Album: Feist, Metals (Polydor)


Having ridden that iTunes advert to million-plus sales of 2007's The Reminder, Feist here cements her position as the poster-girl for intimate US indie rock, with songs that peel back the skin of the human condition.

Time and again on Metals she poses knotty contradictions – "When you comfort me, it doesn't bring me confort, actually"; "You can't unthink a thought, either it's there or it's not", etc – in surroundings shaded by strings and sombre horns, and streaked with brittle, sometimes discordant guitars. In the latter case, "The Bad in Each Other" features a clatter of drums and skirling guitar strikingly similar to the sound of PJ Harvey's Let England Shake, while elsewhere the competing pulls of country, jazz and even minimalism find fruitful rapprochement on an album that will probably figure highly in the year-end polls.

DOWNLOAD THIS: The Bad in Each Other; The Circle Married the Line