Elizabeth Powell has had a somewhat rocky love affair with her Land Of Talk project, with everything seeming to go wrong a forced hiatus occurred 7 years ago, but of course catharsis was found in building the project back up, reunited with original drummer and featuring guests Sharon Van Etten, Steve Shelley they return to Bright Eyes’s Saddle Creek label with powerful self empowered indie rock tracks.
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Low-key shredding has gotten indie rock very far. The muted fuzz rocking of the past decade is by now an intuitive sound we can all probably recite by heart -- super lovely chord progression, mumbled whisper vox and an almost pop-punk understanding of dynamics have tied me to at least a couple of my favourite bands of recent years, and give them a hat tip, ‘cos Land of Talk know all about my sound calendar.
‘Life After Youth’ is a lovely and surprisingly lush record, given what it is: its economical lo-fi sound can actually sound full and bright, with warped post-punk riffs overtaking “This Time” as Elizabeth Powell wrings out super heartfelt and perfectly elongated vocal lines before switching into a chugged up chorus. Soft riffs mingle with oscillating squelches on “Spiritual Intimidation”, the two mingling weirdly but wonderfully; the production coalesces like condensing water on “Heartcore”, whose lush sound makes me wonder what DIIV would sound like if they signed to Saddle Creek. Oh, I guess they’d just sound like this? Yep.
As the record grows, it grows from a kinda straightforward fuzz pop record into one of lovely tones and effects, Land of Talk colouring in their corners of grayscale with lovely whistling and warbling sounds. “World Made” sounds as widescreen as radio rock, its sparse guitar lines meeting a scuffed up sheen in the background, the kind of sparkle that could belong to Future Islands. It’s a record bursting with the emotion of its indie rock cues but bolstered by a fuller belly of sound.
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- Life After Youth by Land Of Talk
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