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Feist


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Wide-ranging alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, Metals (2011)

See also:

Feist's site

Comparisons:

Heather Nova, Liz Phair, Mary Margaret O'Hara

Covers/own material:

Own, co-written, and covers

General comments:

Feist plays around the Toronto area I believe but came from Calgary originally. I guess if you must categorize, it's edgy pop rock with some slow ballads. She is an excellent song writer, has a crisp clear beautiful voice, and has the talent to put it all together to assemble superb songs. I put her right up there with the best young talent emerging on the music scene today. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

Leslie Feist's voice is reminiscent of Heather Nova on her debut album. (colford@chlotrudis.org)

Comments about live performance:

Feist was charming and funny and the first song she played was so much like Mary Margaret O'Hara that I was having chills, and the last on that Omitron thing (or whatever the heck that thing was) was brilliant. (3/00)
     GO SEE HER!!!! At our house she was quite loopy, but still wonderful. In the five years since she has evolved into an accomplished artist who deserves everything she's getting. We saw her at Joe's Pub, and it was an extraordinary show. It was a lot of fun. She and her band didn't exactly recreate the album on stage, which I appreciated. She's got a fine band these days, which consisted of a drummer, a trombone player (who also did some hand percussion), and a guy playing some keyboard instrument through a cabinet that I couldn't quite figure out—it was in an antique-looking wooden case about the size of a spinet piano, but it produced synthesizer sounds and was the only possible source of the bass in all of the songs.
     They left Leslie alone on the stage for a good chunk in the middle of the set, and she accompanied herself on the same big red Fender guitar she'd played at our place, with all sorts of cool effects and looping going on. The music was great. (3/05), meth@smoe.org)

Feist played Schubas last night. She is amazing. I've tried to figure out how to describe her that will do justice, but I'm not up to the task. She's just very very cool, on record, and even more live. She's like a bluesy/rocky Mary Margaret O'Hara. Cracked and wonderful. (9/05), vickie@enteract.com)

Recommended first album:

Let It Die

Recordings:


Monarch Lay Your Jeweled Head Down

Release info:

1999—Bobby Dazzler Records—BODA-004

Availability:

Out of print

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Leslie Feist—vocals, guitars

Guest artists:

Dan Kurtz—bass
Josh Hicks—drums
Jamie Shields—keyboards
Martin Tielli—on 1 track
José Contreras—on 1 track
Simon Craig on 1 track
Gonzales—melodica on 1 track
Daniel Stone, Juriji Kojne—percussion
String Quartet:
     Daddy Szigeti—arrangements
     Sandy Baron—violin
     Akiko Kojima—violin
     Pam Bettger—viola
     Alex MacMaster—cello

Produced by:

Dan Kurtz

Comments:

I find this one uneven, however, it has utterly sublime moments. Feist has a lovely, evocative voice that utterly shines on some tracks, most especially the gorgeous "La Sirena"—what a great performance and terrific songwriting—this is one that I find in my head often. There's a range of styles here, something from everyone from brooding pop "Still True" to light pop "Flight #303" to the simple pop/rock of "Cool to Love Your Family" to the country pop of "The Mast" to the oddly edgy "New Torch" to the haunting "La Sirena". This is a promising beginning, and Feist's vocals are beguiling throughout. (Neile)

Another album that I've really been digging is Leslie Feist's album. boy can she write some simple and wonderful songs. I absolutely LOVE the string arrangements, especially on the title track "Monarch". I think the fact that the strings are poorly recorded adds to the character of the arrangements. The album has some stand-out spots (especially the string arrangements) but overall is uneven. (paul2k@aol.com)

I was immediately impressed by the opening cut "Cool to Love Your Family" a good-feeling rocking song. At first I thought it had to be some kind of anti-family song, it took me by surprise that it's cool to love your family is the message. Anyway, that song alone is worth the price of the CD. The rest of the CD takes even more serious listening, and I would say headphones would greatly enhance the listening experience. There is a lot going on, and I feel it's a CD that requires 100% listener participation, it does not work as background music, and I think that's a high compliment for any art work. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

I am really enjoying the CD. Pretty straightforward pop-rock, with excellent use of a string quartet on a lot of the songs. "Cool to Love Your Family" reminded me of a gentler Liz Phair, but the more I listen to the CD, the more I think of Heather Nova. Pretty cool stuff. (colford@chlotrudis.org)


Let It Die

Release info:

2004—Arts-Crafts (Canada)—A&C 007

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Leslie Feist—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Gonzales
Julien Chirol—trombone
Frédéric Couderc

Produced by:

V V

Comments:

What a terrific album! (At least until the second to last track when she decides to cover disco-era Bee Gees which is a tragic falling off, but the previous nine tracks are ALL wonderful.) She has such a lovely, lively voice. Here again the album has a range of styles, this time with a decidedly French chanson touch to the collection. Highly, highly recommended. (Neile)

although Feist's debut album Monarch never hit me upside the head demanding repeated listens, this one will be lodged in my top ten for the year most definately...just a stunning album. (gordoja@optonline.net)

Usually, pastiche makes me hurl. This album, however, has taught me the error of my ways, as each song reveals an affection for the relevant style and a sincere and refereshing approach and delivery. Lovely, lovely, lovely. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)


open season (remixes and collabs)

Release info:

2006—Arts & Crafts—B000EZ902A; 2006—Interscope Records—B000F39MEM

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Feist fans

Group members:

Leslie Feist—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Julian Brown, Mocky, VV (Renaud Letang and Gonzales), k-os, the Postal Service, John Kong—remixes
Readymade FC, Jane Birkin, Gonzales—collabs

Comments:

Not generally being much of a fan of remixes, I'm surprised how much I like this album. It starts off showing its intention to be a little different with Gonzales' siki piano version of "One Evening". There are 4 versions of "Mushaboom" and two of "Gatekeeper" which is probably a little much, but I actually like the version of "Inside + out" here (I hated the one on Let It Die). Besides, it adds the love "Snow Lion", and her duet with Jane BIrkin "The Simple Story", and "Lovertits", a Peaches song. (Neile)

The Reminder

Release info:

2007—Polydor

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Feist—vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, banjo; piano (5)

Guest artists:

Gonzales—piano, organs, vibraphone, drums
Jesse Baird—drums
Mocky—acoustic bass, drums; farfisa (3); organ (13)
Bryden Baird—trumpet, flugel horn, percussion
Julian Brown—electric bass, melodica
Jamie Lidell—energy arrangement and singing (1)
Town Hall (Jamie Liddell, Julian Brown, Bryden Baird, Mocky, Jesse Baird, Gonzales, Feist)—group percussion, backing vocals
Eirik Galmbek Boe—vocals (13)
Afie Jurvanen—lead guitar (6)
Kevin Draw, Brendan Canning—backing vocals (12)
Pierre Luc Jamain—organ bass (12)
Ben MInk—string, rhythm acoustic guitar (9)
Ohad Benchetrit and Chalres Spearin—the myster (3)
Lori Gemmel—harp
Sandra Baron—violin
Mary Stein—cello

Produced by:

Gonzales, Feist, Renaud Letang

Comments:

One of my favorites of 2007. (gordoja@optonline.net)

One of my favourite albums of 2007. This is her most consistently good album yet (I found Monarch had a few great spots and Let Me In had many, while this is all great). She's just getting better and better. I'm amazed but am happy not to question how popular she is with the indie kids. She deserves all the popularity—her music is so widely appealing but such a cut above the usual things that have wide appeal.
     Hooray for Feist! (Neile)

ubiquitous, yes, and for a reason ... not as good as Let It Die, but that was one tough act to follow. (meth@smoe.org)


Metals

Release info:

2011—Polydor

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Feist—guitars, organ, piano

Guest artists:

Mocky—drums, acoustic bass, electric bass, piano
Chilly Gonzales—piano, organ, electric bass, drums
Brian Lebarton—organs, synths, piano, electric bass, drums
Dean Stone—drums, percussion
Colin Steetson—bass, baritone sax, tenor sax, bass clarinet, tenor clarinet, French horn, flute, trumpet
Evan Cranley—euphonium, trombone
Bry webb—vocals (1)
Irene Sazzer—violin, group vocals
Alisa Rose—violin, group vocals
Dina Maccabee—viola, group vocals,
Jessie Ivry—cello, group vocals

Produced by:

Feist, Chilly Gonzales, Mocky, Valgeir Sigurðsson

Comments:

Another fine album by Feist. Pop and charming, yet edgy enough to hold my interest throughout. (Neile)

I don't think this is on a par with her first two albums, but it's still very good. I miss her playful, upbeat side. This is much more samey and mellow, but her voice is still spectacular. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

One of the best albums of the year. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I want to like this more than I do and certainly more than I thought I would. I loved it on first listening, but the love kind of peaked, and I didn't get as much nutrition out of it as I'd hoped. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)


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Entry last updated 2012-09-03 20:17:06.
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