Release Date: Oct 7, 2008
Record label: Saddle Creek
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
What James Brown said some 40 years ago is still very true today: It's a man's world. That's still true in music, as well. Pop music, for the past half century or more, has been dominated by one pretty pervasive phallic symbol: the guitar. Maybe it's surprising, then, that Elizabeth Powell stands out so much on this record.
Following up on their promising 2006 debut, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, Montreal trio Land Of Talk return with a brittle follow-up. Time spent on the road – including a spell with the Broken Social Scene collective – has lent Elizabeth Powell’s band a new level of focus, which plays out in the ten taut songs of Some Are Lakes. “Are you seeing your own death and selling it to me?” she chants on slowburning opener ‘Yuppy Flu’ – a disarming reference to the strain on her parents’ relationship as they battled with cancer.
About a year and a half ago, Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell was forced to go it alone at a gig in Vancouver. It seems bassist Chris McCarron and drummer Eric Thibodeau were detained from re-entering Canada for reasons Powell wouldn’t fully explain. Leaving aside the question of what they would have had to have on their records (or their person) to have trouble getting back into Canada, the fact that Powell’s solo show still managed to be the highlight of the night speaks both to her considerable talents and how superfluous the rest of the band really is to Land of Talk’s hazy charm.
All the pieces are in place for Land of Talk to make their move up the indie rock ladder. The Montreal trio landed woodsy critical darling Bon Ivor to helm Some Are Lakes and befriended the BSS crew. They also scored an impressive U.S. deal with Saddle Creek, which has put the welcome mat out for Canadian bands like Tokyo Police Club and Sebastien Grainger.