic honesty of her beloved soul music with lyrical strains of static and tape hiss. Songs like ‘Bits & Pieces’ and ‘Red Ford Radio’ reimagine Billboard hit singles of the 60′s as bleakly rendered expressions of a primal American femininity.
With the arrival of a new decade the entity of U.S. Girls takes an unexpected turn. Contradicting her patriotic moniker Remy has spent the last 6 months in collaboration with Canadian artist Slim Twig whose combination of reverence for and divergence from classic pop tropes matches her own. With the same determination she once used to tour America solo via Greyhound, Remy relocated her recording to Toronto where the shroud of abstraction surrounding her songcraft has been somewhat lifted to reveal a consciously produced sound with her strikingly original voice now at the centre. Co-produced by Remy & Slim Twig, the new direction sees U.S. Girls take American pop head-on with a cover of Joe South’s ‘Untie Me’ while pursuing innovative future-music with the psychedelic ‘Pamela + GG.’
Fresh from playing a series of dates in the U.S. and back to recording for a full-length, the release of 12PALM01 marks the start of an exciting new future for U.S. Girls.