Listen to the track below
“Damn That Valley”
Meghan Remy's U.S. Girls alias has taken on a greater significance over the past five years. That’s partly due to the fact that the Illinois native has been based in Canada since 2010, lending her all-American moniker an outsider allure that complements her experimental ethos. But it’s mostly because, with each successive release, you’re never quite sure which Girl you’re going to get: the avant-pop deconstructionist, the 1960s traditionalist, the basement R&B diva. The first single from Remy’s upcoming 4AD debut feels like a logical extension of the dubbed-out soul heard on 2013’s Free Advice Column, whose producer—Toronto beatmaker Onakabazien—returns to push that EP’s sound to more intense extremes.
"Damn That Valley" finds Remy surveying the scarred geopolitical landscape of the country she left behind, but instead of offering a broad critique, she presents an intimate, unsettling portrait of war’s physical and psychic toll on the average American. Over a gritty shuffle-groove, Remy deploys her blaring siren of a voice as a distress signal, assuming the perspective of a soldier’s widow raging at the futility of war (a frustration amplified by the song's video, which depicts a woman helplessly lashing out at various Washington D.C. monuments that unsympathetically tower over her). "That’s the valley that took my man from me," Remy wails in the song’s dying seconds, her voice echoing out into the void, a cry for help answered by no one.