Feist has released a second taste of her fifth solo album, and first record in almost six years, Pleasure (out April 28). Like the title track, which dropped in March, “Century” finds Feist’s voice caked in reverb, and accompanied predominantly by an aggressively strummed guitar. Dissonance gives way to a legit, coo-assisted hook (“Someone who will lead you to someone who will lead you to someone who will lead you to the one at the end of the century...”), which in turn gives way to a spoken word section from Britpop icon Jarvis Cocker (Pulp’s lead singer).
It’s thrilling, dynamic stuff. Feist’s frequent collaborator Mocky calls Pleasure “a hard left” from Feist’s past discography in a New York Times profile on the singer that hit today. Writer Joe Coscarelli reports that the stark nature of both of Pleasure’s singles carries through on an album that consists “largely just her singular voice and guitar.”
“It can feel heavier than metal when you’re by yourself, because you can make so little seem like so much,” says Feist on her stripped-down arrangements. There may seem to be a contradiction in naming a fraught album Pleasure, but Feist says of the title, “It’s such an inaccurate, one-dimensional word that, in fact, when you look a little closer, it carries in it yearning and loss and self-punishment. Pleasure is implicit in pain, which is implicit in pleasure.”
It sounds as if Feist has mired her music in simultaneity (so modern), as her loneliness initially inspired her to record this album, but she eventually found “potent, positive solitude.” Feist told the Times, “I know less now than I ever did about how life is supposed to go. It’s relaxing.” Amen.