Saturday, September 30, 2006
Feast of Feist
Ok, now a personal rave about a musician who is QUITE UNdisintegrating and has actually made this particular KNOCK-OUT punch In One Round (cause for seein' stars, angels, boi-oi-oingin bedsprings, bells, and tweety birds circlin around the head of the floored-in-the-best-sense-of-the-word listener) record in 2004 and is still touring under the snowballing rep from it.
I'm talking about Let It Die by the chanteuse canadienne Feist otherwise known as Leslie Feist. Feist, now living in Paris, is accompanied by her musical partner, Chilly Gonzales, a veritable WIZARD of restrained electronica and together they serve up something rare. The record evidences how much can be done with the deft placement of a DJ style record scratch, or acoustic guitar juxtaposed with claps, and simple keyboard grooves that shift in shape and tone - all seducing the ear with surprise. When you find yourself at the end of the record you've been guided by a voices and whispers through a house of colored rooms accessible through sliding doors, staircases that disappear behind you, liquid mirrors, and hidden locks. You're out the back door into long grass of the yard, giving the dog a pet and ready to head back in the front door and do it all over.
This is one of those records I play in the car and then circle around the neighborhood - at a suspicious, curtain-lifting 10 miles an hour - because I don't want to get home quite yet...
Every song is an unpredictable variation of Folk-Pop-Trip-hop-R&B originals and re-workings - if you need to nail it with a label. Despite the forbidding title, Let It Die is largely a euphoric feast but no piece of fluff emotionally.
Feist has a gorgeous voice and delivery that has drawn a slew of comparisons but my first take on it was a taste of Dusty Springfield. In past musical configurations Leslie was heavy on the screaming and 'threw out' her voice. During her sabbatical from singing she practiced guitar and slowly worked her way back into - well, fuhchrissakes, you really gotta check it out!
* i like this live clip of her singing Secret Heart on youtube