NEW YORK (Billboard) - Indie singer/songwriter Leslie Feist spent more than two years on the road promoting her 2004 breakthrough, “Let It Die,” but the core of her upcoming set, “The Reminder,” was assembled in less than a week’s worth of sessions at a rented home outside Paris.
There, Feist hunkered down with her touring band, frequent collaborator Gonzales, Jamie Lidell and Dominic “Mocky” Salole to capture the “lo-fi, lowbrow sound” she had been hearing in her head for months.
“Something that was new for me was trying not to use headphones,” she told Billboard.com Tuesday over breakfast in New York. “We tried to do as few overdubs as possible. We’d do what we’d call ‘town hall,’ which was everybody around one mic singing all at once. I wanted it to sound a bit like a congregation.”
“The Reminder” includes two songs (“Intuition” and “Honey Honey”) that date back to the “Let It Die” sessions, as well as a Ron Sexsmith co-write (“Brandy Alexander”) that took shape in unusual fashion.
Feist recalls, “I said, ‘I have these words. What do you think?’ He said, ‘I think have a melody, but I don’t have any way to record it.’ About six months later, he came to one of my shows in Los Angeles and he said, ‘Remember those lyrics you sent?’ He played the melody on a guitar but I had no way to record him either. I just remembered it. Six months or so after that, once I was in the studio, I told Gonzo, I remember the melody but I don’t remember what chords he was playing. So we recorded the song and I sent it to Ron to ask him, ‘Is this kind of what your melody was?’ He was like, ‘Ooh, uh, OK!”‘
With “The Reminder” ready to be unleashed April 23 internationally via Arts & Crafts and May 1 in the U.S. via Cherrytree/Interscope, Feist has four months of road work in front of her. She begins in Europe in April, moving west to east in Canada in May and then in the opposite direction in the States in June. The artist is also shooting videos for first single “My Moon My Man” and “1 2 3 4” this month with director Patrick Daughters.
But first up is a long-anticipated vacation in Mexico with Kings Of Convenience members Erlend Oye and Eirik Glambek Boe, the latter of whom sings on the new album’s final cut, “How My Heart Behaves.” “I have this one week off in the next four months,” Feist says. “Maybe we’ll write a whole album. Because we don’t have to, we probably will.”