“Can’t keep down a girl who loves music” sings Elizabeth Powell, frontwoman of Montreal trio Land of Talk, on “Some Are Lakes” the band’s debut full-length album. The singer/guitarist is living proof of that theory, using her songs as the dumping ground for both her insecurities and the determination to overcome them.
Powell, bassist Chris McCarron and drummer Andrew Barr continued the Canadian indie rock trend of recording in churches (see: Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade) with “Some Are Lakes” the majority of which was laid down in a converted house of worship outside Montreal, with the help of producer/guitarist/organist Justin Vernon.
The album, out October 7, comes on the heels of the group’s 2006 EP “Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.” Lyrically and musically, “Some Are Lakes” is unpredictably creative, even by the most blasƒ© listener’s standards. As chief songwriter, Powell never resorts to trite adages or rhymes to express her thoughts. From the jangly guitars on “The Man Who Breaks Things” to the chaotic, surf-rock-on-speed-esque “Corner Phone” the record showcases Land of Talk’s ability to tease the listener with an idea of where a song is headed and then jerk it in another direction.
Powell’s airy vocals continue to be the cornerstone of the band’s sound, and the record’s unpolished production quality mirrors her raw delivery.
“Didn’t I tell you there was no such thing as a bad, bad day? / And even if there was I wouldn’t believe it anyway” Powell sings on “Death By Fire” sounding as if she’s trying to convince herself as much as the listener. Her cracked, occasionally shaky singing on tracks like “Young Bridge” and “Give Me Back My Heart Attack” conveys both heartbreak and resilience. At times, it’s hard to tell which.
Land of Talk will be touring the United States in support of compatriot indie darlings Broken Social Scene throughout October.
Oct. 8 Grand Rapids, MI Calvin College
Oct. 9 Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
Oct. 11 Madison, WI Wisconsin Union Theatre
Oct. 13 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Oct. 14 Omaha, NE Slowdown
Oct. 16 Kansas City, MO Beaumont Club
Oct. 17 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
Oct. 18 St. Louis, MO The Gargoyle
Oct. 19 Urbana, IL Foellinger Auditorium
Oct. 21 Richmond, VA Toad’s Place of Richmond
Oct. 22 Falls Church, VA State Theatre
Oct. 24 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Oct. 25 Brunswick, ME Bowdoin College
Oct. 26 Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre