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Meg Remy’s second release for 4AD, In A Poem Unlimited, which includes single ‘Mad As Hell’ – a clarion call for pacifism – was tracked in collaboration with Toronto-based instrumental collective the Cosmic Range, and features arrangements by long-time contributors Maxmilian Turnbull and Louis Percival. The dizzying buffet of live grooves on In a Poem Unlimited represents an inversion of the dusty, sample-based minimal textures of Half Free, Remy’s euphoric 4AD debut. Steered into focus by Remy and mixer/co-producer Steve Chahley, Poem features disco employed as a protest vernacular (‘Mad As Hell’), as well as an unrelenting assault (‘Time’); moody, slow-burning funk (‘Velvet 4 Sale’ & ‘L-Over’) and earnest synth anthems ‘Rosebud’ and ‘Poem’, which form the album’s emotional core.
Poem features dark meditations reflecting charged atmospheres that directly precede and follow acts of violence. Many of the songs are character studies of women grappling with power; how to gain and exert it spiritually, as well as desperate strategies to mitigate its infliction. Remy also rallies against the public lies told by political and religious leaders, and more crucially, questions the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive. While U.S. Girls, denoting the plural, is no longer a misnomer, In A Poem Unlimited may be Remy’s most individually distilled protest to date.
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