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Marika Hackman
Any Human Friend

U.S. Girls 6/5

Jun 06, 2019

U.S. Girls is an act fronted by one girl—Meg Remy. The artist released her first album, Introducing, in 2008, but came into the spotlight last year when her album In a Poem Unlimited caught the public’s attention and landed on many of 2018’s “Best Of” lists. On Wednesday night, Remy arrived at St. Paul’s Turf Club to play many of the tracks off of that album.

Before the headliner performed, Calvin Krime opened the show, and it was a loud beginning. The hardcore rock band reminded me that I should probably be wearing earplugs to shows if I want to hear when I’m 50. Picture your fun uncles who never gave up on their dreams, rocking out with the volume high. 

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Sweet Spirit was the second act, and they may have stolen the show. The band opened with their sexy newest single, “Touch.” Other highlights from the set were “Los Lonely Girls,” “The Power” and “Rebel Rebel.” The lead singer, Sabrina Ellis, alternated between breathy and strong vocals. Wearing a Minnesota hot dish judging apron, she twirled onto the stage and didn’t stop the theatrical movements throughout the entire set. Her dancing enhanced Sweet Spirit’s performance; the audience could tell that she wasn’t holding anything back. Without a doubt, music from this Austin-based band will be making its way into my Spotify playlists in the future.

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U.S. Girls kicked off their set with a lower energy compared to the raucous Sweet Spirit. Behind her tinted glasses, Remy performed primarily tracks off of In a Poem Unlimited. And the songs were just as haunting live as they are when listening to them on the album. She opened with the danciest track, “M.A.H.,” and continued with what is perhaps her most well known song, “Rosebud.”

U.S. Girls’ music is political, but you might not pick up on the cutting lyrics unless you listen closely. This anger is the most clear in “M.A.H.” (Mad As Hell), which is a favorite of mine. With lyrics like “As if you couldn’t tell, I’m mad as hell / I won’t forget so why should I forgive” her rage is palpable. Yet on this surface, this is another delightful pop tune. “Rage of Plastics,” offers a similar enchanting melody paired with an eerie topic. This song describes a woman who became infertitle after working in a factory. As bleak as some of the themes in setlist’s songs were, the music exudes an air of gravity and urgency that is hard to ignore.

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I found myself in a trance as Remy pranced around the stage throughout the show. During “Pearly Gates” the audience joined her as almost everyone swayed. At one point, she staggered into the audience, backed by the bongos and saxophone. You can tell when someone is dancing without concern about the people watching, and the lead-singer was definitely uninterested in any potential judgement as she grooved. U.S. Girls’ stop at Turf Club was a psychedelic dream that ended with Remy bringing an audience member on stage to dance with her. After uttering “You only get one life, so f*ck it. Who cares?” she exited, followed by her band shortly after.

Written by Macie Rasmussen