As easy as 1,2,3,4
CANADIAN singer Feist ( pictured) isn’t interested in just being a one- hit- wonder. In fact, she’s not really interested in mainstream success at all. Best known for her breakthrough hit
1234 – the catchy tune techno giant Apple used to promote its ipod Nano – Feist says she now sees the song as a cover and not her own.
‘‘ I’m really thankful for it [ the song] but at the same time it can sometimes overshadow the rest of the body of work that I’ve done, which I’m quite proud of,’’ Feist says.
‘‘ The freedoms that come with the success of that song are great but 1234 was plucked from an album that it made sense on in context.’’
Apple’s support and endorsement drove Feist’s 2007 album The Reminder, on which 1234 featured, to sell millions of copies worldwide and thrust her into the stratosphere of mainstream pop stardom.
The video clip featured Feist, dressed in a sparkly blue gown, performing with dancers in brightly coloured outfits.
The song, originally written by Melbourne singer- songwriter Sally Seltmann, who offered it to Feist to record after the pair met on tour, also scored her four Grammy nominations.
‘‘ I’m appreciative and lucky for how people have responded, but I didn’t expect it with The Reminder and I don’t have expectations to repeat it,’’ says Feist, who has just released her new album Metals.
‘‘ Success comes in various forms and to various degrees. It’s nice to be considered commercially successful but it’s also very incidental for me.’’
With Metals, Feist says she is back in her comfort zone. She admits the whirlwind that was The Reminder and 1234 took its toll. Including the tour for The Reminder, and her previous album Open Season, Feist had been on the road for seven years, with almost no time to contemplate new material or catch up with family and friends. So she retreated, taking about two years off.
‘‘ I didn’t do anything specific, except not go to a different town every night,’’ she says. ‘‘ I did everything you can’t do while you’re moving.
‘‘ I planted a little garden and I adopted some dogs. I got a place in the country and just, like, hung out in the woods.’’
Some tracks on the album frame things in a period of turmoil and loss. Songs such as How Come You Never Go
There and Comfort Me seem to describe the end of a romance. Musically, she veers away from The
Reminder with songs that seem weightier. It’s a different chapter – by design – even though she worked with many of the same collaborators, this time in a remote compound in California. It’s all about the music, she says.
‘‘ The most important thing is to make albums that I’m proud of and can stand beside. Everything else is a very distant second. I have been lucky to be successful, but I try not to think about it.’’