By Nicholas Jennings on Saturday, 01 October 2011
Category: Reviews

Feist - Metals

Feist’s transformation from indie-pop darling to household name was as simple as “1234.” The song became a runaway hit after being featured in a commercial for Apple’s iPod Nano. Its album, The Reminder, sold a million copies and Feist was soon touring the world and appearing on Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street, where she taught Muppets to count along to the numerically-themed song.

Born to artist parents in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Leslie Feist played in a Calgary punk-rock band before moving to Toronto and joining the art-rock collective Broken Social Scene. Feist’s solo career soared with the romantic, French cafe vibe of Let It Die. Its followup, The Reminder, recorded outside Paris, enhanced the chanteuse factor, with gorgeous, heartbroken confessionals. After touring for several years, Feist rested. “I needed to take such a breather after The Reminder,” she explains, “to give myself a clean slate to work on a new vocabulary—a new set of words.”

Metals, recorded in Big Sur, California, presents a startling new slate. From the bluesy swing of “How Come You Never Go There” and the edgy stomp of “The Bad in Each Other” to the chaotic urgency of “A Commotion,” this is Feist at her feistiest. Meanwhile, intimacy and introspection pervades much of the album and its quieter songs, including the piano-laced “Caught a Long Wind” and the sea-swept “Cicadas and Gulls,” are some of her loveliest. With Metals, Feist mixes hard and soft alloys to forge an album of rare depth and beauty.