If it were revealed that an old soul was somehow trapped in the body of Laura Marling, I would hardly be surprised. This indie folk songstress has been making music since she was a teen, recording her first album at just 17. Channeling folk greats such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, Marling creates songs that keep reaching for the space just beyond the emotional catalyst.
This English folk musician may have a soft voice, but it manages to carry charming melodies and a poet’s lyrics. Starting her career as a member of Noah and the Whale and touring with artists like The Moldy Peaches, Laura Marling channeled the raw emotion of teenage romance into her debut Alas, I Cannot Swim. Her follow up, I Speak Because I Can finds the girlish romanticism dissolving and a darker recognition of love’s realities taking its place. Some tracks are boldly boisterous while on others Marling’s voice hovers in a whisper, giving the album depth beyond the typical singer/songwriter expectations. Both of these albums were nominated for the Mercury Prize, cementing her favor among the critics.
A Creature I Don’t Know is the latest offering from the wise, young singer. It is the most representative of the artist in her present state, using lyrics that express the larger ideas instead of specific events and places. This allows the music to abandon any references to time, which gives the songs a distant yet still universal appeal.
If you like: Feist, Joni Mitchell, Beth Orton, Regina Spektor
Check out: Laura Marling (start with Alas, I Cannot Swim, continue with I Speak Because I Can and graduate to A Creature I Don’t Know)
Feeling brave: Cat Power, Nick Cave, Keren Ann
AI level: Beginner