Land of Talk

Life After Youth

Saddle Creek

May 25, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

Land of Talk, the brainchild of Quebecois Elizabeth Powell, digs fresh and deep on the band's first album since 2010's Cloak and Cipher. We forgot how much Powell could rock in the minor key. Life After Youth cleaves drums with the magnets of synths, the collision like unearthed crop circles whizzing past our heads, ghostly and raw, Powell falling backwards through the sky playing with clashes and that soaring voice.

After taking hiatus from music to recover a hemorrhagic vocal polyp and the touring grind, and ultimately to care for her dad after he suffered a stroke, Powell spent time finding out what it was to be herself apart from Land of Talk. The 31-year-old songstress is back, and sounding like she's freshly caught fire. Life After Youth is her response to Karen Peris, Harriet Wheeler, and Mazzy Star, with Phantogram and Bully thrown into the mix. Powell pulls from the great depression era of our youth, while moving forward, melancholy but vibrant and immediate all at once.

"Yes You Were" gets out of the gates, Powell's voice a biosphere for the imprisoned hymn and its sudden, swift release. "This Time" clasps us sideways, its warmly pulsing Psychedelic-Furs-esque treatment hovers and builds into a kinetic skate on the ice of the synths and the bumbling growl of the bass, bearing the glide of Powell's panting cry repeating, "I don't want to waste it this time." It's as if these are the first words she is speaking in years.

"Loving" showcases Powell putting on some vocal moves, stylizing her words, and stuttering her t's. Her confidence is addictingher presence, even on tape, commands an invisible stage. "Heartcore" is as bittersweetly unrequited as the play on words. Dancey little downers, Powell finds the best in all of us and we meet on the very sad but very important dancefloor in 10.

"Inner Lover" is gut-clenching. Powell's wake shakes everything on the river, and subtle voice blips, the drums jamming on keys that won't compress, the synths blipping away, a horn catcalling, the guitar speaking into the night. "World Made" showcases the brightness, and we rummage through the dreary because we can handle it. It culminates in wheezing horns, and lightly flipping bells. Hello again, dear friend. We've made it through youth, and we've never needed this more. (

Author rating: 7/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 7/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.