Here are the things you need to know about Feist in order to fall in love with her and her music: she's much more than just the torch leaning against the ballad with a lone spotlight on her. In a past life, she was a shouty battle of the bands teen queen in a Calgary punk band. She's made bashful indie boys swoon with her brash riffs playing guitar with Toronto rock band By Divine Right and her shout-out fronting of Canadian indie rock genre definers Broken Social Scene. She's stubborn and meticulous about things like the EQ level on the stereo and her long honed guitar tone. She's been placed in the role of the most unlikely fashion icon, but mostly she's a tomboy who doesn't really do make-up. Onstage she can pivot between being the solo singer captivating a room with her guitar or take on the role of leading a band of 3 brothers with simple confidence.
Nobody, least of all Feist, anticipated the tremendous response listeners around the world would have to her second album Let It Die. Awards were won. Her name appeared in Best Of The Year lists. Eager bandwagon-jumpers were turned away from festival showcases. All of a sudden, a girl who was barely an unknown secret outside of Canada had top 10 radio singles filtering through malls and grocery stores.
Let It Die led right into 2007's The Reminder, which earned her four Grammy nominations, six Juno wins, the Shortlist Music Prize, and the opportunity to teach Muppets to count on Sesame Street. She made her Saturday Night Live debut and toured the world. She covered an album with Beck, recorded with Wilco and watched Stephen Colbert shimmy in a sequined "1234" jumpsuit, and made a documentary about her visual collaborators on The Reminder. And then, finally, after the seventh year, Feist rested.
In January 2011, her longtime collaborators Chilly Gonzales and Mocky arrived in Toronto to arrange 12 songs that would become her fourth studio album, Metals. Metals' aesthetic has a deliberate patience, elemental wildness and natural beauty that echoes Feist's new found observations on time. "I read a National Geographic article about soil and modern farming," she says. "The point is for food to grow, the point isn't for it to grow all at once and never grow again. Soil does its job, but unless you let it rest it can't regenerate its own minerals and do the same thing again. You just have to let it lay there under the sun, dry out, get rained on and be still a little while."