Monday, September 12, 2011

Laura Marling’s A Creature I Don’t Know

I didn’t think I’d like this new Laura Marling nearly as much as I did…she may be hip and trendy, but she’s also pretty good. Here’s the review, up at Dusted today.

Laura Marling
A Creature I Don’t Know

Laura Marling digs deep into womanhood on her third full-length album, A Creature I Don’t Know, exploring themes of lust, rage, female godhood, mortality and maternity over the course of 10 songs. Never mind that she’s got a pale ingénue’s look, or that she’s just barely cleared the age of 21 — through her imagination at least, she has tapped into the grittiest elements of the second sex’s experience.

It starts with her voice, which skitters quickly over intricate verbal patterns, flowers into unearthly trills and flourishes, and dips, quickly and intuitively, into the earthy tones of spoken word. It’s a volatile voice, shifting shape as it follows irregular patterns of melody and lyric, now jazzily, torchily sophisticated, now keening and folk-toned, now tipped with blues slurs and slides. You can make connections, over the course of three or four songs, with a whole raft of female singers — Joni Mitchell, Joanna Newsom, Nina Nastasia, Billy Holiday — but in a flickering, ephemeral way. You hear a similarity for no more than a second or two before Marling’s emphasis shifts and she sounds like something else entirely.


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