Feist Brings “Pleasure” To The People

Hard to believe it’s been ten years since Feist’s The Reminder hit the scene, surely one of the great albums of the 21st century so far. Beautifully-written songs glowing with originality and covering a lot of ground – indie, jazz, electronica and a cloying smash pop hit. On her last album, 2011’s Metals, she stepped back from the spotlight with a more introspective offering, exploring less conventional song structures and themes than before.

Now, six years later, Feist is set to release her fifth studio album Pleasure, and judging from the title track that came out this week, it sounds like she may be trying to merge her approaches to the last two albums. The song is introspective and celebratory at the same time, with different sections offering different takes on the crazy, wonderful, mysterious thing we call pleasure.

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It’s all decidedly lo-fi, sounding raw and raggedy and off-the-floor. Feist’s distinctive acoustic guitar plinking sounds so honest and pure, just like her distinctive vocals do. There are atmospheric keyboard drones and some chunky electric guitar chords, and a beautiful harmonized middle section that bravely takes on the genetic determinism that drives us all:

Oh, an echo calls up the line
An indication of time
Our togetherness
That is how we evolved
We became our needs
Ages up inside
Escaping similar pain
Dreaming safe and secure
Generations in line
Old and then the youth
Come to meet or fade
A chromosomal raid
Built by what we got built for
As much as what we avoid
So the mystery lifts
We know enough to admit

The back-and-forth concludes with Feist declaring that pleasure “is what we’re here for”, and the song crescendoes into voices chanting the word “pleasure” pep rally-style, like they used to do at Hef’s mansion back in the day. It’s an amazing, weird and wonderful song, you need to listen to it a few times to catch everything going on here. Can’t wait for the album.

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