Feist
Pleasure
Interscope

With dirty jagged stabs of guitar permeating the eerie soundscape of the opening title track of her fifth studio album, Canadian indie-pop musician Leslie Feist takes another step away from the quirky folk of her 2006 breakout hit, 1234. Pleasure is a song of slow-burning intensity that brings to mind the rawness of early P.J. Harvey, especially with the handclap finale, a vibe that continues through the intimate, acoustic-driven I Wish I Didn’t Miss You and the hard-rocking Century (featuring a dark, poetic interlude from Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker). The stripped-back sound, built around her guitar and minimal musical accompaniment, creates a shadowy, haunting tone that highlights soulful lyrics and a sublime delivery. But there are moments of playfulness in the darkness. Feist has talked of writing this somewhat ironically titled album while battling depression. Still, the intense honesty of I’m Not Running Away and Lost Dreams helps make Pleasure her most personal and, yes, pleasurable album to date.