laura marling

  1. Laura Marling unveils her third album “A Creature I Don’t Know”

    First things first; I loved Laura Marling’s first album Alas I Cannot Swim. It was fresh, interesting and not bogged down with folksy cliché. Alas her second LP, 2010’s I Speak Because I Can, was bleak, dull and, yes, folk to the bone. There was none of the joy of Ghosts, the wit of New Romantic or the stark storytelling seen on My Manic And I. Of course, I’m definitely in the minority here, considering the avalanche of plaudits heaped on the album, including a BRIT Award for Best British Female and an NME Awrd for Best Solo Artist.

    Now we arrive at Marling’s third album “A Creature I Don’t Know”. Originally meant to be released last year after “I Speak Because I Can”, it was delayed until this year. No tracklisting has been released as of yet, but Marling is bound to air new material at Glastonbury Festival this weekend. A preview video, shown above, gives a brief idea of her current sound, which isn’t a massive departure from the old one. A little more bare, and a hint of Dylanesque twang to her voice, there’s no doubt Marling is amazingly talented for her age (at 21, she’s only a year older than myself), but her music, in my opinion, has skipped ahead and become too mature too quick.

  2. Laura Marling reveals “A Creature I Don’t Know“‘s artwork, tracklisting

    I’m still unsure whether Laura Marling’s third LP will recapture the magic of her debut, but I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. The tracklisting for “A Creature I Don’t Know” is:

    1. The Muse
    2. I Was Just A Card
    3. Don’t Ask Me Why
    4. Salinas
    5. The Beast
    6. Night After Night
    7. My Friends
    8. Rest In The Bed
    9. Sophia
    10. All My Rage
  3. Laura Marling - Sophia

    Now this is more like it. After her disappointing second album, Laura Marling seems to have rediscovered the charm of her debut, casting off the stony-faced mature folk for this, the first single from "A Creature I Don’t Know". Debuting on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show last night, "Sophia" sways into life as a plucked acoustic track, that builds slowly to a beautiful, uplifting folk-rock finish. The inclusion of a rock beat and electric guitars is something new to Marling’s sound and both work superbly. Marling stated in on the Zane Lowe show that “Sophia” was recorded in one take, which shines through in the tracks feel-good, jam session feel. She also mentioned that the song is one of the “easier listens” on the album, a possible hint that the dour seriousness of “I Speak Because I Can” hasn’t quite disappeared.

  4. WATCH /// LAURA MARLING - SOPHIA

    The wonderful new track from Laura Marling's upcoming third album "A Creature I Don’t Know" now has a video, almost a month before its release on September 12th. If "Sophia" represents a fuller and more positive sound on the album, then I think Ms Marling may have just won back a fan.

  5. Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know

    I’m one of the few who steadfast refused to join in with the critical circle-jerk that surrounded Laura Marling's second album "I Speak Because I Can". To my ears, it was forced maturity; the sort of album an artist cranks out in middle age, to go along with Culture Show appearances, Sunday supplement interviews and the like. Gone was the extraordinarily talented young woman, who brought a fresh, modern perspective and voice to folk, replaced by a stern, po-faced sound; joyless, like a widow looking out to sea. Compare it to the other half of the great nu-folk break up (Noah And The Whale’s “The First Days Of Spring”) and it’s a stony, unfeeling affair. However it brings me great joy to announce that "A Creature I Don’t Know", Ms Marling is back on top form.

    Most noticeable is that this is a happy, upbeat album for the majority of its ten tracks. Flickers of country and Spanish guitar appear, as well as more than a few references to Marcus Mumford ("Sonny don’t come here no more/He don’t drink from this well" on "Do Not Ask Me Why", and "Who’s been touching my skin?/Who have I been letting in?" on "Sophia"). For future reference: never dump Laura Marling. Surprisingly, electric guitars punctuate a lot of the songs on the album, something which has never featured before on Marling’s music. The addition gives a bit of emotional power and wallop at all the right moments, for instance the build-up and climax of "The Beast".

    Despite being a mostly positive collection, there are some darker, denser and gentler moments e.g. "Night After Night" recalls Marling’s debut, just her and a guitar. Simple yet a stunning highlight on a stunning album. Marling’s voice has also developed, from the hushed Estuary twang heard on her debut to a strong, unique vocal which startles when you remember she’s only 21. It’s clear that Marling will become one of the most recognisable voices in British music over the next however many years, and we’ll be all the better for it.

  6. So here we are. November already. Time flies etc. This is the first of our end of year lists, but not the definitive one, mind you (you can still vote for them here or here). No, this is just the top ten of your humble editor. Feel free to submit your top ten lists to us if you want to see them posted up here. Well, without further ado…


    Just when I thought he couldn’t better the flawless untitled EP from earlier this year, Donald Glover serves up the hip-hop album of the year and, hell, the overall album of the year. Ambitious, moving, hilarious and brilliant in equal parts, Camp is a rare deeply personal rap album in a similar standing to Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and even manages to match it in quality. Gambino can do no wrong.


    It’s always a good thing to see a band given time to grow, develop and change at their own pace. LC! have been afforded that chance, evolving from their chirpy indie-pop roots to become one of the best loved and consistently brilliant bands in the country. Hello Sadness far outstrips their past records and solidifies their position and something special.


    A superb return to form for the unlikely BRIT Award winner. Injecting some heart and soul into her mature folk ways after the drab I Speak Because I Can, Marling created a beautiful, heart-wrenching affair that demands repeat listens and can be considered her first classic album of what’s sure to be many.


    Once in a while, an artist comes out of nowhere startlingly fully formed, with a perfect debut album. Trevor Powers is that artist. The Year Of Hibernation is an astonishing achievement, especially when you consider Powers’ age and the fact that this is his first album. Tender and sweet, the lo-fi ballads of Youth Lagoon are sure to worm their way into the heart of many a teenager.


    Pretty sure Alex Turner has the Midas touch. The man just keeps churning out the successes. Expectations were low for the Monkeys’ fourth LP after the lukewarm reception towards Humbug (an underrated classic). Doubters were silenced with a record that flitted between lovelorn crooning, the jangly genius of The Smiths and The Stone Roses and the heavy rock power that the band have always had hiding in them. It also provides us with their best song yet, in the title track.


    The country’s in the shitter and we’re stuck with James Blake for a soundtrack. ”Where are all the pissed-off, angry young bands?” you may ask. Well judging on this evidence, Stockton-On-Tees. The Chapman Family took their time with this debut LP, waiting a few years to get it just right, instead of cashing in on their 2009 hype. The result is a seething, barely-contained gem of a record. It should rightly become a future classic, documenting the current climate. But for now, it’s the best British debut in a long, long time.


    Not happy with going all on “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” last year, Kanye teamed with fellow hip-hop monolith Jay-Z to concoct the most extravagant rap album probably ever. From its glistening artwork to the star studded guests, Watch The Throne screams THIS IS A BIG ALBUM. With so much hype and money thrown at it, the album could well have been a massive flop. Instead we get two heavyweights sparring with each other for fun, crafting a landmark for the genre.


    AKA, the first post-fame Elbow album. 2008’s The Seldom Seen Kid propelled the Bury band into the spotlight like never before in their decades long career, and Build A Rocket Boys! is just as good as its predecessor. Yes, it may follow an eerily similar formula (big long opener, rocky first single, penultimate singalong anthem, tender restrained closer) but the genius of Guy Garvey is enough to see it through. Seriously, someone give the man a knighthood.


    AKA the album responsible for me no longer buying the NME. Probably the biggest cult band in the country right now (tying with Los Campesinos!) Birmingham’s JoFo prove that there is indie music still worth getting passionate about. …Vs Everything sees an expansion of the usual palette, adding sythns, prominent acoustic guitars and subtle horns into the mix, leaving us with a career-best record from the threesome.


    Dubstep is a dirty word around these parts, but somehow SBTRKT makes it immensely listenable. The exact definition of what the dubstep sound is will rage on long after the genre has died a death, but in a world where Skrillex and James Blake are the faces of the scene, I’d take whatever SBTRKT is selling every day. Sparse, soulful and at times haunting, the London producer’s debut is also really quite wonderful and hopefully a sign of good things to come for UK dance.

  7. It’s over. We can no longer keep posting filler “end of year” lists. It’s back to real blogging now…

    The Hitsville Albums Of 2011 List, as voted for by you, in full:

    1. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See
    2. Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know
    3. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
    4. The Horrors - Skying
    5. Wu Lyf - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
    6. Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne
    7. SBTRKT - SBTRKT
    8. Metronomy - The English Riviera
    9. Wild Beasts - Smother
    10. Tyler, The Creator - Goblin
    11. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
    12. Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind Of Fix
    13. The Chapman Family - Burn Your Town
    14. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
    15. James Blake - James Blake
    16. Nicola Roberts - Cinderella’s Eyes
    17. Slow Club - Paradise
    18. Mastodon - The Hunter
    19. Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys!
    20. Drake - Take Care
    21. The Weeknd - House Of Balloons/Thursday
    22. Johnny Foreigner - Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything
    23. Friendly Fires - Pala
    24. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
    25. Youth Lagoon - The Year Of Hibernation
    26. M83 - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    27. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We’re New Here
    28. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
    29. Noel Gallagher - Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
    30. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
    31. Lil B - I’m Gay (I’m Happy)
    32. Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
    33. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
    34. Terius Nash - 1977
    35. The Antlers - Burst Apart
    36. Yuck - Yuck
    37. Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
    38. The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
    39. The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
    40. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything’s Getting Older
    41. Battles - Gloss Drop
    42. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
    43. Real Estate - Days
    44. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
    45. Noah And The Whale - Last Night On Earth
    46. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
    47. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
    48. Childish Gambino - Camp
    49. Death Grips - Exmilitary
    50. Patrick Wolf - Lupercalia

    There you have it, your fifty albums of the year. Pretty eclectic bunch aren’t you? Some superb picks alongside some, well, not so superb picks. At least Lulu wasn’t in there…

  8. It feels like only last week that Alt-J were announced as winners of 2012’s Mercury prize, and met with a collective “who?” from an unfortunately large section of the global audience. Time flies when the year is so musically good, eh? There have been a bevy of worthy releases from British and Irish bands in the past twelve months; 220 were submitted to the judging panel, but the twelve lucky nominees for this year’s prize are:

    • Arctic Monkeys - AM
    • David Bowie - The Next Day
    • Disclosure - Settle
    • Foals - Holy Fire
    • Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
    • James Blake - Overgrown
    • Jon Hopkins - Immunity
    • Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle
    • Laura Mvula - Sing To The Moon
    • Rudimental - Home
    • Savages - Silence Yourself
    • Villagers - {awayland}

    Jake Bugg, Laura Mvula, Rudimental, Disclosure and Savages are all on their first nomination, whilst Jon Hopkins was previously nominated back in 2011 for his collaboration album with King Creosote, with this being his first solo nomination. Foals, Bowie, James Blake and Villagers have all earned the second nod of their careers, whilst Arctic Monkeys and Laura Marling are both on their third. Should Alex Turner & co claim the prize, they’ll be only the second act to win it twice, after PJ Harvey did just that in 2011 with Let England Shake.

    It’s really quite difficult to pick a winner, to be honest. The favourite will likely be David Bowie, but you feel that might be on the basis of his entire career and stature, rather than the quality of The Next Day (it is an excellent album though); AM is probably the weakest Arctic Monkeys album to be nominated yet, but again, their star power could net them the prize. Foals are probably the dark horses (pun totally intended) as Holy Fire is a phenomenal effort, whilst Savages would be an excellent outside bet, their bleak-but-powerful post-punk providing one of the most thrilling debuts in years.