Feist – ‘Multitudes’ review: a visceral and hopeful existential voyage

On her sixth studio album, the Canadian singer-songwriter shines an optimistic light on loss and love

Leslie Feist wrote her sixth studio album Multitudes following the birth of her daughter and the sudden death of her father. Two life-changing events that happened in such close proximity pushed the Canadian singer into a new era of songwriting, allowing her to “perform” anything she wanted and, as she shared in a statement, “reveal her truth.” put in an indispensable light”. “.

Feist’s three decades as an inventive artist and visceral vocalist have included time in the Calgary punk band, indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene, multiple Grammy nominations and her massive single, ‘1234,’ which will forever be an Apple iPod Nano will be connected. Advertisement. Last year, when allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Win Butler of Arcade Fire, who Fist was supporting on tour in Ireland and the UK, she came under fire; She made the decision to leave the tour after only one show, recently describing the only performance as “out of body”.

With 2017’s ‘Pleasure’ and first new music in six years, her outward vibe turns inward, leaning into a new level of musicality and painstaking self-awareness. ‘Multipletitudes’ was written during the experimental and communal set of shows by the same name in 2021 and 2022, and the 12 poetic tracks that make up ‘Multipletitudes’ symbolize the same invention, intimacy and connection of that limited run. of performance in the round.

The album begins with the sputtering and clamoring ‘In Lightning’ and Feist controls her voice like an instrument, ranging from echoing vocals to whispers, all while crafting a tale of existential awareness. Rather than specific dread over existence, his self-examination descends on an optimistic acceptance of his innate agency: “And if I am fearful it is only because / Of the power inherent in me”.

The theme of self-enquiry continues to bubble up throughout the record like on ‘Forever Before’ as he balances questions over synths and clashing percussion. “What must end forever in order to begin?” She asks to shake vibrato over gentle guitar strumming. That thread of introspection is also present in ‘Hiding Out in the Open’, as she sings “Everybody’s Got Their Shit”, melodiously before resolving, “But who’s got the guts to sit with it?” The track takes the form of a singlong, in which Feist delivers startling revelations beneath her delicate voice, at one point offering her an antidote to the power of emotion with the words “Love isn’t something you try to do.” do / it wants to be the thing you compulsive”.

There is something pleasantly human about ‘Multiples’ and Feist’s perspective, as one experiences the ephemeral nature of life, channeled through an optimistic filter. There’s sadness, but also joy, and as the tracks roll on, you get the feeling that one cannot exist without the other.

The last line of ‘Multitudes’ captures the spirit of the album in a concise declaration. It comes at the end of the sparse acoustic track ‘Sands for Sad Friends’. In the song, Feist creates space between his words, speeding up and slowing down his lyrical delivery, sonically capturing the fluctuating nature of emotion before the lush string orchestration takes over the bridge. It’s one of the most awe-inspiring moments on the album, and she sings the final words as tears well up in her eyes. “Tremendous time / Holding out but not holding in,” she recounts before adding “And it’s from here we can really start.”


  • Release date: April 14
  • Record label: Fiction Records

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