"It was a dark time…being unsure of what’s going to happen is scary, but it motivated me in a way to learn guitar, because I had just been a singer up until then. I found a new way to understand [melodies] through playing guitar."Seth Berkman, "Feist," Mote Magazine, 29 November 2005. Available here.
She says a similar thing in another interview:
“It felt like an exciting self-project to not speak. I wrote a lot of letters, bought a guitar and a four-track [recorder]. … I would have never approached singing in a quiet, melodic way when I was with [Placebo]. Once you're by yourself, you realize singing monotone won't cut it.”Krissy Teegerstrom, "Venus: Feist," Venus Zine. No longer available online.
So, I suppose her music is now decidedly melodic. There is a certain quality that her melodiousness carries with it but, again, I'm having trouble putting it into words. Perhaps it's a European sensibility, or just an older pop sensibility (I have no way to back this up - these are just feelings I have). There isn't the same sense of melody in much of the pop or dance music available today. That's not really a slight against current popular music (or "pop" music in particular).
Leslie's use of melody seems to add to a certain sophistication.
In a more recent article from Venus Zine, Feist's music is described as follows:
her records gracefully unfurl like fading nostalgia, like the soundtrack to seductions, soft and lithe, mysterious and breathy. Both Let It Die and The Reminder ostensibly could come from a time when movies were black and white and when “romantic” wasn’t always attached to “comedy.” And much to Feist’s chagrin, there’s something inherently French about her songs that conjure up the imagery of a European café filled with aromas of espressos and cigarettes.Arye Dworkin, "Feist," Venus Zine 31 (Spring 2007). Available here.
Here is an unusual pictures of Leslie that I found on my computer today which I forgot about. The picture shows her holding a cigarette, and comes from Teegerstrom's Venus article above. I am not sure if Feist smokes - strange to me if she does.