Sydney – Tuesday 8 August, 2017. For more than a decade, Canadian singer, songwriter and musician Feist has helped define her times. Now an artist who has resolutely defied categorisation – even when it was ‘best-selling indie-folk sensation’ – will make her long-awaited Sydney Opera House debut in the Concert Hall this December.
2017 finds Feist in inimitable form. Ten years after hooking millions of mainstream ears with 1234, the impossibly catchy ditty that launched an iPod ad, she has recently delivered her fifth solo album – the raw, experimental Pleasure – and the title track of Canadian collective Broken Social Scene’s first album in seven years, Hug of Thunder, which AllMusic called “a master class in balancing mood and melody.”
As Pleasure and Hug of Thunder attest, Feist has spent the years between doing what she does best: evolving her art, taking one of contemporary music’s most exquisite voices into new, ever-more challenging territory. Her 2011 release, Metals, was “her best album, a mood piece … an emotional gut-punch,” as Rolling Stone saw it. Six years on, Pleasure – which Clash Music described as “a document of stark beauty that’s entirely and unequivocally her own” – marks another major step change.
The Canadian’s return to the stage this year, too, reflects how far she has voyaged from her indie-folk roots. Feist will play the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall with the close, three-piece band of keyboards, percussion and strings that showcased her electric guitar prowess “using fuzzy guitar chords to slice the air,” as the LA Times said of her recent sold-out Palace Theatre gig, which she followed with what The Telegraph’s James Hall hailed as “an inventive evening of extraordinary musicianship” at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire late last month.
"Leslie Feist is one of the most compelling and restless artists working today and it is an honour to present her Sydney Opera House debut," said Ben Marshall, Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House.
"Feist's impeccable artistic integrity has led her to a raw, austere investigation of imperfection and yearning on Pleasure, her powerful new record. Her charismatic presence, with all its swagger and gleam, is still second only to that voice - pure, grand and vulnerable. Experience Feist's stark, elemental evocations of nature, love and life on the Concert Hall stage this summer. You won't regret it."