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From humble beginnings with the murky ‘60s girl-group-channelling spectre-pop and lo-fi psychedelia/grainy hypnagogic noise of her first couple of records, the lovely Meghan Remy lands on old UK hipster stable FatCat with her "most realised album to date" to adopt a hackneyed journalistic phrase. To me that means she's made her most commercial and coherent record thus far in a curious and interesting underground career. It's also the first with a consistent full-band sound and has been produced by her mate Slim Twig. (I'm wondering if the single 'Slim Baby' is a tribute?)
Her penchant for older styles of era-defining pop music has transferred its focus to linger around the early-mid ‘70s (in particular the glam period) on two key tracks here, but unlike Battles and Tame Impala who have both explored that realm in their own inimitable styles, Ms Remy takes the glam, stuffs it down her pants and runs out of the shop laughing like a drain for she knows when she gets it home that it will have been contorted way out of shape and become significantly hers.
But there's so, so much more stylistically to this album. Over repeated spins the songs get stranger, richer and more fascinating. Layers are revealed slowly, this album takes a bit of time but oh boy, I'm all hooked now Mama. Opening with 'Another Cover' which is almost a dusty road/torch song that has a wonderful Lynchian vibe to it and features a cool decaying Hammond-style organ. 'Work From Home' recalls early era Julian Cope exhibiting his mellotron-drenched love for late ‘60s psych-garage but with Meghan's distinctive disembodied soulful wail taking centre stage and her undimmed love for ‘60s girl-groups still evident in some of the harmonies. A great lost-in-space erm.....GEM.
Now the glam attacks with glee. 'Jack' is an amazing tune - a slow, sultry, moody and superbly catchy stroller of late-period Beatles/T-Rex proportions infused with this haunted fuzz and some delicious licks of acid-fried guitar. Once again her penetrating sexy wail curls around your mind like a lingering tongue. This woman turns me on like little I've heard recently. After this we get a cute wistful kosmische/piano led instrumental interlude that cleanses the mind-palette nicely. Then 'Rosemary' reminds me of early Zola Jesus - a bleak, foreboding electronic ballad-noir that thrills as much as it unnerves. She does this torch song shit with so much panache....
The subsequent track is a haunting minimalist march of a tune with new wave tendencies and some cool abstract Gothic sprinkles. The glam makes a blatant attention grabbing return on the aforementioned lead single 'Slim Baby'. It is the most obvious tune if not the album highlight and has a great furry fuzzed-up sound to the guitar but it is a little repetitive which is just fine if it's aimed at the radio and gets people checking her out. The cover of Billy Joe Royal's Elvis-like 1965 hit 'Down in the Boondocks' is a charming nostalgic delight, 'Curves' turns out to be an experimental piece of dialogue manipulation with a sole electronic flicker carrying with it an ominous atmosphere, a strange treat that would appeal to Burroughs or Negativland fans.
The album concludes with 'North on 45' which is a slightly off-kilter take on Tori Amos or something with a faint whiff of country-ish yearning. The video looks beautiful and features a girl running down a road in her pants and bra which is always a bonus. But I didn't look, honest.
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