Feist - Pleasure: ‘rewards are apparent after a couple of listens’

Richard Godwin
New album: Feist's Pleasure

If Leslie Feist remains approximately 60 times more famous for her whimsical horror 1234 (2007) than she is for her darker confessionals then, hey, there are worse fates. With her fourth solo album the Canadian singer-songwriter continues to make music at her own sweet pace.

Pleasure, her first album in six years, is her most lo-fi collection but her most ambitious. Many of the songs approach the five-minute mark and break with conventional structures, their rewards only apparent after a couple of listens.

Century begins as a PJ Harvey-esque vamp before breaking down into a bit of home-made sci-fi, whereupon Jarvis Cocker begins muttering about how many seconds there are in a century.

The title track builds from an tentative electric guitar figure into a meditation on Pleasure that may or may not be ironic. But Baby Be Simple — just her scratchy, whooping voice and an acoustic guitar — suggest you don’t really need all the answers to find contentment. Emotional maturity, alas, doesn’t always make for the catchiest tunes.