After two decades as a solo artist, Alberta singer k.d. lang returns to singing with a band for Sing It Loud, her 13th album.

Sing It Loud also marks a return to lang's country roots — after 20 years in which she perfected her skills as a crooner, worked with Tony Bennett and had a major international hit with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Lang, 49, has been working with singer-songwriter Joe Pisapia, formerly of Guster, and the musicians of the Siss Boom Bang Band, who lend a new energy to her work.

She credits Pisapia with helping to speed up her songwriting. Alone, she spends too much time second-guessing herself and debating over the right lyrics, she told CBC's Laura Thompson.

She also performed with Pisapia in a live appearance Tuesday on CBC's Q cultural affairs show.

Pisapia, the band and lang cut Sing It Loud in Nashville and plan to tour in support of the album this summer.

"Live has always been sort of the pinnacle of what I do. I've always looked at my recordings as advertisements for what I actually do, which is the live show," lang said.