Published Sep 29, 2008Before establishing herself in Montreal in 2000, Elizabeth Powell was a small town musical secret with a rare countenance. Scrappy yet sophisticated, she absorbed aspects of the burgeoning punk and indie rock community in Guelph, Ontario, penning catchy folk songs with alluring fragility and anger. It seemed appropriate when she re-emerged with the poppy, hardcore trio Land of Talk in 2006, releasing the lively EP, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.
"Land of Talk was the first thing that had even a remotely similar amount of passion that Id had with the solo stuff, Powell says. "So I think there was a lot of excitement about recording live to two-inch tape and my fascination with distortion. I went a little crazy with the guitars and we all shaped this big sound. Im still self conscious about singing in tune and my sloppy guitar but thats part of my aesthetic.
Land of Talks excellent new record Some Are Lakes possesses greater dynamic structure than its predecessor, thanks to the bands instrumental interplay and the cryptic, emotional charge of Powells maturing lyricism. She attributes these successful transitions to producer Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). "He approaches music from a similar DIY place. He loves things to be flawed and thats what makes them beautiful. And playing all of those old songs in tiny clubs, there was just so much noise; I felt like I was going deaf, so the quieter songs are a reaction to that.
After bouncing between Canadian labels, Land of Talks recent declaration of independence has bolstered Powells hopes for Some Are Lakes. Even the trepidation about leaving home for long tours has been replaced by a happy resolve. "Now Im like, Wait a minute, this is a direct result of you doing what you want so you should love it or stop.