Pre-review: Feist drops latest album ‘Pleasure’ tomorrow!

feist pleasure

It has been six years since Feist released her album, Metals, the followup to her critically acclaimed album, The Reminder. Tomorrow she will grace the world once again with her latest album, Pleasure!

It has been a long time coming, and after listening to Metals on repeat for the last two weeks, I can say I am thoroughly excited to hear what musical direction she takes next. Metals was indeed a step in a more personal direction from The Reminder. The album was criticized as having lacked singles that stood up to hits such as “1234” and “My Moon My Man”. Slant Magazine stated that the album had no “real spark to it”. Additionally, Lindsay Zoladz of Pitchfork Media stated, “it feels like such a refreshing and slyly badass statement of artistic integrity” but still that “it doesn’t reach The Reminder‘s heights.”

Despite a few comments insisting Metals needed something more, the album overall got scores ranging from C to B pluses from various other sources and was considered a success. The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 selling 38,000 copies its first week, whereas The Reminder debuted at No. 16 and sold only 31,000 copies. Granted the albums were released at two different periods in Feist’s musical career,  it feels good knowing the artists you love are succeeding in their craft regardless of criticism.

I would agree that Metals really had no “true” singles to speak of, but in my opinion, it didn’t need them. The album is a book rather than a collection of news clippings. The tracks flow into one another like the turning of pages. The print is faded in some places and bold in others. Beyond the words there are fingerprints, smudges and coffee stains, the cohesive bits holding what you hear together, in other words the silence. With Metals, you have to listen more carefully to the subtle nuances than on The Reminder. Feist has refined her art, and so it takes an even more refined palette to taste the notes this time around.

The opening track to Metals titled, “The Bad In Each Other”, is no doubt one of my favorite tracks on the album. The guitar lick and subtle percussion at the beginning of the track carries you off almost instantly. The weight of the swelling horns and strings makes you feel like you’re floating down a “neon river” of thick molasses right up until the chorus.

“When a good man and a good woman / Can’t find the good in each other / Then a good man and a good woman / Will bring out the worst in the other / The bad in each other”.

Feist’s delivery of the chorus, although solemn, has a lightness that contrasts well with the verses. If you have the refined palette I mentioned earlier, at this point you can almost taste that first single. Still, the inflection of her words leaves something to be desired. It’s generally an artistic choice of hers to swing her words in ways a pop singer wouldn’t, but if the audience can’t sing it, the song might suffer at the hand of critical sources.

So what is to be expected from Feist after her last project? Will she take the criticism of news sources to heart and strive for an album more reminiscent of The Reminder? I believe it to be unlikely. I believe she will continue to make the music she wishes to make and will stray away from making pop records.

Unfortunately, my opinion is slightly biased due to the fact she released two tracks on Soundcloud, both of which I recently listened to. The tracks are titled, “Pleasure” (after the name of the album) and “Century” featuring Jarvis Cocker. Both of the tracks at first glance sound fairly similar to something you would hear on Metals. They both have an acoustic room feel paired with a distorted or clipping effect on the vocals, however, I am not sure if this is intentional in each of the songs or to keep pirates at bay. Either way, tomorrow is right around the corner. I hope all you Feist fans are excited.

What are your thoughts about the article? Are you a Feist fan? What are your favorite tracks from her last several albums?

If you want to hear more from Feist, click here.

 

 

 

 

April 25th Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald

ella-fitzgerald

Today marks the centennial of American jazz singer, Miss Ella Jane Fitzgerald. She was born on April 25th, 1917 and passed away June 15th, 1996 due to complications from diabetes.

Ella Fitzgerald was discovered during an amateur night at the Apollo theater in Harlem. She was often referred to as the “First Lady of Song”, “Queen of Jazz” and “Lady Ella”. Her first big hit, “A Tisket, A Tasket” was released in 1938, which was written by both Ella and Chick Webb. She had a remarkable talent for singing and was most noted for her pure tone, improvisational ability and scat singing.

Norman Granz, a famous jazz impresario, worked with Ella during her career and built up the record label Verve Records based partially on her vocal talents. It was with Verve that Ella wrote many of her best works including her interpretation of The Great American Songbook.

Ella also appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows. She worked with a number of other Jazz artists including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington. One notable album, Porgy and Bess, was awarded a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, a special award that honors recordings with “qualitative or historical significance”. It was considered to be among the most successful jazz vocal versions and would be released to coincide with the movie version.

After a long and successful career, which included 13 Grammy nominations and countless Downbeat Jazz Awards, Ella Fitzgerald would play her final concert at Carnegie Hall in 1991.

In addition to her many achievements, Ella assigned all of her royalties to the Charitable Foundation that bears her name. So every time you purchase a new recording of Ella’s, the royalty is donated in order to continue her charitable legacy. The centennial begins April 25th, 2017 and will conclude April 25th, 2018.

To commemorate Ella’s 100th birthday, the Smithsonian Museum opened “First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald at 100.”, and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has created a similar tribute. In addition, much of her body of work will see re-releases all year long.

Looking for albums from Ella Fitzgerald’s discography? Check out our shop!

New Direction for Murfie

Many changes are underway in 2016 at Murfie. As the world’s first streaming music service for CD and vinyl owners, our focus has long been on building the cloud infrastructure and processing capability required for moving CD and vinyl collections online. With this foundation in place, we’re shifting our focus in 2016 to our marketplace of albums, with the goal of murfie.com having the largest selection of lossless music on the web.

In conjunction with this new focus, Murfie has raised additional capital, led by WISC Partners, LP, and is in the process of relocating its offices from the Capitol Square in Madison to a larger facility better able to support our growth trajectory.

Murfie’s Board has named Chris Wheeler as CEO, replacing co-founder Matt Younkle who, along with Preston Austin, had led the company since its inception in 2010. Wheeler, a UW-Madison engineering alumnus, Harvard Business School graduate, and founder of Heritage Ventures, brings significant growth management and capital sourcing experience to Murfie. We’re excited to have his expertise as we scale our offering for music enthusiasts and expand our work with independent artists.

Austin and Younkle will continue as strategic advisors to Murfie. In addition, Younkle will continue to serve on the Murfie Board of Directors, along with Wheeler and WISC Partners principal Mike Splinter. Austin, with Kelly Hiser, will continue as co-founder of Rabble LLC, Murfie’s library-focused spinoff.

Last Call: Your Murfie Week in Review


Monday 8/28—

[Blog] Grant gave us a dose of cool: soul jazz musician Grant Green.

Tuesday 8/29—

[Blog] We previewed Sand + Silence by folk duo The Rosebuds.
[Twitter] Our developer Marc leaked info about a cool new feature on mobile.

Wednesday 8/30—

[Blog] Wishy Wednesday happened in full force.
[Twitter] A Murfie member admitted his Creed CDs were on sale for $0.

Thursday 8/31—

[Blog] We previewed Spoon’s upcoming rock album, They Want My Soul.
[Facebook] The Murfie Genie delighted a few members with album gifts.
[Blog] Two words: Music History. (Learn up, people!)
[Twitter] Pixologie had fun visiting the Murfie office!

Friday 9/1—

[Twitter] We wished blues guitarist Robert Cray a Happy Birthday.

Murfie in Yahoo’s Upworthiest Tech of 2013!

Yahoooooo!

Murfie is p-l-e-a-s-e-d as p-u-n-c-h to be on Yahoo’s “Upworthiest Tech of 2013” list, among other great names like Sonos!

We seriously want to thank YOU (yes, you!!!) for helping to make this happen. If it wasn’t for each and every one of our members, who love using Murfie, and who gladly spread the word about our service, we wouldn’t be where we are today. You all rock!

If you haven’t already, please keep spreading the good word about Murfie and share the recent Yahoo article.

Here’s to an even better 2014! ;)

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Your Wish is Our Command: Murfie Wishlists!

Dearest Murfieans,

You asked, and we delivered:  we are very pleased to announce the launch of our Wishlist feature on Murfie!

When you come across an album that intrigues you, just click “Add to Wishlist.” An album that’s not in stock or not available for sale? Just click “Add to Wishlist.” An album that you’re not entirely sure you want to buy yet? Just click “Add to Wishlist!” Gettin’ the picture?

The album will be added to your Wishlist, which you can then see in the “My Collection” tab. If an album is not available on Murfe, our expert music-finders will get to work trying to source a copy for you—no extra charge. We love music as much as you do and want you to have every disc your heart desires!

If you had any outstanding trade requests in your account, those are also now Wishlist items in your account too:  we figured you wish you had those!

When a disc in your Wishlist becomes available, you’ll be notified via e-mail. Nice, right?

We hope you’ve noticed that we’ve been on a ROLL lately with new features (it IS March madness, after all)! Bam! Boom!! Bang!!! Hope you’re all digging that Unpurchase button too: https://blog.murfie.com/2013/03/05/introducing-the-unpurchase-button-your-new-bff/

Wait ’til you see what’s next! :-)

Xoxo,
The crew at Murfie

Streaming in Murfieland

We’re always pleased as punch to deliver good news to our Murfie members— I mean, who wouldn’t be?
Here goes…

Starting today, unlimited streaming is included with every purchase on Murfie! No subscription required.

So this means:

You can stream all the discs you purchase on Murfie, anytime, anywhere, using our mini player in any web browser or your favorite Sonos device! All streaming, all ze time, for everybody!!! (And someone started a rumor that there might be iOS and Android apps on the way— we don’t know who, though!)

You will now see a $1 transaction fee set in place for all purchases of member-sold discs on our site, which is waived for Murfie Gold members.

From now until March 31st, everyone gets to experience the full benefits of the new Murfie Gold membership— absolutely free. With the new Murfie Gold, you’ll get all the best goodies that music-lovers love, including:

  • No $1 transaction fee
  • One free Shipping Kit (send up to 200 discs to add to your online collection for free)
  • Exclusive album trading with other Gold Members

Here’s your chance to live the Gold life til March 31st, absolutely free, and really live it up!

For all you current Murfie Gold members out there, keep an eye out for an e-mail explaining special benefits just for you.

We say:
Change is goooood!