Archive for the ‘Laura Marling’ Category
This is a video of Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling duetting on a song from his most recent album. The music is so melancholy that at first, before I had paid attention to the lyrics, I thought it must be about hopelessness and drowning—but it’s actually a very hopeful song, maybe a kind of modern-day sea shanty, about drawing sustenance from the natural world. When I watch this video, though, which was filmed in Laura Marling’s garden, I spend more time thinking about the garden than I do listening to the song: Why don’t I have a garden like that? How does one come to have a garden like that? I will probably never have a garden like that. I bet maintaining a garden like that takes a lot of work. I really wouldn’t have the patience to keep up that kind of garden. No garden for me, alas.
One more Laura Marling song, my favorite, with Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons.
As I mentioned yesterday, my interview with Laura Marling has been posted on T: The New York Times Style Magazine’s blog, here. When I pitched the story to T, I figured that my editor might not know who Laura Marling was—Laura’s hugely popular in the U.K., but has what you might call a cult following here—so I drew a favorable comparison to Joni Mitchell, another female singer-songwriter who plays a guitar. A young Joni Mitchell, anyway—Laura just turned 20. I interviewed Laura a couple of years ago, by telephone, as part of a broader story about the new London folk scene, and in that piece I used the same point of reference. In the T interview, as you’ll see if you read it, I made the parallel indirectly, by saying that Laura’s new album “has been greeted by a sweep of five-star reviews in British newspapers, earning comparisons to Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark.” And, embarrassingly enough, when I sat down backstage at the Le Poisson Rouge to talk to Laura, who was lovely and gracious, sure enough, I stammered out that there were songs on her new album that brought to my mind some of Joni Mitchell’s early work—the song above, for example, reminds me of “Cactus Tree,” for some structural reason that I can’t explain.
Why do I keep pushing this Joni Mitchell comparison on everyone, including Laura? I’ve always hated it when, say, I play a song for someone, and as they hear it for the first time they feel the need to “place” it (and, in my eyes, diminish it) by saying “Oh, this is just like such-and-such” or “It’s like this crossed with that.” No, I want to say, it’s not like such-and-such, or this or that either; it’s its own thing. I want everyone I know to hear Laura Marling and to love her music as much as I do, which is a whole lot. So I keep trotting out Joni, whose records many people know and admire greatly, in the hopes that I can entice them to listen to Laura. I’m sure I’m doing Laura a disservice. She doesn’t really sound anything like Joni vocally. Her playing is different. And yet if it takes this comparison to sell you, I’ll make it again. I think that if you like Joni Mitchell, you might also like Laura Marling.
If the plot of this video seems a little confusing, it’s because it’s connected to an interactive album preview on Laura’s website, which can be found here.
My interview with Laura Marling for T: the New York Times Style Magazine’s blog appears here today. Laura’s second album, I Speak Because I Can, was released in the United States yesterday. I’ve been listening to an advance copy for over a month now, and from this vantage point, I think I can say that it’s one of the great records of my life. I’m so head over heels about Laura’s music, in fact, and am so eager to spread the word about how great she is, that I’m going to be posting more videos by her here over the next few days.
I follow Tracey Thorn, the former Everything But the Girl singer, on Twitter, and the other day she posted this sweet Tweet, which pretty much sums up my feelings too: “What I like about Laura Marling is that she sings in her own voice, rather than just glueing together a bunch of vocal mannerisms.”