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Cloak and Cipher

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Album Review

Land of Talk takes another step away from its raw roots with Cloak and Cipher, with songs and vocals that are downright lush and lavish. Singer/guitarist Elizabeth Powell is joined not only by a new rhythm section, bassist Joseph Yarmush and drummer Andrew Barr, but a host of friends that just happen to be Canadian indie-rock luminaries. The Besnard Lakes’ Jace Lasek contributes an ornate string arrangement to “Goal Time Exposure”, while Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara drums on the expansive “Quarry Hymns.” With an all-star cast like this, it’s not surprising that Cloak and Cipher is beautifully played and layered: the title track and “Better and Closer” have every note in place and are never less than pretty. Meanwhile, “Swift Coin” and “Color Me Badd” bring urgency to the album, while the jazzy, Metric-like “Hamburg, Noon” and “Blangee Blee” show just how well Land of Talk balance delicacy and rock power. “The Hate I Won’t Commit,” with its guitar onslaughts and sudden stops and starts, proves that Powell and company can still surprise.

Customer Reviews

Its different but I love it!

I really like this album. To be honest my favorite album of theirs will always be "Applause Cheer Boo Hiss" but this new low key sound is just gorgeous. Off the last album I got one of my top 10 songs of all time "its okay" and I feel like this whole album is just like that. If you want something chill that you can just lay in bed and listen to all day this would be it.

Great Record

A terrific follow up to one of my favorite records, Some Are Lakes, Cloak and Cipher is the album that should propel Land of Talk to grander heights. RYIL Broken Social Scene, Stars, Besnard Lakes, and Arcade Fire (members of each of them appear on the record). Can't recommend this band enough!


Honestly, Elizabeth Powell is my hero. She makes such amazing music that I can just listen to all day. And this album is so chill. "Blangee Blee" happens to be a favorite if mine off if this album. But my favorite record by her would have to be "Applaus Cheer Boo Hiss". The whole album was magic. :)


Formed: 2005 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Land of Talk features Elizabeth Powell (vocals/guitar), a former punk who got her start playing her own anti-folk anthems on the local scene of Guelph, Ontario, during her mid-teens. Upon her college years, with stints playing with the Aaron Riches Nuclear Family Band and the Valentines behind her, Powell set her sights on a solo career in the late '90s. While gigging in and around Ontario and Quebec, she met bassist Blake Markle and a friend of his, drummer Bucky Wheaton, and they formed Land of...
Full Bio
Cloak and Cipher, Land of Talk
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Customer Ratings