‘Mad As Hell’ by U.S. Girls is out now on 4AD. We all need to be as mad as hell.
Video by: Emily Pelstring and Meg Remy
As U.S. Girls, Meg Remy writes whip-smart pop music that tackles everything from feminist liberation to doomed love affairs. Her influences are especially protean—cramming together golden oldies, disco, glam rock, and noise into eccentric packages that vibrate with ideas. Her voice can be elegantly shoehorned into almost any genre—she is as comfortable with caustic lo-fi experiments as she is making glossy glam-pop.Remy’s new song, “Mad As Hell,” is an inventive anti-war song that combines outré smarts with utter catchiness, a hard thing to do for the type of messaging that accommodates both Nickleback and Marvin Gaye.
On “Mad As Hell” Remy doesn’t lay out her argument for pacifism so simply: She frames the political leaders beating the battle drum as bad partners in an unhealthy relationship, and makes the cost of that fighting all the more human. Remy surrounds herself in a sepia-toned disco beat with sauntering basslines and shimmying drums, and her voice, in particular, is fascinatingly elastic. Here, she cajoles her voice into the perfect disco diva mold, and her brassy delivery allows her visceral lyrics to land like an uppercut (“We can never know the hands we’re in/Until we feel them grip/Choking off our air supply”). Remy’s version of anti-war sloganeering is sly: This is a radio-ready pop tune full of subversion, ready to sneak onto the airwaves and plant the seeds of protest.