By Maria Caetano
Leslie Feist, once again back to the starting point of the cycle of songs, is issuing the successor to 2011 Metals. Pleasure, the new album, will be released on April 28, and an eponymous first single is already up for airplay. What’s in Pleasure? Primal rock tunes and a primeval epiphany: the genius of species is, largely and still, the one in command. A spoiler alert for life: beware of Canadian rock singers and of 19th century German philosophers.
The deterministic view on love, coupling and sex by Arthur Schopenhauer in a an essay written two centuries ago (Metaphysics of Love) had the effect of sending in (just) one more dark cloud to hang over the heads of romanticism adepts, and of putting it plainly: you do not fall in love, you fall for a trick of nature – ordering you to have kids of the best possible outcome. Contemporizing, in 2017, Leslie Feist removes children from the equation, and love: pleasure is a mysterious thing and there’s more to it than one’s own will.
“We became our needs/Ages up inside/Escaping similar pain/Dreaming safe and secure/Generations in line/Old and then the youth/Come to meet or fade/A chromosomal raid,” Feist sings. Freedom, subjectivity, individuality are put into question, even at our own pleasure. Accordingly, guitar rock defiance is in order. The apex grows from synth, picks and a first languid build-up in Feist’s voice – “Get what I want/And still it’s a mysterious thing that I want” – elastic to highs and lows in an upbeat accelerating song that concedes to clapping, chorus and background vocals. Songwriter Mocky pairs with Feist to produce the record and co-writes Pleasure. Renaud Letang is also producing.
Pleasure is a garden, as illustrated in the record’s artwork, where you may not be picking anything exactly in accordance to your own free will, as jolly as you may feel when hopping inside. And Pleasure is also an album with the faculty to please on a first-listen basis, if our instinct serves us right.