SHILL BE BACK: Feist has somehow managed to maintain her cred while making corporate bank.
The living, breathing Holy Grail of contemporary music success stories has impeccably styled Birkin bangs and a floaty angel voice. Leslie Feist — a 32-year-old singer-songwriter of charming low-fi guitar pop — has managed to maintain her cred as a Canadian indie superstar while making corporate bank off her universally specific songs about water, boys, and broken hearts. Her résumé is padded with underground gigs, from a stint fronting a punk-rock band in her teens to a tour with Peaches as a Spanish-rapping sock-puppet performer (for which she called herself Bitch Lap Lap). Membership in the Canadian collective Broken Social Scene predated the inevitable solo career, which has led to a string of lucrative licensing deals.
Lacoste picked up “Mushaboom,” the standout track on 2004’s Let It Die, and used it to score a cologne spot. In 2007, when The Reminder was released, Verizon snagged the first few bars of “My Moon My Man” for an LG Chocolate ad. And the mother of all deals arrived with a contract from Apple, which featured “1234” in its debut iPod Nano commercial. The Reminder finished out 2007 as the most purchased album of the year via iTunes, and Feist’s still touring the damn thing — get ready to soft-rock at the Bank of America Pavilion on July 8. But before she hunkers down to record her third disc, why not finish feeding the last scraps of The Reminder to the promotional lions?
“SO SORRY” | Hallmark would be too obvious. The true potential of “So Sorry” would be best realized in a key scene of Gossip Girl’s Season 2 fall premiere. This is the only song genuine — yet perfectly emasculating! — enough to accompany Dan Humphrey’s tail-between-legs apology to ex-dreamgirl Serena van der Woodsen.
“I FEEL IT ALL” | All the makers of Trojan Ultra Thins need is that bouncy, laced-with-expectation hook and they’ll be moving some serious units.
“MY MOON MY MAN” | If Verizon is all set with “My Moon My Man,” it would do well to lend the chorus to NASA. Perfect for recruitment videos geared toward aspiring female astronauts too busy to date. Tag line: “The Moon Won’t Ever Dump You.”
“THE PARK” | Curious: have you ever heard of the National Cage Bird Show? With a Feist-attributed snippet of the birdsong that opens this track, perhaps more people would catch on to this avian fancy. The 2008 Scannell Trophy for Best in Show (yawn!) could be upgraded into a more exciting opportunity for a lucky finch to record an intro for yet another Feist joint with flying metaphors. This is synergistic marketing, people.
HANDCLAPS FROM “SEA LION WOMAN” AND “PAST IN PRESENT”; FINGERSNAPS FROM “BRANDY ALEXANDER” | Breakdown paydirt. Leave it to Feist to cram aggressively cute forms of audience participation into no less than three of The Reminder’s upbeat tunes. Someone’s got to want this shit besides Girl Talk.
“HOW MY HEART BEHAVES” | Should American Idol ever reach a point where it’s forced to run a two-day tribute to “Indie Songstresses of the 2000s,” surely some poor, wide-eyed hopeful could make use of this ditty — not to win the competition, certainly, but to guarantee that Paula Abdul goes all messy cry-face on camera. This track could also be a prime opportunity for Lipitor to lose that creepy spokesdoctor with the curly mullet.
“THE WATER” | Nothing says “Hydrate Responsibly” like æthereal melodies that anthropomorphize liquids. David Ortiz has done a fine job shilling for Vitamin Water, but it’s time he stepped aside and let Leslie hawk the benefits of weakly flavored electrolyte beverages with an inordinate number of calories. Feist Tea, anyone?
FEIST + JUANA MOLINA | Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave, Boston | July 8 | $25 | 617.931.2000 | www.livenation.com