Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
US Girls Scala London 160518 Wunmi Onibudo 03

U.S. Girls let actions speak louder than words, live in London.

23 November 2018, 16:37 | Written by Sean Kerwick

After four albums of experimental noise pop, U.S. Girls’ Meghan Remy adjusted her sights and decided to make something more accessible.

This vision came into fruition on 2018’s In a Poem Untitled, a meeting in the middle of sorts between the music and the listeners. Remy’s penchant for genre-hopping sonics - featuring strings, flourishes of free jazz and dance grooves - provided the LP with a chaotic tapestry which matched the political climate’s tumultuous mood in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

This controlled chaos is brought to life on stage tonight with an impressive seven-piece band. Opener "Navy and Cream" is extended into a sprawling instrumental section which finds psychedelic guitar dancing with a scattershot saxophone run which slowly bleeds into “Window Shades”. It becomes instantly apparent that the set isn't your usual song-after-song affair with banter in between. Each song is woven together by a whirl of sonics; dialogue taken from old movies or extended jams fill the gaps where silence would be. It maps out as more of a theatre piece rather than a straight-up gig.

At one moment, Remy allows silence to build up before delivering the hushed opening of album standout "Rosebud"; a simple trick which works to stunning effect. This is followed by the bass-rattling grooves of “L-Over” and “Incidental Boogie” which would have been blissful to a more energetic crowd. A truly captivating back-and-forth plays out between Remy, her back-up vocalist and her keyboardist throughout the set, which spirals out from choreographed dance moves to a riotous collapse of flesh and bone across the stage.

The use of soundbites complement the songs throughout the setlist. Before “Pearly Gates”, the dialogue of a man desperately trying to court a woman who resists his advances sounds out over the speakers, foreboding the sticky subject matter ahead.

U.S Girl’s touring outfit is a tightly knit squad of musicians who flourish as they improvise and jam. They tail off “Time” with an instrumental which shifts into the set's finale, “Rage Of Plastics”, led by a frenetic saxophone and wavering guitar. Remy bids the crowd 'goodnight' before exiting the stage. It's the only verbal exchange of the evening, but nothing goes unsaid.

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