Land of Talk
Land of Talk by Gabrielle Giguère

Land of Talk announces new album ‘Performances’ | Check out the lead single ‘Your Beautiful Self’ & read about the creative process here!

The swooning lead single “Your Beautiful Self” is a stunning showcase of the album’s illuminated self-belief and effortless poeticism

Land of Talk has announced their new album, ‘Performances,’ will be released on October 13th, 2023, via Saddle Creek. Defying expectations, the influential Montreal-based outfit led by Lizzie Powell reinvents themself on their fifth LP. Though it trades muscular guitar rock for understated piano, the self-produced album is still the most urgent and personal of Powell’s to date. The swooning lead single “Your Beautiful Self” is a stunning showcase of the album’s illuminated self-belief and effortless poeticism, as piano and drums steadily build to a gentle chorus (“Take a deep breath / Let it out / Show the love in”) and an electric guitar riff punctures through, allowing for tangible catharsis to seep in. Performances is now available for pre-order.

“I realized right away that I was not feeling electric guitar for this album,” Powell says of Performances. “At first, I felt like something was wrong with me: Land of Talk is about guitars and me rocking out. But is that all I am? Can I get away with doing a Land of Talk record without a ton of electric guitar?” Instead of pandering to preconceived notions about their career so far, Powell decided to follow the muse and immerse themself into this new artistic lane. “I would write demos and think, ‘Oh, that doesn’t really kind of sound like Land of Talk,’” they say. “But then I realized that I’m Land of Talk.”

Of “Your Beautiful Self,” Powell explains: “This was one of the earliest songs I wrote for the record and it came out of the session I did at my friend’s house I rented in Sutton, Quebec. There’s a little bit of Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘Under the Killing Moon’ in here. We kept reworking the song in different studios and different contexts but it really clicked when I swapped out guitar for piano. Taking things out and allowing myself to be spare made it work. I wanted to be anti-virtuosic here. Also, my voice goes up the octave on this song in a really fun way. It was a weird and fun personal challenge to get my voice to start out that low.”

Work on Performances started in 2021 during a time that Powell refers to as a period of “identity confusion,” where they had trouble finding a place for the intimate, piano-based recordings they were making. While Performances is undoubtedly an ambitious leap and marked shift in focus for Land of Talk, to Powell, it’s a return to their roots. “My ears are always drawn to things that aren’t perfectly polished,” says Powell. “I came up as like a strapping lo-fi experimental recording artist. How can I get that feeling back and why not now?” Though Powell cites everything from rapper Nappy Nina, producers Sounwave and Pi’erre Bourne, as well as The Banshees of Inisherin as indirect inspirations of the LP, the single “Sitcom” takes cues from Christopher Cross and the Family Ties intro. Over hazy synths, they sing, “Just something I’m feeling / I’ll never figure it out Just a touch, a feeling / I’ll never figure it out.” 

“It’s the weirdest, mightiest little record I’ve made since I used to write music on my four-track when I was 14,” Powell explains. “I needed to make a love letter to my teenage self by being more vulnerable and doing all the production myself.” Here, they doggedly value their own intuition over anything else to make their most rewarding album yet.

Performances is a defiant and resonant blow against expectations and outside pressure. It’s an LP showcasing an artist without constraints and allowing themself to be radically honest. “The album title is very literal,” says Powell. “I’m performing what’s in my brain but I’m tired of performing femininity for the music industry, femininity in my life, respectability, and vulnerability. I’m trying to grow out of these and break out of these roles in my life.” Powell’s fearlessness as a songwriter has already led to Land of Talk boasting an unmistakably essential discography but with this album, they find the perfect opportunity to give themself the grace to truly double down on their own vital sensibilities. They usher the songs every step of the way from demoing to producing, imbuing each track with immense care and unfiltered feeling.

“This is me reclaiming Land of Talk as it always has been,” says Powell. “Every record we’ve made has just been one step closer to me figuring out how I want to make a record myself. I might not ever make an album like this again, but I just felt like I owed it to myself to try.”

Land of Talk
Album art

Track list

1. Intro (high bright high)
2. Your Beautiful Self
3. Fluorescent Blood
4. Marry It
5. Rainbow Protection
6. Clarinet dance jam
7. Sitcom
8. Semi-Precious
9. August 13
10. Pwintiques

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