Leslie Feist’s new album Metals has called to my attention a recent trend in music that I’ve really been digging lately: the return of the horn section. This is not to say, however, that horn sections have returned in their standard role of melody, but rather as a textural element. The excellent first track off Metals perfectly illustrates this tendency. The repetitive, spidery electric guitar work helps give the track a touch of Hill Country blues, while the sparse percussion only heightens this aspect. Above it all, of course, Feist’s effortlessly airy voice.
Feist, “The Bad in Each Other” (from Metals, 2011)
On the opposite end of the vocal spectrum, “Chicago,” the first track from Tom Waits’ newest album, also employs horns to a similar purpose. Rocking and loose, this track is a perfect slice of Waits’ wilder side. Dig it.
Tom Waits, “Chicago” (from Bad as Me, 2011)
[N.B. I’ve left this video in its original format to allow you to skip the advertisement if it appears. Apologies.]