Tuesday, May 15, 2007

In House #1870: New Releases From Feist, Rufus Wainwright

The music of Canadian singer Leslie Feist is a study in contrasts, much like the musical path she's taken since she was a teenager. The Reminder, her third release as simply Feist, jumps and mixes genres, wrapping her smooth vocals around pop, jazz, bossa nova, and indie forms, as well as hybrids thereof. With such versatility on display, it shouldn't necessarily surprise that she got her start fronting a Calgary punk band before going on to serve as one of the essential ingredients in the Toronto-based musical collective Broken Social Scene. New songs like "So Sorry," and "The Water," testify to her strength as a torch song singer, while she appropriates Nina Simone's own appropriation of "Sea Lion Woman," into something synth-tinged and glorious. For months prior to its release, the buzz was that The Reminder would be the effort that announced Feist to the world at large. It seems that it's succeeded in that capacity, and then some.

Also today, out this week is Rufus Wainwright's fifth studio full-length, entitled Release the Stars. The album once again finds Wainwright's recognizable voice skirting over lushly orchestrated, at times almost operatic, pop. As has been the case with recent efforts, he delves further into socio-political commentary in new songs like "Going to a Town," (with its refrain of "I'm so tired of America") and "Do I Disappoint You," both at least partially addressing a society that seems obsessed with topics like gay marriage, gay adoption, etc. Recorded in Berlin and London with Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, Release the Stars and its theatrics do nothing to diminish the reputation of an increasingly outspoken, if occasionally over-reaching, talent.

In House #1870.
Airdate: 5/15/07
Focus: New releases from Feist, The Reminder, and Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars, plus new music from Ferraby Lionheart, Grant-Lee Phillips, The Sea & Cake, and more.

Feist, from The Reminder:
  • "Sea Lion Woman" (MP3)

    Rufus Wainwright, from Release the Stars:
  • "Between My Legs" (MP3)


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