U.S. Girls – “New Age Thriller” (Singles Going Steady)

Cryptic, moody, and possessed by a nearly Lynchian sense of unease, "New Age Thriller" is a demented avant-pop vignette.

Pryor Stroud: Cryptic, moody, and possessed by a nearly Lynchian sense of unease, “New Age Thriller” is a demented avant-pop vignette that watches two lovers slip behind a wall of shadow to perform strange sexual acts. U.S. Girls — the alias for noise-art iconoclast Meghan Remy — drapes the track’s singsong melody in bizarre synth chimes and dark, monolithic electro tones that seem to rise out of the track’s background. “And I won’t provide it for you / Even though you / Even though you’ll force me to”, Remy sings, and you can sense that her lover is across from her behind a shifting curtain of darkness, his palm outstretched, beckoning her to step away from the light for a while. [7/10]

Jordan Blum: I like the noirish video; it feels like a French art house take on David Lynch. I suppose it fits the music, too, as both are bleak and avant-garde in a way. The arrangement is intriguing but not necessarily enjoyable, if that makes sense. I especially like all of the dissonant flourishes and fragile vocals. I wouldn’t listen to it regularly, but I definitely appreciate what it’s going for, and it’s effective in creating a haunting and disturbing vibe. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Featuring a dark beat and ominous vocals, “New Age Thriller” prides itself more on atmosphere than true songwriting. Granted, the lyrics are actually pretty great, with lines like “When the nighttime falls / You left in your disgrace.” However, the chorus, the instrumental and the vocals all seem to be more focused on working together to create a mood rather than a fully-realized song. By the end of song, I’m not sure if I just listened to a band’s single or a part of a movie soundtrack. While not terrible, “New Age Thriller” is pretty middle-of-the-road, with as many good moments as bad. [5/10]

Chad Miller: “New Age Thriller” is dark and eerie while keeping up a good melody throughout. The lyrics are really interesting too, as is the usual with U.S. Girls’ music. I do wish the intro hadn’t been so long though. If its purpose was to provide some musical contrast with the bulk of the song, a change would have been much more effective in between. [7/10]

John Bergstrom: Don’t go and try to do anything radical like shake up your sound, 4AD Records. This is as 4AD as ever, dark and goth and darkly goth yet in an arty way as opposed to a clumsy, guys-with-stovepipe-hats way. The one part of the video reminds me of the old US kids’ show Electric Company where the two people would complete each others’ words (YouTube keywords: electric company silhouette). But this is not as fun — or educational — as that. [5/10]

SCORE: 6.20