Half Free

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Half Free
U.S. Girls - Half Free.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2015
U.S. Girls chronology
Half Free
In a Poem Unlimited

Half Free is an album by U.S. Girls, the solo project of Toronto-based American musician Meghan Remy. It was released on September 25, 2015 through 4AD record label. Inspired by Sebastian Junger’s memoir War and described by its press release as "an honest and lyrically jarring exploration of emotions, drenched in a bath of raw beats and loops," the album features contributions from Remy's husband Slim Twig, producer Onakabazien, Ben Cook of Fucked Up, Amanda Crist of Ice Cream and Tony Price.[2]

Receiving a critical acclaim upon its release, the album garnered a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016,[3] and was a shortlisted finalist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.[4]


Described as an "electronic art pop record,[5] Half Free maintains the accessibility and increased production values of the previous album, Gem (2012), while revisiting some of the tape loop experimentation and dark subject matter of U.S. Girls' older works.[6] The album also incorporates a wide array of musical styles, including disco, reggae, glam rock,[7] pop, outsider music, chamber music, illbient and new wave.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Tiny Mix Tapes[8]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 79, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 14 reviews.[9] AllMusic critic Paul Simpson wrote: "Overall, Half Free straddles a neat balance between bittersweet pop hooks and murky, adventurous production."[6] Alan Ranta of Exclaim! thought that "after years of flirting with the fringes, Half Free hits the art-pop bullseye."[10] NME's Barry Nicolson stated: "This is the unmistakeable sound of a star being born: this is an album with something to say, in a voice all of its own."[11] Kevin Ritchie ofNOW thought: "Occasionally Half Free can sound dense to the point of being vexing, but its vivid imagery and striking melodies keep Remy’s more self-indulgent tendencies grounded in a classic pop sensibility."[7]

Pitchfork critic Stuart Berman also responded positively, writing: "Even as its backdrop mutates from deep-house throbs to psych-rock guitar solos, Half Free always focuses your attention to where it should be: on Remy's radiant voice and vivid storytelling."[12] Mike Opal of PopMatters stated: "Chirping Half Free‘s most compelling of its many indelible hooks, she tries to convince whoever listens 'You all have nothing here / You have so much to fear'."[13] Tiny Mix Tapes' Will Coma praised the record, writing: "Mastermind Meg Remy’s first album for the vaunted 4AD label is bursting with vivid, cracked imagination and cool mastery of slippery pop allure."[8] Brendan Telford of The Quietus described the album as "a brilliant, accessible, edgy pop record" that was made "without compromising her ideals one iota."[14]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sororal Feelings" – 2:55
  2. "Damn That Valley" – 3:11
  3. "Telephone Play No. 1" – 1:18
  4. "Window Shades" – 4:42
  5. "New Age Thriller" – 4:58
  6. "Sed Knife" – 2:42
  7. "Red Comes in Many Shades" – 5:14
  8. "Navy & Cream" – 4:16
  9. "Woman's Work" – 7:11


  1. ^ Cafolla, Anna. "U.S. Girls: A Fresh Perspective". Crack Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. ^ "U.S. Girls announces Half Free on 4AD – hear latest single 'Woman's Work'". Fact. June 30, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Junos 2016: Complete list of Juno Award nominees". CBC News, February 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Brophy, Aaron (July 14, 2016). "2016 Polaris Music Short List Is Here". Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  5. ^ O'Connell, Sharon (October 19, 2015). "US Girls: 'I like to do the opposite of everything that is making money'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Simpson, Paul. "U.S. Girls - Half Free". AllMusic. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Ritchie, Kevin (September 23, 2015). "U.S. Girls - Half Free". NOW. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Coma, Will. "U.S. Girls - Half Free". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Half Free - U.S. Girls". Metacritic. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Ranta, Alan (September 23, 2015). "U.S. Girls - Half Free". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Nicolson, Barry (September 28, 2015). "4 Albums That May Have Passed You By This Week". NME. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Berman, Stuart (September 23, 2015). "U.S. Girls - Half Free". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Opal, Mike (September 29, 2015). "U.S. Girls - Half Free". PopMatters. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Telford, Brendan (October 12, 2015). "U.S Girls - Half Free". The Quietus. Retrieved March 18, 2017.

External links[edit]