Leslie Feist is at the top of her form in her latest dramatic and soulful release, “Metals.”
You might remember her as the indie darling featured in those iPod Nano commercials for the song “1234,” but “Metals,” released Oct. 4, is so much more dark and authentic.
If her 2007 release “The Reminder” was a seaside summer, “Metals” is the chilly autumn that follows.
Created in a small house between the Pacific Ocean and California’s coastal mountains, what resulted from those two-and-a-half weeks of recording is folksier and more bluesy than the music that made Feist a household name. Even so, her latest is stronger, more confident and beautiful.
Just because there’s no track to match the catchy pop of “1234” or “My Moon, My Man,” doesn’t mean you won’t be hearing “Metals” around town in coffee shops or passing cars.
With its whispery harmonies and occasional songs about birds, Feist diehards will have plenty to smile and/or cry about in this album. Here’s just a peek at what is available in the twelve-track masterpiece:
“The Bad in Each Other”
With its percussive and electric guitar opening, the start to “Metals” is a heavy and striking one, preparing the listener for the rest of what will be a breathtaking and unexpected album. Feist’s first words, “speak plain,” aren’t just meant for herself, but for all willing to listen.
In this slow-building piece, Feist repeats the plea “bring them all back to life,” and touches on the listeners’ nostalgic desires for things long past, things long missed. Toward the end, a triumphant yet mournful horn section joins a choir of Feist’s multi-layered vocals.
“How Come You Never Go There?”
This bluesy, piano-heavy piece lurches forward with its unfamiliar time signature. More “My Moon, My Man” than “1234,” and with a sound undeniably belonging to the indie queen’s, this track is an instant Feist classic.
With a muffled drumming and guitar, Feist’s whispers glow like a candle before suddenly coming to a crescendo into flames with tambourine battling her multi-layered vocals for attention. Feist seems to be begging for something – the question is what. The song finally explodes with soaring vocals and loud electric guitar strums.
This acoustic tune has Feist confessing, “When you comfort me, it doesn’t bring me comfort, actually.” This track shows that even after her short absence, she still knows how to sonically break hearts.
“Get it Wrong, Get it Right”
This concluding note to the recording is truly bittersweet. Feist and her guitar are accompanied by soft ambience from sleigh bells, tambourines and brushed drums. This song of trees and skipping stones as it grows cold outside feels especially wintery when the piano kicks in. The track is a great final chapter for the album but listeners will find themselves going back for more.