Met­ric | Buzz Me­ter

fi­nal des­ti­na­tion

Exclaim! - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Anna Al­ger

MET­RIC ARE ON THEIR SEV­ENTH AL­BUM, AND THEIR SUC­CESSES HAVE TAKEN THEM ALL OVER THE WORLD, but singer and song­writer Emily Haines says that their new al­bum, Art of Doubt, is kind of a “holy grail” for the Cana­dian rock­ers.

The al­bum is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Met­ric’s dif­fer­ent sides: con­fronta­tional rock, ur­gent synth-pop and bloom­ing elec­tronic bal­lads. That be­ing said, even this far into their ca­reer, it wasn’t the eas­i­est process to de­fine the band’s iden­tity when they set out to make it.

This time out, for Art of Doubt, pro­ducer Justin Mel­dal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails) took the reins from gui­tarist-pro­ducer Jimmy Shaw (who has at least co-pro­duced all their al­bums since 2005’s Live It Out). Mel­dal-Johnsen saw the band in their early days, when they were play­ing at the Sil­ver­lake Lounge in L. A., and the band trusted his vi­sion, given that he’s known them for 15 years. “It’s like your friends and fam­ily,” Haines says. “They know you the best. You cut your hair weird — they’re just like, ‘No! I know you!’ It re­ally felt like that with [Justin].”

Within these songs, Haines sit­u­ates her writ­ing in what is a “re­ally com­plex time, so­cially, po­lit­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally.” She uses al­bum track “Die Happy,” with its glit­ter­ing jam of a cho­rus, to ex­press that “it has to be fun, be­cause I don’t know what else it can be. And it seems to be that that’s this sort of spirit, be­cause [of] the back­drop that we’re ex­ist­ing in as we ask all these ques­tions — a time of un­prece­dented wealth and os­ten­ta­tious ex­pres­sion of that.”

Her aware­ness of the band’s place in their fans’ lives, and the story they have de­vel­oped, frames the im­por­tance of what Art of Doubt has to of­fer. “For those who’ve been with us, there’s a mean­ing and there is a story, and there is a tra­jec­tory there. There re­ally is us liv­ing our lives in tan­dem with other peo­ple. It’s not like we just flash in and flash out. It’s sort of a con­sis­tent pres­ence in peo­ple’s lives.

“And all these ex­plo­rations, like on [2015’s Pa­gans in Ve­gas] — no gui­tars, and re­ally em­brac­ing elec­tronic mu­sic, play­ing are­nas — all of [that] stuff has been es­sen­tial to the growth of the band, but it was so amaz­ing to find our­selves.”

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