Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, which one of our remaining songs has to go? The good news for our trio of extras is that they all live to see another day. That means our album track streak continues as we must make our ninth album track cut in a row. To think this kind of streak would have been unheard of in the earlier stages of the rate. Anyway, which one of our albums must say goodbye to another song? Is it Let It Die? Spoiler What about Pleasure? Spoiler That means that one of the albums from the once impervious pair aka The Reminder and Metals must say goodbye to one of their songs. Considering how many tracks we have recently lost from the former, will we be saying bye to yet another one? Which means our eliminated track comes from Metals. I can already hear the boos. Anyway, the track we must get rid of is... 36. Undiscovered First Average: 8.25 High: 10 x 2 (@Oleander, @tobyboat) Well, this is the first 10 I have lost in a while. Low: 5 x 1 (@LE0Night) Do you have no sense of decency? My Score: 10 Spoiler: Other Scores: @soratami 8 @Trouble in Paradise 8 @ohnostalgia 9 @JamesJupiter 9.5 @WowWowWowWow 7 @enjoy 8 @RUNAWAY 8 I realize I gave out a lot of 10s in the rate and this is the first one I have lost in a while but let me still ask y'all to please stop getting rid of my 10s please and thank you. Having said that, we have reached the point in the rate where the most of the scores for each song are incredibly high so any remaining low scores or any non-10 scores are really the two factors deciding which songs get cut. Due to its title, it would have been ironic (or would it?) if Undiscovered First was the first song from Metals to be eliminated or the first song to exit the rate. It also would have been a damn travesty if either of those things happened because this song is way too good for such low and measly rankings. Instead, Undiscovered First winds up being the sixth song cut from the album in total but only the fourth track cut from the album's standard edition. If I've said it once, I have said it a million times but if it isn't clear to y'all by now, I LOVE Metals. It has no weak spots in my eyes so seeing any of the songs getting cut from the album, including to a slightly lesser extent the bonus tracks, was going to cause me a great deal of pain. However, that sense of sadness from seeing the album shrink little by little has become incredibly heightened at this point in the rate. I obviously love this track but if you were to ask me what other song from the album I could cut in its place....I don't think I could give you an answer. I just couldn't. Let me take a minute to remind y'all how strong the pool of songs left from this album is. The songs left from Metals in the rate are The Bad In Each Other, Graveyard, Caught A Long Wind, How Come You Never Go There, A Commotion, The Circle Married The Line, Comfort Me, and Get It Wrong Get It Right. I mean....just look at all the talent in this group of songs! There might be songs here that I scored slightly lower than others but that's because I felt the need to show some self-restraint for once and not give everything a 10. That's why I let y'all do the dirty work for me and decide the elimination order which in hindsight might not have been the best idea given how future eliminations are going to go but we'll get there when we get there ddd. Anyway, I honestly can't pick a song from this group I'd rather see leave in place of Undiscovered First. I just can't. Even if you threatened me to make a choice I would have to go all Ideserveitshootme.gif because I refuse to pick another song. It would be a lot easier for me to just accept Undiscovered First's elimination with gritted teeth like I will have to do when all of the remaining songs from this album are cut. I realize saying this contradicts everything I have just said but the funny thing about my relationship with Undiscovered First is that I wasn't always such a big fan of the song as I am now. Why is that? I honestly couldn't tell you because every time I listen to the song now it blows me away. I'd say that maybe its because it isn't as much of an emotional hard hitter as some of the other songs on the album like Get It Wrong Get It Right. I'd say that maybe it was too understated for me but those choruses are MASSIVE so that doesn't sound right either. I guess it's one of those questions that just doesn't have an answer to it which is very appropriate given that the song is kind of all about that ddd. Before we get to that, though, I want to talk a bit more about the song's background and creation. Or I guess I should say that I want to share what Feist has to say about that. First off, I just want to point out that despite having lost only one of its singles so far, you can technically call this the first true regular album track elimination from the album. Why's that? Well, this happens to be one of the few album tracks to not have received a music video. I realize that nowadays the lines between what is and was isn't an album track are blurred as more and more artists release multiple videos for their album cycles so again, the category you place Undiscovered First in depends on how you want to look at the song. For those of you who want to keep score along with me, the tracks that did receive videos are The Bad In Each Other, Bittersweet Melodies, Cicadas and Gulls, A Commotion, Anti-Pioneer, and Graveyard. Despite being "shunned" in that manner, Feist actually has an elaborate backstory for this song that actually would have made for a cool music video. In the interview Feist did with Paste Magazine for Metals, Geoffrey Himes points out that on this song "Feist sings the verses of these songs herself, as if speaking as an individual about a particular experience. But when she gets to the choruses, she’s usually joined by backing vocals, as if speaking as part of a community of romantic survivors. When the group vocals are in unison or parallel, they seem to be agreeing on the response; when the voices are counterpointed, they seem to be debating the response, but either way they have shared the same experiences of loss and recovery. In this way, she solves the dilemma of whether she’s singing just for herself or for a wider web of people." Feist then goes on to elaborate on this point by saying that on Undiscovered First "three voices share the harmony equally on the chorus. Howie Beck was mixing it as a lead vocal and two backups, and I said, ‘No, it was intentional that they are all at the same level.’ It should be like a Greek chorus, because I wasn’t the only one going through the experiences in these songs. I think of myself singing alone as a diary entry left behind by one woman in a 19th century daguerreotype, the kind of picture you find in a tea shop full of bric a brac. I think of myself singing with other people as one of those aphorisms, those folk-wisdom sayings, that some old woman will embroider into a cloth, frame and hang on the wall. Those sayings seem to declare, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ and that’s what choruses are for. That’s where you pull back from the details and deliver the moral of the story.” That's not actually the full story, though. For that we have to turn to a resource I should have used sooner, the track-by-track interview Feist did with Spotify for Metals. Not only does she doubles down on the Greek mythological origins of the song but she even admits that the song should have received a video. Here's what she had to say about Undiscovered First: "Undiscovered First is my attempt at filmmaking, kind of because it's the most visual song or me. When I was doing the mixing with Howie Beck I was explaining everything in very visual terms. The verses are about a solitary person is climbing a mountain, and they're going to see an oracle who's sitting at the top, who has a long beard that goes all the way down the mountain because he's been there for thousands of years. Along the way, during the chorus, the man meets three wise women (mountain climbers) who are floating above the mountain and speak in unison like a Greek chorus. They give this man a little bit of wisdom to keep him climbing. Finally, he reaches the top and he see's the wise man and all this wisdom comes to him in the form of more rhetorical questions that can never be answered. This causes an avalanche and basically the mountain crumbles under his feet. So that's Undiscovered First. I obviously need to make a video for that. Shit! I think that's like a $5,000,000 budget." Damn it, that sounds amazing, Leslie! Why didn't we get that video? I would have even accepted a claymation, stop-motion version of it like what we got for Honey Honey as that would have made it like how the original versions of those Hollywood interpretations on film (think the original Clash of the Titans film) of Greek myths were made. Ugh, at least she is self-aware? Anyway, let's get to the next segment before I getting more upset about what could have been. It's time for... The lyrics to Undiscovered First go as follows: I had what I thought were clear Open eyes, bright blue Vision of a lake Carryin' pictures to lay on you Close the blinds, let 'em in, Don't mind openin' it's the edge of love You can't un-think a thought Either it's there or not Shadows of the mountain Don't tell them what's under The breadth and the height Of an undiscovered first Now hopeful mountaineers climb up To eclipse like the whole sun 'Cause it's been said that two would know What to do, it'd been told Shadows of the mountain Don't tell them what's under The breadth and the height Of an undiscovered first Shadows of the mountain Don't tell them what's in store The height and the breadth Is it wrong to want more? Is this the right mountain For us to climb? Is this the way to live For you to be mine? Is this the right river For us to ford? Is this the way you live For me to be yours? Is this the way to live For me to be yours? Is this the way to live? Is it wrong to want more? (Is this the way to live for me to be yours? Is this the way to live? is it wrong to want more?) Once again we find ourselves faced with a song that is simultaneously very direct in its message but imbues its lines with enough poeticism and metaphorical language to give it a certain level of mystery even though the actual message is never fully obscured. That is really one of the strengths of Metals. Across the album we see Feist weave a musical tapestry from the large spectrum of human emotions she channels in the various stories she tells along with images of nature which reminds us of how intertwined we are with our surroundings especially once we become more intuned with our emotions and senes. Feist did an excellent job explaining the most fantastical/mythical interpretation of the song so I won't touch upon that and will instead focus on the more human side of the song. At its core, Undiscovered First is all about those moments in life where you get the feeling that there is something wrong and but you aren't sure if you should voice the problem and your concerns or not. More specifically, one could interpret the song as being about a woman getting seriously involved with someone and being unsure if it's what she wants or if she wants something more. Rather than start the song by building up the backstory, Feist throws us head first into the narrator's inner conflict with the first stanza "I had what I thought were clear/Open eyes, bright blue/Vision of a lake/Carryin' pictures to lay on you." What she's doing is called "in media res" or "in the middle of the action" which means we are being made to enter the story as the conflict is happening which only emphasizes the emotional tension the protagonist is feeling. The narrator starts off by telling us how she used to feel a lot more sure of herself but now she's left in a world of endless confusion. This stanza also beautifully uses nature imagery to not only describe the narrator's appearance but also highlight how sure of herself the woman used to be. The "blue" is simultaneously describing her eye color, the sky, and the lake which further blurs the line between human and nature. It speaks to how we must inherently rely on our senses while trying to navigate nature or a relationship while at the same time knowing that they can be unreliable. It can feel like we are wandering around aimlessly when we are stuck in a state of doubt. I feel like the final line is speaking about the memories the woman has made with the man which tie them together in spite of the woman's doubt. She seems to want to try and make the relationship work but that feeling is quickly replaced by an increasing sense of uncertainty. The next stanza takes things up a notch and is the true poetic core of the song: "Close the blinds, let 'em in,/Don't mind openin' it's the edge of love/You can't un-think a thought/Either it's there or not." There is honestly so much to unpack here. From the outset, we see just how conflicted the protagonist is as she simultaneously wants to keep the man out and let him in. It's as if she wants to love him but doesn't want anyone else to know. Or she wants to love him and wants to keep her doubts hidden but at the same time, she can't let her negative thoughts go when they take over. Then with the next line, we see her give in further to her negative thoughts by basically saying that the relationship is on the edge of breaking and she can't find a way to fix it. Then we get to the final two lines which are possibly the simplest lines in the whole song but also the most powerful ones. Those lines are speak nothing but the truth as once you let those doubt-fueled thoughts dig their way into your head, it feels like you can never get rid of them. It's as if they keep haunting you until they force you to do something to ruin the situation you are currently in. The whole song could be summed up in these two lines. You can't hide from the thoughts once they're there and pretend as if they never existed as if you had never thought them in the first place. After all that build up in terms of narrative, we finally reach the chorus which is where the song also begins to get more chaotic: "Shadows of the mountain/Don't tell them what's under/The breadth and the height/Of an undiscovered first." The use of the word shadows here is very interesting as you can see it as a reference to the doubts that are filling the woman's mind which would, in turn, make the mountain the "physical" representation of the relationship or at the very least of the man. In that sense, the thing that is hiding underneath the mountain are the problems that the protagonist sees that make her question whether she should continue to be involved with him or not. The mention of "breadth and height" is not only being used to refer to the mountain itself but also to the doubts the woman has and how at this point they are just as big and serious to her as the relationship itself, if not bigger. She's struggling to keep the secret doubt she has from her lover. Then we reach the line containing the song's title. You can interpret the title to mean a wide variety of things but I feel like the most prominent meaning it has relates back to the woman's doubts. It speaks about the woman's doubts which are "undiscovered" by her lover but also about how the woman has never found herself in this kind of situation and is trying to navigate her way through it. Then we get to the next stanza which takes us further into metaphorical territory: "Now hopeful mountaineers climb up/To eclipse like the whole sun/'Cause it's been said that two would know/What to do, it'd been told." The mountaineers aka the woman, believing they would know what to do, try to climb the mountain, or in other words the relationship, but there's still the underlying uncertainty. This stanza is describing the woman's effort to overcome her doubts and press forward with the relationship but her positive mindset doesn't seem to be enough to eclipse her doubts. I love how Feist makes parallels between the protagonist's own movements and those of the sun and the fictional mountaineers. The last two lines speak of how we all think we know how to deal with these situations or can find someone who does but in reality no one really knows how. You can only ever truly learn by being thrust into the experience and forced to take action much like how we were thrown into the conflict straight on at the beginning of the song. Beginning with the final line of the final chorus, rather than give us some kind of resolution, the song throws us into a world of questions: "Is this the right mountain/For us to climb?/Is this the way to live/For you to be mine?/Is this the right river/For us to ford?/Is this the way you live/For me to be yours?/Is this the way to live/For me to be yours?/Is this the way to live?/Is it wrong to want more?" Think of this section as the proper climax of the song both in terms of the instrumental, Feist's vocals, and the story. At this point, the woman is asking "should we do this, should we ignore the problem to continue this relationship even though there's always going to be something hiding just under the surface?" It's almost as if the doubts in her mind have finally eclipsed the mountain and have escaped out from under it and are therefore reeking havoc on her mind. They are no longer thoughts at this points, but almost personified demons that refuse to leave her alone. I also really like this portion of the songs as it leaves you feeling that in spite of the woman's doubt, she knows the answer and that all these questions she has are purely rhetorical. It wouldn't be unheard of as there are plenty of times when you can find yourself in a situation where you know the answer to your problems deep down but you don't realize you do or refuse to accept it. I also love this section because of how seamlessly it switches between those familiar nature references and the woman's life because it only strengthens the question of whether her life should continue to go on like this or not. It mimics how she is caught between two different worlds/impulses and can't find a way out. By the end, we can see the woman give in to her doubts as she's asking if it's wrong for her to want a more fulfilling relationship but she quickly coves it up with shame and even more doubt. She knows what she truly wants but she's afraid of being too demanding or appearing to be selfish when in reality she's asking for something very reasonable, a relationship where she isn't plagued with doubt. At the same time, this can be dangerous thinking as one never knows whether you're giving up a good thing by letting your Intuition take the reigns and possibly ruining what you already have. In essence, this song reminds us that there is never a true feeling of certainty in any area of life and it's up to us to decide what the best course of action is to take. In terms of vocals, this song shows a good bit of Feist's range and her ability to play with the dynamics of her voice. Her delivery starts off very understated and the best words I can think of to describe it are smoky and earthy. There is some grit and scorn there but mixed with a great sense of cautiousness and uncertainty which ends up making her sounds rather calm and controlled. Then she lets her voice soar up and down during the chorus and as was said in that article I shared above, the voices coming in to join her makes it feel like a Greek chorus trying to advise the woman. It's another great way of showing how universal the song is as many of us have found ourselves in similar kinds of relationship troubles. Then once we get to the barrage of questions, Feist really lets loose and sheds the cautiousness we heard earlier and turns the song into an old Western style testimonial with the sound cowboy boots and spurs hitting the ground, along with some drums. It's interesting how much power Feist shows in this song without every truly belting or becoming incredibly loud. She lets the various emotions the song require of her to portray to take full control and imbue her voice with an almost delicate kind of strength which ends up being a lot more powerful than if she had filled the song with vocal acrobatics. It makes the song feel all the more honest, raw, and painful for those who have been in similar situations. The instrumental like Feist's voice starts off pretty tame with some lowly guitar strums filling up the empty space along with faints whispers of what sounds like wind chimes or tambourine which moves more forward into the mix later on in the song. Then the drum beat starts to kick in subtly before it continues to grow across the song and give it a sense of urgency and earth-shattering rhythm. As for the guitar, it switches between that more restrained sound and a more coppery, bold, jagged, distorted, and swing-like rhythm which imparts a lot of attitude to the song along with a sense of catharsis. I love how the song makes use of handclaps and what also sounds like improvised drum-like sounds (the foot stomping) to build drama and tension before they get blended together with those gorgeous, sky-high horns. The way the horns go from sounding clear and majestic to tired, cavernous, and full of pain and doubt themselves is a wonderful touch on top of everything else going on. We only have one comment for this song but it's one of praise and not scorn from the one and only Trouble In Paradise (8): "Feist is such a master of dynamics and this song balances between loud and soft so perfectly. The crush of the chorus is such a moment on a complete listen to Metals." Once again, I agree with everything you said. This song shows just how much Feist has learned over the years about how to work with dynamics. Young Feist wouldn't have been able to do this kind of song which uses restraint and some subtle shifts in addition to some bigger leaps from quiet to loud. There's a lot of nuance to this song that was lacking from her Punk-Rock material. It's a great example of the magic Folk and Rock can make when blended together by someone who knows what they are doing. That brings us to the end of another elimination which means its time for some music! Our eliminated song. Y'all remember that live rendition of Caught A Long Wind I dedicated a whole Tastemaker Corner post to, well here is Feist's performance of Undiscovered First from that same concert. Since Undiscovered First wears it's Folk qualities on its sleeve, I have decided to share a song by an artist who is a true master of the world where Folk, Americana, Bluegrass, Country et al. overlap. The song can be seen as touching upon what will happen to the protagonist if she keeps her act going. You might recognize her name if you ever saw the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? To build off of Gillian a bit, here is a song from another master of her field, Loretta Lynn, that also touches upon troubled relationships and specifically about communication issues. It's from her famous album Van Lear Rose. To close this write-up we're going to step away from the world of Country, Folk, et al. and venture to a world inhabited by one artist and one artist only. That artists happens to be none other than Kate Bush and the song in question is King of the Mountain. I didn't just pick this song because of the mountain references in both this and Undiscovered First but because lyrically and sonically, the song is actually a good fit in this song collective.