Feist — Pleasure

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Feist, the Canadian singer-song writer who has been in hiatus from the spotlight for the past six years, is finally releasing a new album at the end of April. This will be her fifth original studio album, not including Open Season, a collection of remixes. Feist has a unique voice. She is at once ethereal and ageless, delivering lyrics that are poetic, meandering, fractured, often set against music of contrasting lightness. Let it Die and The Reminder are two albums that demonstrated hope and exuberance, even in the light of lurking heartbreak. Tracks like Mushaboom, 1234, and I Feel It All sparkle with liveliness. The Reminder in particular is a collection of songs that do not necessarily tell one story, some stand out as singular observations, or recordings of particular moments. Her last release Metals showed a more subdued side, with more reflective meditations of love and songs that reflected the surrounding of her studio — The Big Sur.

Feist’s latest album, Pleasure, promises to be a further departure into darker expanses of the psyche, if the first two tracks released from the album are anything to judge it by. Century is s confrontation with time and the loneliness of existence. The explosive beating drums mirror this sentiment. Near the end, after a brief pause, Jarvis Cocker’s voice weighs with additional solemnity, reciting a monologue that contemplates the length of a century. It’s an uncomfortable experience overall, but brimming with at the wirey energy the air takes on before a storm. Gone is any trace of the poppy sound that graced her first two albums. The titular track Pleasure is more sparse. Tinny guitar plucking and Fest’s voice, by turns raspy and soothing intertwine into a hypnotic, textured, hypnotic sound. Her punk background is most evident here. This is probably the most raw that she has been on a recording, and the risk certainly pays off. In her honest, fascinating interview with Pitchfork Feist reveals an ongoing struggle with depression. This experience has seeped into the album in a productive form and I am looking forward to hearing more of this new exploration. Pleasure is due to come out 28th April, but Feist is giving access to the album two days early for those who are willing to hold a listening party. You can sign up here.