It’s hard to not be instantly enchanted by Land of Talk singer Elizabeth Powell’s bourbon-and-honey-esque pipes. And thankfully, come August 24, the Montreal trio will have another chance to shine on with the release of their sophomore effort, Cloak and Cipher, via Saddle Creek.

Recorded in Montreal in late 2009, and produced by Jace Lasek (who has worked with fellow Montreal scenesters Besnard Lakes), Cloak and Cipher‘s 10 tracks “mark an electric step forward for the band musically and sonically,” and features guest appearances by “members of Stars, Silver Mount Zion Band, Wintersleep, Besnard Lakes, Arcade Fire and Esmerine.”

Said to be influenced by “newspaper headlines, veiled confessions, and passages from books,” Powell laid the groundwork for the album with Garageband for the first time, before moving on to her trademark precision and obsessive attention to detail. Album standouts “Hamburg, Noon,” “Swift Coin,” “The Hate I Won’t Commit,” (with guest Patrick Wilson) “Quarry Hymns,” (said to be the saddest Land of Talk outing yet, featuring Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara on drums) and closer “Better and Closer” will only further boost Powell’s profile and propel Land of Talk into the conversation.

A tour is set for late May, along with support dates with Besnard Lakes. Powell will be joined on the road by Joe Yarmush (bass/guitars/vocals), Andrew Barr (drums/percussion) and Eoin O Laoghaire (bass).

Cloak and Cipher tracklisting in full:
1. Cloak and Cipher
2. Goaltime Exposure
3. Quarry Hymns
4. Swift Coin
5. Color Me Badd
6. The Hate I Won’t Commit
7. Hamburg, Noon
8. Blangee Blee
9. Playita
10. Better and Closer

Land of Talk tour dates:
5/26/10 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom*
5/27/10 Washington, DC @ Black Cat*
5/28/10 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*
5/29/10 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
5/30/10 Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears*
5/31/10 Portland, ME @ Space Gallery

*w/ Besnard Lakes

  1. [...] — has just confirmed an extensive North American tour in support of August 24th’s Cloak and Cipher  (Saddle Creek). Set to kick off September 16 in Toronto, the trek will wrap on November 11 in [...]