Mentions of Leslie Feist have been making the rounds amongst music-related sites as of late – and with good reason. Her second album, Let It Die, has been on the minds and speakers of music aficionados since its release nearly a year ago and Feist (who performs under her surname) has been loosely dubbed as a modern-day Joni Mitchell.
The Canadian-born Feist got her start playing in a high-school rock band and over the years, eventually landed a gig as a guitarist for rock outfit, By Divine Right.
In between touring for the band, Feist wrote and recorded her first album, Monarch (Lay Down Your Jeweled Head). The record had a limited release (and is sadly out of print and extremely hard to find), but introduced her unique indie-pop sound which I could only best describe as a more coherent Cat Power. It’s lo-fi production seemed to befit the record’s overall mood.
‘It’s Cool To Love Your Family,’ the album’s first track, is an infectious, up-tempo pop song complete with violin, while ‘La Sirena’ serves as a beautiful, four-and-a-half minute soothing haze.
Nearly five years later, Feist’s second album, Let It Die, was released via Arts & Crafts, and suddenly, a buzz began to form and continues to do so. Let It Die puts Feist into a category all her own. It could be her hushed alto voice, which is both warm and unassuming. Or maybe the subtle, but perfectly placed use of strings and guitar that set the album’s mood. Whatever it is, Let It Die boasts so many strong tracks that it’s difficult to choose favorites.
The undeniable catchiness of ‘Mushaboom’ and Feist’s perfect interpretation of the Bee Gee’s ‘Inside And Out’ could surely be a radio hits if given the opportunity. ‘One Evening’ is superb too, with its traces of nostalgic 70’s groove and it’s ‘ba-ba’ chorus. From start to finish, Let It Die is no sophomore slump.
A huge marketing push is planned to accompany an American release of Let It Die, which is currently set for April 2005. The album is currently available as a European import.