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The Way You Look at Feist, So She Appears to You

Singer-songwriter Feist.
Singer-songwriter Feist.

With her latest CD, The Reminder, the Canadian singer-songwriter Feist appears to be on her way to becoming a full-fledged star. Her previous album, Let It Die, helped solidify her as a darling of the indie-rock scene, but her major label debut is an album that both the critics and the broader public seem to love.

Coming from a history of punk rock and screamy vocals, Leslie Feist put her voice to rest and picked up a guitar to fill the void. She put her time in bands such as By Divine Right and collaborated with her boundary-pushing roommate, Peaches, and slowly began to regain her voice. On the cusp of recording Let It Die, Feist joined the Canadian indie-rock supergroup Broken Social Scene for their wildly successful You Forgot It in People.

Recorded partly in France, The Reminder rings in a sound that is altogether warming, joyful and becoming. Her folk- and jazz-tinged vocal affections garner comparisons to fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell. While she enjoys the compliment, she remarks that she hasn't spent enough time with Mitchell to call her an influence. Instead, Leslie Feist says things like Toni Morrison's narratives and the color indigo blue tend to make more of an impact. She likens influences to "an enormous sponge" songwriters squeeze out onto songs.

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