Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know

A third wonderful album, then
Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know
With two Mercury Music Prize nominations and a BRIT award in the bag, you might expect Laura Marling to capitalise on the exposure and tweak her sound in a push for the big time. Fear not, folk folks. The jazzy whirl of opener ‘The Muse’, sounding, at times, like a more forceful and jagged ‘Poor Boy’ by Nick Drake, is a stunning statement of intent and the most relaxed start to a Marling album to date.

Beginning delicately, ‘I Was Just A Card’ unfurls gorgeously, with Marling shaping and pushing her voice in new directions. The vintage Joni Mitchell comparison point is, by now, utterly undeniable, but it’s a source of inspiration rather than a simple sense of imitation. Lyrically, her ability to inhabit a song and deliver a story remains beautifully intact, the line “My mother, she’s the saviour of six-foot of bad behaviour”, in ‘Salinas’, curls magically around the melody. This bluesy number builds to a crescendo which then seems to abate with the quiet start to ‘The Beast’, only for it to explode into the most malevolent sounding thing Marling has ever released.

Gorgeous single ‘Sophia’ is elevated to greatness by the introduction of her band at its midpoint, while ‘Night By Night’, one of the rare solo moments on the album, is a wonderfully balanced, emotionally loaded commentary on love. A third wonderful album, then, and a sign that Marling has transcended the “nu-folk” movement and carved her own magnificent identity.

8/10

Words by GARETH JAMES

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-