Fans of Feist will know that Feist is in fact Canadian singer songwriter Leslie Feist. She’s been writing and releasing music since 1999, when she released her debut album Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down). That was followed up with Let It Die in 2004 and The Reminder in 2007.
If you think the name is familiar then it’s probably due to her massive hit song ‘1234’ from her album The Reminder, which featured in an iPod Nano advert, and later was sung by Feist on her appearance on Sesame Street. And for a while, it seemed like this would what she was remembered for in the musical scene. It’s been five years since The Reminder, and reportedly there was an 18 month period during that time where Feist never even touched her guitar.
But all that is in the past with the release of Metals, which will now surely free the albatross of ‘1234’ from around her neck. It’s a beautifully crafted album full of painstakingly written songs and packed full of melody and atmosphere. But that’s not to say that it’s all soft sounds and laid back vibes. Indeed the album opener ‘The Bad In Each Other’ starts out with a cacophony of driving drums, guitar and saxophone, with her distinct voice covering the music like a blanket. Indeed other tunes such as ‘A Commotion’ and ‘How Come You Never Go There’ show that she has chops and noise when she wants to bring it. However her more melodic side is always bubbling close to the surface, and tracks like ‘Cicadas And Gulls’ and ‘Get It Wrong Get It Right’ are evidence of this, with some soft strings and piano sounds softly adding to the ambience throughout.
Metals is a fantastic release from a musician back at the top of her game, and offers much to the listener who is not familiar with Feist’s work but also has plenty for old fans. Whatever camp you fall into, this is one album well worth repeated listens. Go give it a spin.