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Folk - Released January 1, 2010 | Virgin Records

Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Mercury Prize Selection
British folksinger Laura Marling’s 2008 debut, Alas I Cannot Swim, showed more depth and maturity than one would expect from a (then) 18-year-old. Marling’s expressive, smoky voice and penchant for lyrical matter that didn’t reference clubbing landed her a well-earned Mercury Prize nomination, as well as a considerable amount of hype concerning her follow-up. Released in 2010, I Speak Because I Can delivers on nearly every level, upping both the production value (thanks to Ryan Adams and Kings of Leon producer Ethan Johns and fellow indie folk darlings Mumford & Sons) and the songwriting. Love, death, and heartbreak are hardly new subjects when it comes to folk music, but they refresh themselves so often in our lives that their relevance becomes tenfold with each new bite, scrape, or blow to the head, a notion that Marling explores with both guarded wisdom and elegant petulance on standout cuts like "Devil’s Spoke," "Made by Maid," "Rambling Man," and "Goodbye England." At its heart, I Speak Because I Can is a stoic, bare-bones singer/songwriter record, which makes the tastefully peppered bursts of explosive percussion, banjo, mandolin, and backing vocals from the Mumford gentlemen all the more effective and not just window dressing to cover up a cookie-cutter storefront. That said, it’s Marling’s enigmatic voice (think Florence & the Machine and Fiona Apple), clever phrasing (think Joni Mitchell), and adherence to the alternately warm and wintry vibe of late-'60s/early-'70s classic rock and folk (think Led Zeppelin III) that listeners will keep coming back to, regardless of the packaging. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 23, 2015 | Virgin Records Ltd

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Following in the dusty, sun-baked footsteps of 2013's mesmerizing Once I Was an Eagle, Laura Marling's fifth studio outing feels even more rooted in the California desert, doubling down on the former's penchant for pairing breezy, American west coast mysticism with bucolic, Sandy Denny-era English folk, but with a subtle shift in architecture. Marling's gift for gab and deft finger-picking are still front and center, but with the self-produced Short Movie, she's expanded her sonic palette by plugging in. While by no means a straight-up electric guitar album, Short Movie does bristle with a current of nervy energy, and that coffee-black, post-midnight buzz is the fuel that gives cuts like "False Hope," "Don't Let Me Bring You Down," "Gurdjieff's Daughter," and the hypnotic title track their swagger. That said, Marling is an unrepentant folkie, and those late-night blasts of tube-driven self-evaluation and raw verisimilitude eventually give way to bleary-eyed mornings spent assessing the wreckage, and the album's best moments arrive via the aged wood and steel of her trusty acoustic. The dreamy, psych-tinged opener "Warrior" invokes Nick Drake's "Road" with its bluesy, open tuning and refrain of "I can't be your horse anymore, you're not the warrior I'm looking for," while the equally Drake-ian "Feel Your Love" offers up a less defensive, but no less weary stance toward potential suitors, positing "you must let me go before I get old, I need to find someone who really wants to be mine." Avoiding complacency has always been the light that guides the precocious singer/songwriter (only 25 at the time of release, this is Marling's fourth album in just five years), and Short Movie does little to temper that restlessness. It may lack the cohesion of her last outing, and her steadfast derision of anything resembling a hook can be taxing, but it makes up for its meandering with a strength of character that eludes many of her contemporaries. An old soul to say the least, Marling continues to evolve as both a musician and a writer, albeit subtly, and we're all the better for it. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Virgin Records Ltd

Distinctions Mercury Prize Selection
Once I Was an Eagle, the fourth long-player from Laura Marling, finds the spectral folk singer relocating to Los Angeles, abandoning her backing band, and delivering a cumbersome yet remarkably confident 16-track, 63-minute collection of alternately intimate and grandiose pre-, present, and post-relationship songs that more or less obliterate her reputation as a stage fright-ridden, pale English flower. The first four tracks, which begin with the languid "Take the Night Off" ("You should be gone beast/be gone from me/be gone from my mind at least/let a little lady be") essentially form a suite, seamlessly flowing in and out of each other like an impromptu, post-breakfast, tobacco smoke-filled rehearsal that just happened to occur amidst a sea of expensive microphones. Marling's reinvention as a Californian will do little to quell all of the Joni Mitchell comparisons which, let's face it, are pretty apt, but songs like "Breathe," "Master Hunter," "Pray for Me," and the quasi-mystical title cut introduce Indian ragas, open tunings, and cathartic, tabla-fueled breakdowns into the mix, suggesting a steady diet of Led Zeppelin III, Pink Floyd's Meddle, and Pentangle as well, which adds to the album's dusty, Laurel Canyon patina. Elsewhere, Marling wanders into Gillian Welch territory on the dark and bluesy, fingerpicked "Undine," and the propulsive "Devil's Resting Place" and sweet and soulful "Where Can I Go?" harken back to the youthful whimsy of 2010's I Speak Because I Can, but Once I Was an Eagle is neither whimsical nor particularly youthful, despite the fact that its creator was only 23 at the time of its conjuring. Marling is an old soul through and through, and her remarkably timeless voice, idiosyncratic lyrics, and increasingly impressive guitar chops help to elevate the album's less immediate moments, and while some may argue that her increasingly Americanized, Pacific coast folk-pop can feel a little like fan fiction, it doesn't make it any less enjoyable to sink your toes into. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

Distinctions Mercury Prize Selection
Due to her youth (16 when she first hit Myspace, 17 when signed to an imprint of EMI, and 18 when her debut album came out), perky-cute looks and extremely British diction, singer/songwriter Laura Marling got a lot of comparisons to Lily Allen in her early buzz, but the quietly compelling Alas I Cannot Swim is not at all a frothy pop confection. A folk-tinged AAA pop record based on Marling's alluringly husky voice and graceful acoustic guitar, Alas I Cannot Swim would be more aptly compared to the likes of Feist, Keren Ann, or Regina Spektor. (In the album's press kit, Marling reveals her primary influence to be Bonnie "Prince" Billy, which also seems appropriate.) Although not to draw too forbidding a comparison, opening track and first single "Ghosts" is most strongly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell circa For the Roses, both in Marling's expressive vocal phrasing and the expert shifts in the arrangement between solo acoustic passages and full-band sections, not to mention an excellently deployed string section. That old-school '70s singer/songwriter vibe predominates throughout the album, in fact. There's one straight-up pop song here, the deceptively chipper-sounding "Cross Your Fingers" ("...hold your toes/We're all gonna die when the building blows" continues the sweetly sung chorus), but aside from that, Alas I Cannot Swim is the kind of album that takes a couple of listens for its charms to completely sink in. Rather than swath every track in prominent, ear-grabbing hooks, Marling and producer Charlie Fink choose to keep the decorations off in the distance on songs like "The Captain and Hourglass," where swells of pedal steel stay buried deep in the mix under Marling's hypnotic guitar line and quietly insistent vocals. There's every chance that Laura Marling will get lost in the shuffle as the unexpected commercial success of Feist's The Reminder leads major labels to unleash hordes of similarly talented female singer/songwriters, but Alas I Cannot Swim is far better than the average coffee house-endorsed girly pop. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 10, 2020 | Chrysalis Records

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London folkie Laura Marling's voice is a magical contradiction — tender but strong, earthy but maybe not of this earth. On her seventh album, she defends the stake claimed by previous releases Semper Femina and Once I Was an Eagle: Marling belongs in the company of Joni Mitchell, Carole King and James Taylor. Her voice — both the sound and words — is pure power on the irresistible "Strange Girl": "Woke up in a country who refused to hold your hand/ Kept falling for narcissists who insist you call them man" she croons to a melody that winks at "Walk on the Wild Side." Inspired by a "running away" fund her mother kept, "Fortune" finds freedom aloft strings so heartbreakingly sweet they're fit for a Broadway ballad. The warm charms of "For You" — a home demo enriched by simple humming — could be from the 1930s or 2020. Woozy opener "Alexandra" is terrific, as are the spare and lovely "Only the Strong" and sleepy-eyed yet sweeping title track. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 4, 2020 | Chrysalis Records

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Pop - Released March 10, 2017 | More Alarming Records

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Pop - Released March 10, 2017 | More Alarming Records

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Pop - Released December 21, 2017 | More Alarming Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2020 | Chrysalis Records

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Folk - Released September 26, 2011 | Virgin

Laura Marling, fresh off of a Mercury Prize nomination at the age of 20 for 2010’s I Speak Because I Can, knows that with critical acclaim comes great expectation. Her third studio album, the loose and languid A Creature I Don’t Know, both edifies her old-soul persona and diffuses it, offering up 11 slabs of retro Anglophile folk that manages to both push the envelope and seal it shut. Marling's vocal affectations, which are ultimately charming despite their frequent Joni Mitchell-isms, are far more apparent this time around, especially on the album’s first three tracks, all of which showcase a fervent singer/songwriter with a fiercely independent spirit who’s tempered by a strong familiarity with her parents’ record collection. That said, it’s a syllabus that’s been ingested and honed rather than spit out and glossed over, and most of the time, Marling makes a great case for all of those Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson comparisons. Brimming with life and lush with spanish guitar, rolling banjos, summer of love chord changes, and moor-bound tales of love gone bad, A Creature I Don’t Know is ultimately triumphant, due in great part to Marling's magnificent codeine voice, which sounds like it’s been pouring out of the radio for five decades, especially on stand-out cuts like “Sophia,” “The Beast,” “My Friends,” and “All My Rage.” Three albums in, the young singer/songwriter sounds brave and confident yet breakable and guarded, and while A Creature I Don’t Know may not be the bolt from the blue fans and critics were hoping for, it’s most certainly storm born. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2015 | Virgin Records Ltd

Following in the dusty, sun-baked footsteps of 2013's mesmerizing Once I Was an Eagle, Laura Marling's fifth studio outing feels even more rooted in the California desert, doubling down on the former's penchant for pairing breezy, American west coast mysticism with bucolic, Sandy Denny-era English folk, but with a subtle shift in architecture. Marling's gift for gab and deft finger-picking are still front and center, but with the self-produced Short Movie, she's expanded her sonic palette by plugging in. While by no means a straight-up electric guitar album, Short Movie does bristle with a current of nervy energy, and that coffee-black, post-midnight buzz is the fuel that gives cuts like "False Hope," "Don't Let Me Bring You Down," "Gurdjieff's Daughter," and the hypnotic title track their swagger. That said, Marling is an unrepentant folkie, and those late-night blasts of tube-driven self-evaluation and raw verisimilitude eventually give way to bleary-eyed mornings spent assessing the wreckage, and the album's best moments arrive via the aged wood and steel of her trusty acoustic. The dreamy, psych-tinged opener "Warrior" invokes Nick Drake's "Road" with its bluesy, open tuning and refrain of "I can't be your horse anymore, you're not the warrior I'm looking for," while the equally Drake-ian "Feel Your Love" offers up a less defensive, but no less weary stance toward potential suitors, positing "you must let me go before I get old, I need to find someone who really wants to be mine." Avoiding complacency has always been the light that guides the precocious singer/songwriter (only 25 at the time of release, this is Marling's fourth album in just five years), and Short Movie does little to temper that restlessness. It may lack the cohesion of her last outing, and her steadfast derision of anything resembling a hook can be taxing, but it makes up for its meandering with a strength of character that eludes many of her contemporaries. An old soul to say the least, Marling continues to evolve as both a musician and a writer, albeit subtly, and we're all the better for it. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Folk - Released September 26, 2011 | Virgin

Laura Marling, fresh off of a Mercury Prize nomination at the age of 20 for 2010’s I Speak Because I Can, knows that with critical acclaim comes great expectation. Her third studio album, the loose and languid A Creature I Don’t Know, both edifies her old-soul persona and diffuses it, offering up 11 slabs of retro Anglophile folk that manages to both push the envelope and seal it shut. Marling's vocal affectations, which are ultimately charming despite their frequent Joni Mitchell-isms, are far more apparent this time around, especially on the album’s first three tracks, all of which showcase a fervent singer/songwriter with a fiercely independent spirit who’s tempered by a strong familiarity with her parents’ record collection. That said, it’s a syllabus that’s been ingested and honed rather than spit out and glossed over, and most of the time, Marling makes a great case for all of those Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson comparisons. Brimming with life and lush with spanish guitar, rolling banjos, summer of love chord changes, and moor-bound tales of love gone bad, A Creature I Don’t Know is ultimately triumphant, due in great part to Marling's magnificent codeine voice, which sounds like it’s been pouring out of the radio for five decades, especially on stand-out cuts like “Sophia,” “The Beast,” “My Friends,” and “All My Rage.” Three albums in, the young singer/songwriter sounds brave and confident yet breakable and guarded, and while A Creature I Don’t Know may not be the bolt from the blue fans and critics were hoping for, it’s most certainly storm born. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 28, 2016 | More Alarming Records

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Folk - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Records

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Folk - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

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Pop - Released January 11, 2017 | More Alarming Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 13, 2018 | Dead Oceans

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 12, 2020 | Very Clever Records

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Folk - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

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Laura Marling in the magazine