‘Pleasure’ by Feist: The ultimate “1234”
On March 14, 2017 celebrated Indie Pop/Folk vocalist Feist released the first new track off of her upcoming album: “Pleasure.” “Pleasure” is a progression yet an escape from her past work. The single is yet another track in a train of works that stylistically, vocally, contextually, and severely differs from her mainstream hit, “1234” off of 2007’s The Reminder. Contrasting “1234”, “Pleasure” is a sensual, stripped-down, Baroque-pop-leaning exploration of our carnal instincts as human beings and a Freudian analysis of what motivates men and women.
The track takes what seems like an eternity to get started; vocals and noticeable instrumentals aren’t apparent until the 30-second mark. The initial lyrics, “Get What I Want”, begin Feist’s vague and raw introspective on what motivates and initiates her sexual and emotional attraction to someone. Feist’s lyrics never come-right-out and talk about her attraction or motivations; instead she uses lines such as “I make sense of such a serious thing”, and “We became our needs”, to allude to a deeper, more base construct.
Instrumentally, the first minute-and-a-half sounds like vintage Feist. The down tempo electric guitar and minimal percussion reminds the listener of many tracks off of Metals, and The Reminder. At about the two-minute mark, though, the guitars pick up and produce a sequence that could only be described as a blend of classic rock, country, and aggressive folk. In other words, a guitar sequence that is completely new for Feist. Shocking as it was, the guitar sequence lasted for approximately ten seconds, allowing listeners to get a glimpse into what’s possibly to come on the rest of her album. The rest of the song then employs the use of distant horns. These horns paired with the pastoral guitar and her concise yet sharp vocals give the song an almost animalistic feel.
Also in the “Pleasure” Family:
Neko Case: “Middle Cyclone”
Grizzly Bear: “Hold Still”
Jose Gonzalez: “With the Ink of a Ghost”
Feist’s vocal delivery very nearly resemble many standouts on 2011’s Metals. As Feist matures as a singer/songwriter, she takes fewer vocal risks, and carefully includes large, grand choruses and melodies. “Pleasure” finds Feist mostly maintaining the same volume and even melodic structure. The repeated ”we admit”, was the most drastic vocal climb she undertook. Again, this is a mass departure from “1234”, a radio-ready song full of vocal gymnastics and soaring melodies. The grittiness and utilitarian feel of “Pleasure” was exemplified by Feist’s voice saying only what needed to be said, at a volume discernible yet elusive. Feist utilizes quick, snappy stretches of lyrics made more for close listening and immediate interpretation. Yet the track also includes short stretches of drawn-out and accentuated verses representative of longing and neglect.
Note: Feist announced on March 14 that her upcoming album, also titled Pleasure will be released on April 28 by Interscope Records.
All Images From: Musical Toronto