Gem

U.S. Girls


CD

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2012, FatCat Records

While she has been lumped in with other DIY solo artists of lo-fi repute, such as Inca Ore or Sally Strobelight, Meghan Remy has unwaveringly declared her influences 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…). Perhaps even more accurately she can be described as a modern pop revisionist who merges the audible artistic honesty of her beloved soul music with lyrical strains of static and tape hiss.

Gem will doubtless be remarked on for to its "improved" fidelity, its focus on arrangement and production, and most of all, its emphasis on directly delivered and strikingly present vocals. But these qualities speak little to the essence of the maturation that Gem is witness to. Present from the beginning but vibrantly defined now are themes that greatly contrast with the newfound sonic approachability. Where before she appeared shrouded and even mysterious, Remy now directly addresses her take on childhood, gender inequality, sex work, and love with a distinctive blend of elegance and frankness uncommon to many contemporary songwriters. Indeed Gem exudes a playful authenticity that is entirely inconspicuous within today's pop music. Merging a fascination with glam rock as interpreted by the anti-excess of Patti Smith, these new songs sparkle between the poles of an inverted take on Bolan's Pop testosterone and the alienating abstraction of Throbbing Gristle.

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Another Color
2 Work from Home
3 Jack
4 He Who
5 Rosemary
6 Don't Understand That Man
7 Slim Baby
8 Down in the Boondocks
9 Curves
10 North On



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