upper waypoint

The 10 Best Bay Area Albums of 2017: Ah Mer Ah Su, 'Rebecca'

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

Though it deals with heavy subjects, Ah Mer Ah Su’s sophomore EP Rebecca cocoons her listeners in swathes of vocal loops and keyboard melodies that inspire one to imagine a world beyond oppressive forces.

But that’s not to say that Rebecca is a utopia. Its most compelling track, “Klonopin,” frankly addresses the cocktail of prescription and party drugs Ah Mer Ah Su took to cope with a friend’s suicide. “Run, run / Hide, hide,” she sings in a dreamy falsetto, as if yearning to escape into the world she creates with her drum machine and twinkling keys that evoke a toy piano.

With “Space,” which carries on at the urgent pace of Sia’s “Chandelier,” Ah Mer Ah Su processes the painful experience of dealing with men who are ashamed of their attraction to trans women. (In interviews, she’s been candid in addressing violence against trans women at the hands of romantic partners.)


As Ah Mer Ah Su told me earlier this year, the title Rebecca comes from Beyoncé’s immortal words “He better call Becky with the good hair” on Lemonade, and “Meg Ryan” is where Ah Mer Ah Su delves into the “Becky” concept: In the track’s music video, she saunters around town in a blond wig, repeating the refrain “I’m a white woman / I can do whatever I want” in a valley girl voice.

The track provides much-needed comedic relief for Rebecca‘s difficult subject matter, but that’s not to say it’s a dour record. Quite the opposite, actually: Despite the hardships she’s endured, Ah Mer Ah Su finds ways to create gorgeous, imaginative sounds, interweaving clever societal commentary throughout.

Click here to see the rest of our favorite Bay Area albums of 2017.

lower waypoint
next waypoint
The Best Filipino Restaurant in the Bay Area Isn’t a Restaurant at AllYour Favorite Local Band Member Is Serving You Pizza in the Outer RichmondAndrew McCarthy Hunts the ‘Brat Pack’ Blowback in New Hulu DocumentaryGolden Boy Pizza Is Where You Want To End Your NightToo Short, Danyel Smith and D’Wayne Wiggins Chop It Up About The TownA Lakeview Rap Legend Returns With a Live Band‘Erotic Resistance’ Reveals the Historical Defiance of San Francisco Sex WorkersThe 19 Movies NPR Critics Are Most Excited About This SummerBiko Eisen-Martin’s New Play Grapples With a 1966 Uprising in Hunters PointQueenie’s Second Life on Screen Gives Her More Room to Grow