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.