After over two decades in the game, Canadian band Metric show absolutely no sign of their artistic fire diminishing. On their eighth album, Formentera, they sound as vital as ever, with the creative nucleus of Emily Haines and James Shaw once more pushing the possibilities of what Metric are.
Formed back in 1998, Metric set about injecting some excitement and danger back into what they perceived as a derivative, moribund alt-rock scene.
But for the relatively rare few who do it's quite a conundrum. Do you fall back on what you suspect your hardcore fans love or maybe fudge it by releasing an acoustic album or even record some old favourites with an orchestra? Or, for the brave, take that much harder and less travelled route: developing your sound without losing your audience? The well worn music biz maxim of 'give them more of the same' while risking boredom seems more likely to pay the bills, but at what cost artistically? Well, with Formentera Metric tear up the map and head for the hills - and it is not an acoustic album. Naming your new record after an idyllic Spanish island could be a sign of wishing for a way to pull out of the slo-mo car crash that is the modern world but one thing is clear, many of these songs do a pretty good job of reminding us of the need for such an escape.
Naming your album after the fabled Spanish island Formentera -- as Metric have done for their eighth release -- carries with it certain expectations. The island, which can only be reached by boat, was known for being a hippie haven in the '60s, where Joni Mitchell wrote part of Blue in 1971 after ending her relationship with Graham Nash. The same year, King Crimson put out Islands, with opening track "Formentera Lady." Meanwhile, Bob Dylan spent some time living in the island's Cap de Barbaria lighthouse.
Nearly two decades on since their debut, their eighth album finds Emily Haines and co still going from strength to strength Formentera is Metric‘s first album for four years, after a career journey that has seen them evolve from raucous guitar indie-rock to smooth, icy, synth pop. As an opening statement of intent, it doesn’t come much more ambitious than the first track on their eighth studio album, Doomscroller. For Doomscroller is what they term an ‘epic’.
With a career now in its fourth decade, Metric is a band that's confidently followed its own path, seemingly dodging the various tumultuous changes in the music industry these past twenty years. Gaining traction as the post-punk revival was in full swing, the band's sound quickly grew in ambition culminating with 2009's 'Fantasies' and providing the stand-out track for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World the following year.