Land of Talk, 'Some Are Lakes' (Saddle Creek)

8
Some Are Lakes
Critical Mass
Label: Saddle Creek

by Jon Young

This Montreal group's first full-length features a slightly brighter, looser sound than their wonderfully sludgy 2006 EP, perhaps due to the input of Justin Vernon (a.k.a. folkie marvel Bon Iver), who coproduced with the band. Regardless, the spotlight stays on charismatic Elizabeth Powell, who grinds out chunky guitar noise as she attacks the mic with a slow-burn drawl that suggests Lucinda Williams fronting a power trio. On jagged tracks like "Death by Fire," Powell's voice is submerged in the mix to increase tension, creating the disorienting urgency of a slow-motion nightmare.

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