Saddle Creek | Land of Talk | Reviews


Cloak and Cipher

Author: Tim McMahan
09/09/2010 | The Reader | | Album Review
I write this crammed into a window seat flying straight into the heart of a hurricane named Earl, but I'm not worried. NYC will protect me. It always has. So if there's a sense of impending dread throughout these five reviews a look at the hottest indie release of the year, along with four new, strong albums from our friends at Saddle Creek Records I blame the weather and anticipation of my long-deserved vacation (or demise). See you on the other side of the storm.

Land of Talk, Cloak and Cipher (Saddle Creek) Saddle Creek has its first dream-pop act with these wily Montreal-eans led by dreamy front woman Elizabeth Powell. Their first Creek release, 2007?s Some Are Lakes, was a sneaky comer that required repeated listens before locking in. Not so this follow-up, which leaps out of the gate with its dense, bouncy title track where Powell croons in her husky, sexy voice the indecipherable code: "I won't redeem another / Lose that." What's it mean? Who knows? Just like on the pulsing "Quarry Hymns," where she coos "Leaving on the hottest day / To sink this quarry under," you never know what she's singing about, and you won't care because you'll be lost in the layers of the trio's beautiful pop. There will be the inevitable comparisons to the usual suspects: The Sundays, The Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, but Land of Talk brings its own mystery to your headphones, its own intensity that none of the others can match.