Tue, May 24

Land of Talk

Michael Feuerstack,
TAGS Indie,

DOORS 7:30PM | SHOW 8:30PM
Ticket Type Price Qty

“Calming Night Partner,” the title track of Land of Talk’s forthcoming EP, is a tender song full of violence. Elizabeth Powell’s fuzzy, ’90s-inflected guitar strums quietly over a starry blanket of noise while they sing a series of terrifying questions: “Was it a knife fight? Was it a lifetime? Did she wear you down, wear you in, sacrificial? Did she tear you right down the middle?

That strange, dissociative marriage of sound and words sums up the alchemy of Calming Night Partner: the music creates a safe harbor where painful and traumatic experiences can be safely explored. It’s a familiar mood in the post-COVID era; Powell is using seclusion and privacy to build up a sense of self that the outside world seems intent on destroying.

The EP was recorded with a familiar team — Mark “Bucky” Wheaton on drums; Chris McCarron, Pietro Amato and Erik Hove on brass, with Amato also on keys — on a Canadian pandemic assistance grant that required them to record five songs in ten days. (Powell wasn’t even initially sure the EP would be released: “I thought this was just going to be a secret release that the band never shared! I don’t know what I was thinking.”) The resulting “family reunion” buoys up the difficult emotions on Calming Night Partner with a palpable warmth.

Music is a way for Powell to approach painful experiences from a position of power. Sometimes it conveys things that are impossible to express through words alone — as with the end of “Something Will Be Said,” Calming Night Partner’s closing track, where a simple mantra of “seeing what I was not” floats out into a long, gorgeous instrumental, with Powell’s guitar melting into the soundscape created by their bandmates. Powell’s voice leaves the track so we can hear the full strength of the community they’ve built.

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