U.S. Girls – “Overtime”

Just under two years ago, Meg Remy released In A Poem Unlimited, her sixth album as U.S. Girls. While the project had already found devout fans over the years, In A Poem Unlimited felt like a long-gestating culmination and a surprising transformation at once — one that landed U.S. Girls at the top of end-of-year lists and garnered a whole new level of buzz. Remy & co. toured a bunch behind it following the acclaim, and one might’ve expected it’d be a while before we got a proper follow-up.

Well, turns out that isn’t the case at all. There’s a new U.S. Girls album already. It’s called Heavy Light and it arrives in the beginning of March.

Heavy Light continues the forays into tinges of soul and disco-pop that U.S. Girls began to explore on In A Poem Unlimited. And following the intense live show the band perfected for the last album — for which their ranks swelled to eight people onstage — Heavy Light was recorded live in the studio with 20 session musicians, one of whom was none other than E Street Band saxophonist Jake Clemons. A press release describes the sonic nature of the album as “a balance between orchestral percussion … and the human voice.”

The album sounds like a specific idea traced through 13 tracks. Remy’s voice is one amongst many, including spoken word interludes that “share reflections on childhood experiences.” Though while Heavy Light is an extension of the more collaborative nature of In A Poem Unlimited, it’s also reportedly one of Remy’s most personal works, moving away from the character studies of earlier albums in favor of material that sifts through the experiences of Remy’s past.

Along with the news, U.S. Girls have shared “Overtime,” the lead single from Heavy Light and one of three reworked tracks included on the album. (Reimagined material is not an unfamiliar concept on U.S. Girls releases, and Heavy Light also features new interpretations of “Red Ford Radio” and “Statehouse (It’s A Man’s World).” Both date back to some of U.S. Girls’ earliest collections.) All of the sonic markers promised so far for Heavy Light — funky rhythms, layered vocals, pounding percussion, dramatic sax peals — are on display here. Check it out below.

TRACKLIST:

01 “4 American Dollars”
02 “Overtime”
03 “IOU”
04 “Advice To Teenage Self”
05 “State House (It’s A Man’s World)”
06 “Born To Lose”
07 “And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve”
08 “The Most Hurtful Thing”
09 “Denise, Don’t Wait”
10 “Woodstock ‘99″
11 “The Color Of Your Childhood Bedroom”
12 “The Quiver To The Bomb”
13 “Red Ford Radio”

TOUR DATES:

02/15 – Toronto, ON @ Paradise Theatre (SOLD OUT)
02/16 – Montreal, QC @ Le Ministère
02/18 – New York, NY @ The Dance
04/04 – Detroit, MI @ MOCAD
04/05 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
04/06 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
04/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
04/09 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
04/10 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
04/12 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
04/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
04/16 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
04/14 – Boise, ID @ The Olympic
04/17 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
04/18 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
04/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
04/21 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz
04/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge Hollywood Forever
04/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
04/25 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
04/27 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s
04/28 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
04/29 – Houston, TX @ Continental Club
05/01 – Memphis, TN @ The Greenroom at Crosstown Arts
05/02 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
05/03 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
05/05 – Washington, DC @ U Street
05/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
05/07 – Boston, MA @ Sinclair
05/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
10/14 – London, UK @ Queen Elizabeth Hall

CREDIT: Colin Medley

Heavy Light is out 3/6 via 4AD. Pre-order it here.