April 7, 2010

Laura Marling leaps into the big time

Laura Marling Rambling Man:

Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark album is now such a touchstone that it's been assimilated into the blood and bones of pop music. 35 years after its release comes a song worthy of inclusion on that album: Rambling Man. And it's performed by a 20-year-old, Laura Marling. For me, the core lyric is in the bridge, with these lines:

And it's hard to accept yourself as someone you don't desire,
As someone you don't want to be.

Heavy stuff. The full album, I Speak Because I Can, is pretty close to perfect: a folk-based record with an awareness of melody and intriguing arrangements. It's not simply a guitar/voice record, though Marling's voice and songs are good enough to sustain that. This will end up on a lot of "best of" lists in December. Standouts are Goodbye England (hear it), Devil's Spoke (video), Hope In The Air (I love the end bit about "your last serving daughter") and Alpha Shallows, which is like Russian folk by way of Holland Park.

Laura is on tour in the UK in April and in the US in May. These shows are can't miss if you like this kind of music. Check the Tour section of her website for dates. Note that the album is also finally out in America as well.

Final comment: Marling wrote this song when she was 18.
Here is a clip of her performing it in 2008. Since then, she's grown up! You'll see what I mean when you compare her look in the two clips and how she allows the song to breathe more now.


Dan said...

She really is channeling Joni on this song, but she doesn't come across as if she's trying to copy her. It's a lovely song and I think your prediction will be true.

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Lovely song, still need the album.

Her song Ghosts is one of my favorites. Magical.