Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Meg Remy has used her project U.S. Girls to fuse synth pop with avant-garde sounds and political and feminist subject matter. You may remember “28 Days”, her celebratory song about periods. She says, “I’m definitely interested in talking about the things that people don’t want to talk about with women.”
“Woman’s Work”, the second single from her upcoming record HALF FREE (out September 25th on 4AD), is a deconstruction of voyeurism and the male gaze. The accompanying music video opens with provocative shots that zoom in and out of women’s legs juxtaposed with the chaste imagery of Virgin Mary statues. The video stars Jennifer Hazel and LuLu Hazel Turnbull, whose faces are the sole focus for the remainder of the video. Challenging the traditional objectification of women in art and media, these women have a third eye projected on their faces as they watch the viewer. It not only responds to the audience’s gaze, but overpowers it.
Remy, who also directed, filmed, and edited the video, sings with the strength and resonance of Karin Dreijer Andersson. Eerie and lush harmonies buoy her vocals as they switch from powerful wails to ghostly whisperings. “Woman’s Work” reels us into a creepy world that is pushed over the edge when one of the women looks directly into the camera and smiles. Is she taking pleasure in watching us, the viewer? In this moment, the dynamic of observer-and-object breaks down completely and the video abruptly cuts to a young woman waking up in fright. Providing a temporary moment of release, U.S. Girls warps the way we think of observing and being observed in a feminist light in this beautiful nightmare of a track.