Canadian indie pop singer Feist’s new album starts with a bit of a red herring. “In Lightning” opens with a cacophony of voices, sounding like something you’d hear out of a Björk experiment. It’s brash, and only really comes together at the end, but Multitudes, the album that follows it, is a much more inviting record than the opener suggests.
The record only really raises its voice on “Borrow Trouble”, with a commanding vocal performance similar to Florence + The Machine’s latest work on Dance Fever. She comes especially alive on the outro, when her screams of “Trouble!” sound more like cries for help instead of imbued with musicality.
For the most part, Multitudes is a warm, quiet record whose strength lies in its writing — and at 10 folk pop tracks, it runs a little thin. It’s a bit amorphous, with shiny lyricism peeking out if you’re lucky enough to catch it (“Love is not a thing you try to do / It wants to be the thing compelling you”; And I commiserate with you / Who made the parallel mistakes / That add up to our greying braids”), and it rarely surprises.
The record often deals with a heavy sadness — her father passed away in the spring of 2021, and on songs like “Martyr Moves” she reckons with the strength it takes to grieve. “My hope is a flickering flame / Which I’ve found it increasingly hard to explain / But I’ll try / In the family forge I got burned,” she says on one standout line. “Redwing”, too, touches on the fleeting blip of a life: “The endless weight of our lives / Can be lifted up like wings.”
Multitudes doesn’t stray from its formula of simple ballads, save from the eerie undertones on “Rings Off” or the ethereal voices on “Calling All The Gods”. Multitudes isn’t a knockout, but through its duration, its simple harmonies and quiet demeanor are a nice stay.
Pre-order Multitudes by Feist HERE
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