Laura Marling is an up and coming folk artist from England. Much like myself, she was born to a musical father and learned to play guitar at a young age. Marling has been performing since the ripe age of 16 and released her sophomore album, I Speak Because I Can, in March of 2010 at age 20.
One day, I was in my living room watching TV. We don’t have cable or anything, we have an antenna so we only get the local channels. Channel 3-2 is a music channel that I happen to watch a lot. All of a sudden, the sound of an acoustic guitar caught my attention. So, I watched.
The song playing was called Devil’s Spoke, and it was the first song I’d ever heard by Laura Marling. It was folky, but still intense. I noticed that Marling had the most interesting voice. It was a heavenly mixture of Alanis Morisette and Florence Welch. I couldn’t help but listen, not that I didn’t want to.
I got curious. So I whipped out my laptop, brought up Google, and downloaded all of her albums. I first listened to I Speak Because I Can since that was the album Devil’s Spokewas on. And let me tell you, it was the best decision I’ve made in weeks.
Where Devil’s Spoke was fiery and intense, Made by Maid was calming, much like a lullaby. This goes for a lot of the songs on this album. They’ll be soft and calming and then they’ll build up to a somewhat intense ending.
Alpha Shadows is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs. The strumming and plucking patterns of the guitar gave it a Latin/Italian flair. It also builds and falls repeatedly, so you’re never sure when it will end. The lyrics are intense. “…the gray in this city is too much to bear and I believe we are meant to be seen and not to be understood.”
Another favorite of mine is the title track, I Speak Because I Can. This song takes the best elements of this album and blends them into one perfect ending. It truly embodies everything this album is. It’s mature, intense, and calm all at the same time.
This album is full of passion and lyrics so mature and obscure that they need to be decoded. It’s full of emotional, winter-like lullabies. 5 out of 5 stars.