“You might not think that I care but you don’t know what I know”. Damn. I was a late starter to the adoration of folk singer / songwriter LAURA MARLING but the power this artist conveys through simple lyric delivery and the end result in song is simply mystifying.

That line noted at the beginning of this article is from the track “YOU KNOW” and it seems like in her gorgeous, alto lilt long player, she does. It is embedded into the song with the bookends of tongue-lashing of hippies and mothers while reflecting on her personal lament at life in general over time and that results in a stunning crescendo of “… breathe …” and that the listener not follow her “… whatever you may hear or see.”

Too late and you should be proud to pick up this album of smart introspect and deft lyricism for the listener to uncover like little jewels of the psyche with each listen. Marling seems to have an uncanny knack to command attention in a genre that pays respects to free-flow thought almost passively until about five years ago when players like she, AVETT BROTHERS and MUMFORD AND SONS set the genre on its tail. True they had been doing it for a few prior to that but something about the change in the U.S. made people look to more when they considered their music while top 40 went to less with auto-tune dance production. The latter bands, through their aggressive instrumentation and out of place subject matter, Marling however, delivers both but still offering a kind, nod to the true power of folk: the core that is unflinching emotion. Understanding it can be said that its core, all incredible music can across genres can say the same, but, there is something about the gentle almost Arabic-instrumentation of chant cooing of one song – “LITTLE LOVE CASTER” — along side the full-on, in-your-face stomp and awe of others – “DEVIL’S RESTING PLACE” for example, that literally follows that prior track in the sequencing – and you see that this talent is unlike the others. Marling seems to be channeling the down south wailing blues greats of yesteryear of early twentieth century while making peace with the sixties and seventies troubadours of popular radio airwaves to the most whip lashing and delicious of effects.

That said, there are some too-tough-to-listen-to together like the properly placed instrumental “INTERLUDE” followed by the abrupt, fast-guitar plucking and staccato jarred “UNDINE” to then wish you never heard it with being introduced to the stunner of gospel-tinged “WHERE CAN I GO?” Put together and you wish the final track listing would have been listen one more time by the production team, but you can’t slight the experiment of sonic waves that are created to the end user. Such a pleasant treat is the album even with the back and forth that can be a bit off-putting, you still love the full ride when it comes to the end, want to listen again, and share joyfully with others.

About the Author

Drew Waller
Drew Waller