Laura Marling, 21 and from Hampshire. She has 3 album releases; the latest album, A Creature I Don’t Know, is what I shall be reviewing. From the first song of her first album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, we knew we were in for a treat. Her dextrous strumming of her guitar and her beautiful, country voice. Her voice seems to scream vulnerable and innocence but also experience; perhaps a paradoxical claim but I think that’s what makes her voice so intriguing and inviting.
It is not solely the sound that comes out of her mouth that is beautiful, her lyrics are interesting too. They are almost riddles, small quips she gives suggest what she is thinking and what is going on in Laura Marling’s life. The lyrics are very deep but are very much open for interpretation; ‘it’s hard to accept yourself as someone you don’t desire’ and ‘cross your fingers, hold your toes. We’re all going to die when the building blows’ conjure up meaningful, weighty thoughts in my head – but I find myself wanting to know what Marling herself meant by them. She has said in interview before that ‘as much as you try to not be really self-indulgent with how you write you always end up writing about yourself’.
Another thing I like about Laura Marling is how utterly English she is; she completely typifies an English girl who grew up in the country (see interview here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVT3VW5ofa4&feature=related). It should also be noted she went to school where I swim (can you tell I’m obsessed?)
The album cover shows a naked figure meshed in combat with a black beast with pointy ears and scary looking teeth. Perhaps symbolic of some profound message the designer is trying to convey… I think it’s just really rather nice to look at.
Down to business and on with the album. I think the entire album is just fantastic: relaxing, atmospheric, moody and fresh. The amount of instrumentation for each song is just perfect: Night after Night has a hypnotic, repetitive guitar strumming throughout with the odd harmony here and there to decorate the song.
The cathartic All My Rage has fun, frivolous vocals with building guitar and drums which lead up to a choral chant of;
‘Now all my rage been gone
I’d leave my rage to the sea and the sun’
I’m essentially saying that the album and indeed Laura are top. I Was Just A Card, I Don’t Know Why/ Salinas medley and Night After Night are definitely the songs to listen to if you are short of time or don’t have the whole album yet. Give her a listen and you will never look back (one day last week I got home from school and just watched interviews with her for about 2 hours, fair to say I am infatuated).