NBHAP Rating: 4/5
[one_half last=”yes”]LAURA MARLING
02. False Hope
03. I Feel Your Love
04. Walk Alone
06. Don’t Let Me Bring You Down
08. Gurdjieffs’s Daughter
10. How Can I
12. Short Movie
13. Worship Me
Beyond Her Years
Releasing her fifth album at the still very youthful age of 25 might, indeed, make many other artists feel a little unproductive. However, LAURA MARLING’s latest release, Short Movie, is striking for its maturity. This album presents a range of sound and lyrical depth that may only be expected of a much older artist. MARLING confidently stands firm by her Folk roots and alludes to the maturely romantic, personal lyrics of artists such as JONI MITCHELL. Short Movie exposes her attempts to broaden her sound while remaining self-assured in her original acoustic style.
Wit and Confidence
MARLING clearly wants to push herself in this latest production and, while this isn’t always successful, with some of her tracks lacking any real diversity, there are some really brilliant moments as well. Strange exhibits MARLING deviating from her signature vocals into an assertive, conversational tone that highlights her witty and, at sometimes, brutal, lyrics: ‘I can offer you so little but just accept the hand that you’ve been dealt.’ And yet, these lyrics are parried by the deeply passionate, smooth writing in tracks such as Howl and I Feel Your Love. Gurdjieff’s Daughter is less concerned with the lacing in of her beautiful vocals and, instead, presents itself as a powerful bridge into a newer idea of her sound. Although, at times, MARLING staggers back into her comfortable acoustics, her sincere interest in developing Short Movie into something distinct to her earlier work is pervasive throughout.
Taking a Break
In an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, MARLING attributes her new maturity to her taking a year out from music and exposing herself to different experiences outside the industry. Moments of her album acknowledge this journey of self-discovery but also reconsider the intimacy that exists between people. The interesting choice to conclude on Worship Me fuses softly spoken characteristics of her earlier works with fascinating lyrics that reconsider and complicate the smooth melody. The result is a reflection on this album as a transition in her work. She’s signifying a new moment in her music and I for one will keep listening out for what is to come.
LAURA MARLIN’s ‘Short Movie’ might mark her transition from a traditional songwriter to something new but throughout it she remains honest and authentic.