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As its title would suggest, Cloak and Cipher is an album veiled in mystery.
A curious collection of swaying melodies, the sophomore full-length release from Montreal indie-rock trio Land of Talk plays out like an intriguing riddle. Featuring contributions from members of Stars, Arcade Fire, Wintersleep and other indie darlings, Cloak and Cipher offers a hypnotic yet obfuscated assemblage of sounds that are simultaneously magnetic and muddled. At times, the lyrics are indeed cloaked and difficult to decipher while songs begin to coagulate when not being given undivided attention.
Yet Cloak and Cipher’s magnetic pull is difficult to deny. Frontwoman and chief songwriter Elizabeth Powell’ssoft, delicate vocals enchant with a persistent longing while bone-shivering, crescendoing choruses – like “Where did my body go?/Where did I leave it?” in “Color Me Badd” – are not to be missed.
Overall, Cloak and Cipher is one mystery definitely worth investigating.

By Hilary Marchildon
Nov 15, 2010

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