March 10, 2017 Laura Marling – Semper Femina (Album Review)
With a sense of self purpose and a raging passion for music, there is something so special about listening to talented Singer-Songwriter Laura Marling. Possessing an angelic voice and poetic lyrics that give beauty as well as grace to every piece, it is her progressive instrumentation that brings the sound together as a whole and creates a depth like no other.
Reining overseas in Eversley, Hampshire, England, Marling’s musical life began at a young age, originating with her father, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, who owned a recording studio. While she was first introduced to the world of Folk music, Marling sure enough began to develop her own unique sense of style and finesse.
Through the years, creativity sparked an incredible solo talent that was hidden behind closed doors until the age of seventeen when she released her debut album, 2008’s Alas, I Cannot Swim. From there, her career took off and an incredible amount of opportunities followed with touring, record deals, but of course, more music.
While word of her voice spread quickly, as time passed, a large following took shape, leaving Marling an absolutely brilliant treat to the Alternative Folk community. Blessing listeners with her radiance once more, March 10th brings the release of her sixth full-length album, Semper Femina, via More Alarming Records. Through a journey of growth and equality among all, Marling uses her platform to speak more on femininity and her own personal peregrination.
The record begins with a slow and intriguing piece to ease listeners in; “Soothing” is exactly what it might seem. Showcasing Marling’s raw and beautiful vocals, this song is truly a work of genius. With funky instrumentation to lighten the mood for a serious track, her music can almost be confusing, all while seeming to make complete sense at the same time. Moving on with “The Valley” to completely set the tone, this track has a soft and breezy feel, making it a true wonder to all listeners. A personal favorite, this piece can take any listener away from their everyday struggles and transport them to a place of peace.
Completely complex, yet simple, “Wild Fire” totally captures wondering minds and fills the void of an empty room. A truly wonderful and brilliant piece, Marling has surely outdone herself, making Semper Femina her best yet. With a slightly different feel, “Don’t Pass Me By” is almost darker than the first couple of tracks. Swept up in sorrow and a hint of desperation, there is nothing quite like this song; simple orchestration, making for an overall simplistic tone. With a similar idea, “Always This Way” is a song fueled with curiosity, possibly making listeners begin to question themselves as well. Always relatable, Marling is a genuine gem.
Another favorite, “Wild Once” is a song all about change and growth through the years. Seriously blissful, this track takes listeners on a journey of what it once was to be free. With absolutely beautiful instrumentation to back up an incredible voice, Marling’s talent is surely a rare one. Slightly more upbeat than the rest, “Next Time” is unique and peaceful, comprised of mastered lyrics and a voice that could seduce. Combining soaring harmonies with a soft and soothing background, Semper Femina completely changes the game, standing its ground for album of the year.
Coming to a close, Marling treats listeners one last time with “Nouel,” a brilliantly composed piece, and “Nothing Not Nearly,” an equally incredible song. While the entirety of the album is truly dynamic, these last two tracks are what make Semper Femina. Wholly unique and sophisticated, Marling is an artist worth noticing, and is it fully clear to see as this wonderful record subdues.
Always taking things a step further, Marling constantly shines bright among a sea of dead stars. With absolutely breathtaking pieces of music right after the other, it is clear to see the raw emotion and energy throughout. Soothing, inspirational, and completely noteworthy, nothing beats this nine track tour-de-force, and that is why CrypticRock gives Laura Marling’s Semper Femina 4 out of 5 stars.