Wednesday 14 September 2011

Laura Marling - The Muse

Marling's been through a lot.  Still only 21 and three albums in, she's endured the gaining and losing of love with both frontmen Charlie Fink (Noah and the Whale) and Marcus Mumford (& Sons).  These relationships have been exposed through song for all the world to hear by all parties, so it's understandable that Marling has remained elusive, almost cold, with her own personal view.

With The Muse, jaunty opener to new album 'A Creature I Don't Know' (pictured), she reveals a new wave of confidence that extends through the full album.  The muse in question could apply to either of her previous lovers and their influence on her music, though she replies with bravado "I'm nothing but the beast / And I'll call on you when I need to feast".  The music itself has taken a shot of jazz, with stabbing piano chords and a shuffling beat, but retains its folk roots with the prominence of acoustic guitar, banjo and cello.  And of course, Marling's straightforward delivery remains with ultra clarity for her storytelling.

It paves the way for a more positive album in comparison to the fragility and melancholia of last year's 'I Speak Because I Can'.  It's only now with her third album that she's found her true voice.  And with album closer All My Rage, Marling leaves her "...rage to the sea and sun".  Finally she's over the past and ready to move on.  Let's hope the high quality of her music doesn't suffer in the process.