|Add Date:||2016-01-20|| ||Pull Date:||2016-03-20|| |
|Week Ending:||20 Mar||13 Mar||6 Mar||21 Feb||14 Feb||7 Feb||31 Jan||24 Jan|
Half Free is the sixth long play by Chicago native and longtime Toronto resident, Megan Remy, better known as U.S. Girls. Musically speaking, the album continues the experimental lo-fi DIY pop tendencies of previous recordings – machine produced post-downtempo beats, sampled sounds, minimal instrumentation, and harmonious vocal melodies. What makes Half Free depart from previous U.S. Girls albums are the sociopolitical themes and lyrics exploring women’s history and female identity. Half Free is heavily inspired by film, particularly the work of feminist Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman. To construct a compelling argument parallel to the album, Megan Remy, working with several filmmakers, has also produced videos for most of the tracks on Half Free, which can not be seen as a soundtrack or a score but more like a counterpart project similar to what Sonic Youth did with their 1990 album, Goo, and its accompanying yet unconnected videos. Another interesting but more current project parallel to Half Free is a set of short films by visual artist and filmmaker Mary Reid Kelley, who also shares an interest in depicting gender issues using exaggeration and allegory in an achromatic tone. Powerful.|
RIYL: Slim Twig, Portishead, Dirty Beaches, Grimes, and Ice Cream.
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9
1. (2:57) *Sororal Feelings – Slow tempo intro, sampled beat. Melancholic melody with dubbed vocals. Riveting.
2. (3:10) **Damn That Valley – Hypnotic beat with a haunting melody. Strikingly performed.
3. (1:16) Telephone Play No. 1 – Play on the whole randomly recorded conversation between two friends. Art school strategies, sociopolitical comments, and faultless length.
4. (4:41) **Window Shades – Absorbing recording that uses recognizable piano arrangements as a timeless approach. Upbeat, emblematic, and quite blue.
5. (4:58) *New Age Thriller – Part trip-hop, part Bjork’s “Human Behaviour” instrumentation. Singular synth riff. Guitar moments play well in the mix.
6. (2:41) *Sed Knife – Guitar driven rocker with a middle 1990’s alternative rock feeling.
7. (5:13) Red Comes In Many Shades – Slow tempo, noir pop played at the beat of trip-hop. Dramatic
8. (4:13) *Navy & Cream – Kate Bush pop here. Very 1980’s – guitar solo and everything. Medium tempo.
9. (7:12) **Woman's Work – Exquisite piece of pop music. 1980’s electro pop all the way. Grace Jones meets Bikini Kill vocals.