Much like in life, the hardest thing as a music fan is to constantly keep yourself open to new things. I know I’ve heard numerous times that your early 20s are about the time that people stop listening to newer music, and of course, I’m a few years into this constant struggle. But even if you are someone like me, who finds themselves seeking out new artists, these new artists often end up sounding something like Car Seat Headrest or Courtney Barnett. Who are great, for sure, but they’re not too far off from other artists you’ve loved in the past.
Which is why it’s always nice to discover an artist like U.S. Girls, where they fill a void that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought needed filling. Art-pop is not a genre I can ever recall falling for, though I’m sure there are a few exceptions, and the ones that first come to mind also happen to sound a lot like U.S. Girls. Which, may or may not defeat the whole thesis of this review. But anyways, Canadian ex-pat Meg Remy, the mastermind behind U.S. Girls, clearly seems to be incorporating a bit of the vibes laid down by Roxy Music and David Bowie in the ’70s into this latest release. Yet, there’s also something distinctly modern about In A Poem Unlimited, which isn’t that out of step with the pop artists of today that critics have noticeably warmed up to.
But apart from that, Remy just doesn’t seem to give a fuck. Maybe the funky textures of the arrangements here have a lot to do with it, but at the same time her lyrics and vocal delivery have this very potent way of being sexy, but also pointed. It’s this odd mix of letting everything fly in a mix of messiness tempered by airtight production. Hell, the song “Pearly Gates” has legit scratching in it, the kind you’d find on some ’90s R&B song forcibly trying to capture a little hip-hop edge. But here, it just feels all of a piece with the album’s eclectic milieu, built to lure people in and keep them dancin’ the night away.
Favorite Tracks: “M.A.H.”, “Rosebud”, “Time”