[Album Review] Land of Talk- Life After Youth
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Release Date: May 19th, 2017
Label: Dine Alone Records
Seven years after releasing Cloak and Cipher, Land of Talk is back with perhaps their strongest effort. Led by principal songwriter Elizabeth Powell, Life After Youth is a collection of songs exploring reunions and second chances. The obstacles and hurdles faced by Powell over the last few years have been well-documented in the press cycle for this album, and in a lot of ways, this album sounds like a band reflecting on what they’ve faced and overcome thus far, as well as having the perspective to see where they’re going.

It’s clear that the various obstacles and challenges that Powell has faced over the past few years have informed these songs, at least thematically. From the sense that “This Time” is about Land of Talk seizing that second chance and making the most of their opportunity to the wistful “Yes You Were” that sounds like an ode to the people and faces missed over the last little while. Musically, Land of Talk sounds as confident as they’ve ever been – the vocals seem to be clearer and more prominent in the mix, and the soft synth-tinged indie rock showcases beautifully catchy harmonies from Powell and friends (like Sharon von Etten). In a lot of ways, I think that the sound of the album fits really well with the emotional or lyrical focus of the album – it sounds melancholy, it sounds wistful, but ultimately, it sounds like a band appreciative of what’s happened, and looking towards the future with a little bit of optimism.

I think that “Loving” showcases the 2017 version of Land of Talk in the best way. The lyrics are clever and cutting, the vocal delivery is inspired, and the song is unbelievably catchy. Maybe it’s a song about dealing with a breakup (or some other loss), but it gives you that slightest bit of hope that just maybe, everything will be okay soon.