Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
Laura Marling has had critics spluttering about her extreme youth and unnerving wisdom since 2008’s Alas I Cannot Swim, released when she was just 18. Now she’s 21, and her third album A Creature I Don’t Know, seems miles from the frank vignettes of her debut.
Marling herself remains an enigma. This is an album of inquiry but not of self-revelation. She teases, “where I’ve been lately is no concern of yours.” The songs aren’t confessional; instead Marling creates characters which can be startling in their vividness and scope, especially from such a young songwriter.
Musically the songs are more ambitious and confident than her previous album, “I Speak Because I Can.” The centrepiece of the album, The Beast is a tangled knot of dark thoughts, yet the bookends of the album, The Muse and All My Rage show her at her most playful. Poise and assuredness seep through the songs: Marling’s progression is astounding.
Laura Marling “A Creature I Don’t Know” is out on September 12th.
Photograph by Jess Denham.