You may not have heard of Leslie Feist, but you will have undoubtedly heard her in one form or another. A chameleon of the indie world, her file is about an inch thick - ranging from a stint as Peaches flat mate, through collaborations with Gonzales and Jamie Lidell to her most recognised role as a contributor to the sprawling Canadian folk collective Broken Social Scene.
With new album The Reminder, Feist is setting out on her own for the third time - although even with some major label backing things haven't solidified any more. The slightly schizophrenic style of this multi-tasker is still the main way of describing her sound (Pitchfork described it as "folky, discoy" - but even that barely scratches the surface). Slipping between heartbreaking vocals (The Park), haunting piano (The Water), and a couple of Róisín Murphy style indie-dance (some might say folky-discoy) numbers in the shape of Sealion and the slightly more focused stand-out track, single My Moon My Man.
Acoustic guitars and hand claps dominate Past In Present, which somehow reminds me of Boys Of Summer in the best possible way. "Don't look back, you can never look back!" When the dust settles however It's the sparse vocal tracks that really grab the attention here, and when the mood catches you this can be an enchanting album - with album closer How My Heart Behaves stealing the show (...not including the pointless 'bonus track' a live version of one we heard about 5 minutes ago - why do they bother breaking up the flow of an album with these things?).
You can check out three 'webisodes' for the album at the links below:
My Moon My Man