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Metric - Formentera (Album Review)

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: Justin Broadbent

Nearly 25 years and eight albums into their career, it’d be easy to assume Canadian synth-rock outfit Metric are content to play it safe. But, while that was largely true of their recent albums, ‘Formentera’ bucks this trend in spectacular fashion. From its bold opening moments to its emotional journey and a shifting tone throughout, it’s a revitalising work that meditates on life and loss over its 48 minute runtime. 

Starting in the dark with Doomscroller, Emily Haines and co. channel pessimism at the state of the world through undulating, pulsing synths and understated melodies. At 10 minutes long, it’s a particularly gutsy move as an opening gambit, but it pays off. From its minimalist beginnings through to a trance and house-flecked break three minutes in, all the way to its post-rock close, it’s captivating.

The front half of ‘Formentera’ marries these darker themes with melodicism and memorability with some ease—second track All Comes Crashing is a natural radio single with its instantly-hummable guitar lick—though there’s a gradual lightening of the mood throughout, as though Metric are fighting through towards better days. 

That finally comes with the title track at the halfway point, as it breaks out into calmer seas, its synth hooks shimmering and Haines’ voice questioning: “Why not just let go? / The stakes are not my own.” The sense of blissfulness—or perhaps warming world-weariness—continues mostly unabated for the remainder of ‘Formentera’. 

Enemies of the Ocean is a soft, string-filled indie number, while the dry Oh Please and sweetness of closer Paths in the Sky remind us of the necessity of escapism when the weight of the world gets too much. ‘Formentera’ is the sound of Metric pushing away the horrors and finding peace.

Metric Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 11 2022 - VICTORIA - Royal Theatre BC (USA)
Fri August 12 2022 - VICTORIA - Royal Theatre BC (USA)
Sat August 13 2022 - VANCOUVER BC - Orpheum Theatre (Canada)
Mon August 15 2022 - CALGARY Alberta - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (Canada)
Tue August 16 2022 - CALGARY Alberta - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (Canada)
Wed August 17 2022 - EDMONTON Alberta - Edmonton Convention Centre (Canada)
Fri August 19 2022 - REGINA Saskatchewan - Conexus Arts Centre (Canada)
Sat August 20 2022 - SASKATOON Saskatchewan - TCU Place (Canada)
Sun August 21 2022 - WINNIPEG Manitoba - Burton Cummings Theatre (Canada)
Thu August 25 2022 - LONDON ON Ontario - London Music Hall (Canada)
Fri August 26 2022 - TORONTO Ontario - Budweiser Stage (Canada)
Sat August 27 2022 - OTTAWA - National Arts Centre (Canada)
Mon August 29 2022 - MONTREAL Quebec - MTELUS (Canada)
Tue August 30 2022 - QUEBEC CITY - Capitole Theatre (USA)
Thu September 01 2022 - HALIFAX Nova Scotia - Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (Canada)
Fri September 02 2022 - HALIFAX Nova Scotia - Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (Canada)
Sat September 24 2022 - ASHEVILLE North Carolina - Orange Peel (USA)
Sun September 25 2022 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Brooklyn Bowl Nashville (USA)
Mon September 26 2022 - ATLANTA Georgia - Tabernacle (USA)
Wed September 28 2022 - DALLAS Texas - House of Blues Dallas (USA)
Thu September 29 2022 - HOUSTON Texas - House of Blues Houston (USA)
Fri September 30 2022 - AUSTIN Texas - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater (USA)
Sun October 02 2022 - PHOENIX Arizona - Van Buren (USA)
Mon October 03 2022 - SAN DIEGO California - Observatory North Park (USA)
Thu October 06 2022 - LOS ANGELES California - Wiltern (USA)
Fri October 07 2022 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Fillmore (USA)
Sat October 08 2022 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Fillmore (USA)
Tue October 11 2022 - PORTLAND Oregon - Mcmenamins Crystal Ballroom (USA)
Wed October 12 2022 - SEATTLE Washington - Moore Theatre (USA)
Fri October 14 2022 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Depot (USA)
Sat October 15 2022 - DENVER Colorado - Fillmore Auditorium (Denver) (USA)
Mon October 17 2022 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - Fillmore Minneapolis (USA)
Tue October 18 2022 - CHICAGO Illinois - Chicago Theatre (USA)
Wed October 19 2022 - DETROIT Michigan - Fillmore Detroit (USA)
Fri October 21 2022 - RICHMOND Virginia - National (USA)
Sat October 22 2022 - SILVER SPRING Maryland - Fillmore Silver Spring (USA)
Sun October 23 2022 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Fillmore Philadelphia (USA)
Tue October 25 2022 - BOSTON Massachusetts - House of Blues Boston (USA)
Wed October 26 2022 - BROOKLYN New York - Brooklyn Steel (USA)
Thu October 27 2022 - BROOKLYN New York - Brooklyn Steel (USA)

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