Since I’m currently writing some posts, or perhaps I should call them articles (even though I do not consider myself a proper writer), for Norma Jean Magazine, when looking for women oriented topics of discussion , I’ve started being more interested in women and music, discovering many artists such as Cat Power or Lana del Rey. I’ve been forcing myself to pay more attention to girls in the music world, almost completely dominated by men. I already adored Neko Case, Heart, L7 or Kasey Chambers, but the challenge is to learn more and add new names to my record collection.
I had never heard of Feist, or Leslie Feist before. The way I used to process music or new bands was thanks to an external advice or tip saying “Hey Toi! You gotta check this out!” and because nobody had explicitly mentioned this artist, my brains just ignored any possible trace of her.
It had to be an unidentified girl at one of these musical forums who mentioned her and this time I paid attention. You know the best thing? This stranger is quite a bitch to me, and has sometimes tried to get on my nerves with her subtle offensive comments, but I have to admit her taste in music is outstanding.. Hello Lullaby! I’m talking about you ;-) When I read some of her comments insisting on Feist’s last album, Metals, I felt curious.
Even though she’s different, the strength of the songs, her voice, and the structure of songs, plus all the arrangements make me think of an early 1990’s Tori Amos, some of PJ Harvey, and this 1990’s wave of female artists, which shared a defying attitude wrapped in a delicacy haze. Whenever I listen to How Come You Never Go There, the redhead Tori Amos of Under The Pink era brings out in my thoughts
Apparently the Canadian artist took a break of two years because she was saturated with music, and defined herself as “emotionally deaf”, thus Metals meant some sort of comeback.
There are many aspects to highlight in this album. The opening of the album with the stomping of The Bad in Each Other is really powerful. The combination of complex arrangements featuring all kinds of instruments, more sophisticated as violas, clarinets and synths, together with the simplicity of tambourines, feet stomp, chains, and other simple percussion devices, and the standard guitars, bass and drums, adding the intensity of filling backing vocals, create amazing climax at some points. Feist’s voice, with a wide register, and that languid and nostalgic voice, is quite evoking. Some songs talk about love and despair like Comfort Me, others are full of nature imagery, as in Graveyard and Anti-pioneer, and all of them share this noticeable haze of sadness and nostalgia … perfect for this time in the year.
Metals in one of these albums born to be listened at maximum intimacy, better if alone, and with a subtle light. A candle, a glass of red wine, and your blanket would make the experience completely fulfilling.
If I was to define this album with just one adjective, that would be BEAUTIFUL.