The vinyl artwork for Metric’s new album, Formentera, includes a motto that sums up the past few years: “This Is What Happened.” It’s an understatement that manages to say everything. This is what happened: pandemic, politics, social unrest, war. This is what happened: a band at the peak of its creative power deciphering the turbulence surrounding us, and blazing a way through it. This is what happened: nine new songs that capture everything essential about Metric — modular synthesis, muscular guitars, locked-in rhythm and shimmering vocals.
Named for an idyllic island near Ibiza off the coast of Spain, Formentera is a place that, for Metric, only existed on a page in a “dream destinations” travel book that lay open on a desk in the new recording studio that guitarist Jimmy Shaw built in 2020, in a rural hamlet north of Toronto. This is the setting where the band’s eighth album took shape. Shaw brought on Synthetica collaborator Liam O’Neil as well as Gus van Go (The Stills) to co-engineer and co-produce with him. Metric bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key came in from the U.S to record, adding live energy and sonic depth to complete the Metric sound.