There is a change happening. Globally or locally, our understanding of our surroundings are misled by memories and Mandela effects. Fueled by the dangers of misleading information at every turn, it’s hard to know which way is up.
Well, if you’re in the United States, Canada is up. Canada gave us Metric (band, not system of measurement). Metric is maintaining their stratospheric ascent in their newest release, but be warned, it’s not necessarily the Metric you remember…well kind of.
Across the years, from Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003) to the Fantasies (2009) and Synthetica (2012) era, Metric has cultivated this fevered pace of electo-energy pop and indie synth that conveyed a meaningful attitude intertwined with danceable beats. For the new album, the first in four years, Metric rolls up their sleeves and reveals their vision in a way they’ve never quite achieved before now.
Formentera, undeniably, comes out swinging. “Doomscroller” opens the new record at ten-and-a-half minutes, feeling largely like it could stand on its own. So much so, you’d be forgiven to pause after the track just to soak it all in. The attention demanding opener lays out the obvious change behind Metric’s approach to their eighth studio release. Standing in stark contrast to the poppy assemblies that have built Metric’s success to date, the maturity and musicianship of Emily Haines, James Shaw, Josh Winstead, and Joules Scott-Key is on full display. Worry not, however, as the track length begins to tapper, the energy and the familiar Metric return. Before dancing into “False Dichotomy” however, Formentera reflects on a change of pace with nearly six tracks of expanding abilities and our understanding of the band at the same time. Apparently gone are the hook-infested days of “Monster Hospital,” “Gold Guns Girls,” and “Youth Without Youth.” In their place is a grander vision, spanning nine tracks that are sure to redefine Metric. Formentera is a turning point for Metric. Specifically, it’s a shift in just the right places without sacrificing the alluring landscapes and drawing vocals we’ve come to appreciate from the band over the last twenty years. No, Metric is not going folk and lulling you to sleep with convoluted messages about apple trees. The snare-driven beats and synth distortion is on full display. The weight of each track just feels different.
Many may look to Formentera as a divergence from what made them such a draw years ago. Don’t fall for that. Formentera is unabashedly Metric. Yet the variation is apparent. Metric, like all of us, just aren’t where we used to be in life and things are changing. The only thing not changing? Metric is still on the up.