Released on February 16, the album A Poem Unlimited by U.S. Girls is already everywhere in the social media. Another beautiful record delivered to us by the label 4AD, home of trendsetting artists like Bauhaus, the Cocteau Twins, the Pixies or Lisa Germano, to name but a few.
The Label with a Face
4AD, founded 1980 in London, has its roots with no doubt in the punk movement. What might have made them different from the very beginning, was that the label always had an artistic claim. With the graphic designer Vaughan Oliver, who created the sleeve art for the label in their early years, 4AD also acquired a visually distinctive identity.
Interestingly, while the label became famous with its artistic-atmospheric sound, their biggest hit has been the house/techno single Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S. Not the only parallel to Manchester’s label Factory and the New Order hit Blue Monday.
Today, 4AD is more present in the Alternative Music scene in Nothern America.
The Singer with a Voice
Meg Remy, the Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist behind U.S. Girls does Pop Art, in the tradition of Laurie Anderson. She accompanies her hugely distinctive voice with innovative set-ups, including combinations of reel-to-reel players, tape decks, and samplers, as well as occasionally singing with a full band.
Meg Remy has released several albums on different labels. While at the beginning the records where low-fi 4-track-recordings, the productions became more professional and more mainstream-compatible, while keeping her uniqueness alive.
Perhaps what’s most striking about U.S. Girls is, even as the sound appears to evolve toward mainstream, the exploration of feminist themes relating to abuse and gender inequality. That way, Meg Remy’s project gains resonance as a form of social commentary; music with something truly at stake.
This said, the new record is another step forward in Meg Remy’s independent, modern brand of art-based, American feminism.