Friday 15 December 2017

Review: Laura Marling

The Academy, Dublin

Laura Marling performed at The Academy. Photo: PA
Laura Marling performed at The Academy. Photo: PA
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

WE HAVE been inundated with new female artists in the past 12 months. While this is great to see, there is a lot of over-hyped drivel out there, especially the wishy-washy electro appropriations of electro that are Marina and the Diamonds and Florence and the Hype Machine.

Laura Marling is the real deal for three very simple reasons: a fabulous voice, stunning guitar technique and two albums' worth of amazing songs. No over-stylised posturing and no ripping-off of Kate Bush. In short, no nonsense.

The 20-year-old Hampshire girl is a genuine blast of fresh folk. Her opening track, 'Devil's Spoke', immediately sets her apart as something rather special. Culled from her second album, 'I Speak Because I Can', it richly deserves its five-star reviews.

Marling is a writer well beyond her years, writing about love, loss, life, death, depression and joy with dreaminess and poetic flair.

"It's just you and me now," she says, as her backing band depart for a solo acoustic segment, which she starts with a brilliant untitled song that's spanking new.

A song from her Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut album, 'Alas, I Cannot Swim', sums up everything that's different and wonderful about Marling.

'Night Terror' recalls the struggle of dealing with depression and trauma in a relationship. The stark lyrics are powerful.

"I woke up and he was screaming /I'd left him dreaming /I roll over and shake him tightly /And whisper, 'If they want you, oh they're gonna have to fight me.'"

Marling is an artist apart and arguably up there with Joanna Newsom and PJ Harvey as one of the most exciting female singers in the world.

Truly a talent to savour.

Irish Independent

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