The storytelling songstress returns with majestic yet mature tales of “love and truth”
After a three-year wait, the gentle and serene soul of Berkshire-born Laura Marling thankfully returns with an absolute gem of a seventh album Song For Our Daughter. As Marling embarks on her 30th year, this album brings a new maturity and tone as she enters a new transition in her own life, whilst ensuring her sincerest and soft storytelling remains captivating and honest. Marling has a magical way of opening her heart and soul and inviting her listeners into her purest form of self, unafraid to show vulnerability throughout. Like Marling’s previous masterpieces, you feel as though you are getting to know her on a deep and personal level as she paints a picture of the then, the now and what is yet to come. She describes herself as a “solitary person who loves people” and this is projected through. She provides us with a variation of songs – some exposed, emotional and heartfelt (The End of the Affair) and others punchy, enchanting and refreshing (Strange Girl). This work of art is the ultimate soundtrack to Spring.
I marvel at how each song brings a different tale and tone, as though Marling is sitting opposite you, close and intimate, telling spritely tales of different characters, such as in the opening song ‘Alexandra’, where she engulfs the listener into the story, wondering “Where did Alexandra go?” Marling leads the listener into a journey of intrigue into the woods and beyond in a response to the late Leonard Cohen’s ‘Alexandra Leaving’.
In this conceptual album, Marling also shows her battles of being a woman in this modern-day society, which reflects from her previous album ‘Semper Femina’, stating “only the strong can survive” (Only The Strong) Marling, one of three daughters herself, also looks to the future as she addresses a daughter yet to be born (A Song for our daughter), -“lately I’ve been thinking of our daughter growing old / all of the bullshit that she might be told”. Here, she shows worry of what lies ahead in the future and invites us to see more of her kind and protective side, advising an imaginary child of the many twists and turns life will no doubt provide.
Marling was generous enough to bring the album release forward from August to April, enabling us to appreciate it through the current and pandemic situation of Covid 19. It seems an apt time to let this album really soak in as we address our values and re-adjust to lockdown. There is something in Marling’s sweet and soothing words that reassures us and brings calm, willing us to close our eyes and float away with the music.
Its clear to see and hear that the overall effect of this album is amplified by its polished production and most songs with perfect finger-picked guitar with robust string arrangements, paired with effortless and sophisticated harmonies. The album is scrupulously crafted and delivered with class and elegance. Throughout, Marling has given us another piece of her jigsaw with this and it is doubtful she is done, as she endures a master’s degree in Psychoanalysis and works collaboratively on her project LUMP. She is no doubt a woman of many talents. She’s an author is her own right portraying her everlasting talents and folk background but adding in a dose of growth.