Laura Marling Keeps Finding Her Voice | Bleader

Monday, May 3, 2010

Laura Marling Keeps Finding Her Voice

Posted By on 05.03.10 at 08:44 PM

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Laura Marling
  • Laura Marling
British singer-songwriter Laura Marling, who's reached the ripe old age of 20, recently released her accomplished second album, I Speak Because I Can (Virgin), and it makes me wonder what's still ahead for her. She's already ditched some of the irritating mannerisms that compromised her otherwise fine debut, Alas I Cannot Swim (Astralwerks, 2008), which speaks well of her taste. And though she's still trafficking in the folk-pop style launched about four decades ago by Nick Drake—and largely untouched until Elliott Smith, who helped make it ubiquitous—on the new record she sings with less impatience, embraces relatively elaborate arrangements, and delivers stronger melodies and more restrained, mature lyrics.

I think she's yet to reach her potential—not by a long shot—but that's not to say she's missing the mark all that often now. She sounds more confident, smarter, and more elegant, and I think there's a lot more she'll do. (You'd hope so, given her age.) Marling's vocal style is conversational—just a few steps from talk-singing, really—but she brings out the hidden melodies within speech, making pop music from the most quotidian of materials. I still haven't seen her play live, but one of these days that will have to change. I might even be able to change it Tuesday night, when she kicks off her latest U.S. tour with a show at Lincoln Hall.

Below you can check out "Goodbye England" from the new album:

photo: Deirdre O'Callaghan

Today's playlist:

Enrico Rava & Ran Blake, Duo en Noir (Between the Lines)
Stan Getz, Dynasty (Verve)
Martin Bresnick, The Essential Martin Bresnick (Cantaloupe)
Jeli Moussa Sissoko, Ballaké (Bibi Africa)
Maysa, Voltei (RGE/Som Livre)

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