Last November, UK singer/songwriter Laura Marling shared “Soothing”, the sensual lead single from her upcoming sixth album, Semper Femina. She continues that trend with “Wild Fire”, which sees Marling sounding more confident in voice and arrangement than ever before. Stream the track below.
Where “Soothing” hinges on its prominent bassline and spacious, clacking percussion, “Wild Fire” sees the acoustic guitar return to center stage. The track has an undeniable warmth to it that brings to mind songwriters of the 70s, especially during its hooks, where she soulfully stretches out the “me’s” and “free’s” at the ends of phrases. Similar to “Soothing”, gender and sexuality are prime topics of discussion, but “Wild Fire” doesn’t feel like a cut-and-dry protest song. Rather, it explores these themes more subtly through specific, personal experience, opting for an open dialogue with the listener over a definitive proclamation. Choosing not to engage in that dialogue would be their loss, but even still, they would be treated to one hell of a slow jam. Continue reading →
“I’ve known Johnny since I was 16,” Laura Marling laughed as her tourmate Johnny Flynn picked up the violin to join her onstage. “And we both look exactly the same.”
Saturday night, Union Transfer was host for a delightful evening with these two icons of modern British folk. Joined by emerging UK singer songwriter Marika Hackman, the night was filled with an enchanting performance of raw images and old memories. Continue reading →
25-year-old English singer/songwriter Laura Marling just released her fifth full-length album, Short Movie. The self-produced 13-track LP explores an electric side of Marling’s music after she took a self-proclaimed gap year to travel and discover where she stood in terms of her music career. You can stream Short Movie in it’s entirety here and check out her live performance of the album’s third track, “I Feel Your Love”, below. Laura Marling will be coming to Philadelphia to play at Union Transfer on August 1st. Find tickets and more information by heading over to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
“That was a really long opening song,” Laura Marling told the sold-out crowd at the newly-renovated Prince Music Theater. It was actually more like four songs – a medley of the opening suite of her new album, Once I was an Eagle, which stretches to about fifteen minutes even with Marling performing solo, minus the percussive and instrumental flourishes on the record. She laughed and thanked the audience for being so attentive – as if they were going to talk over top of her. Marling had the crowd at her August 30th performance pretty much enraptured during her hour-and-fifteen minute set last night, and the English singer-songwriter has an uncanny way of making a packed theater feel as intimate as a living room show.
Though Marling is an intense performer in many ways – gritting her teeth, looking out at the crowd with an intense stare, singing expressively about lust and betrayal and self-reliance – when she is not singing, she is warm and funny, joking about her guitars acting up on her and self-effacingly cracking on the tedium of acting as both performer and technician.
“This is the point the set where I normally switch guitars,” she said. “But this guitar is behaving very well. And I feel comfortable tuning it in front of you.”
Though the set was largely focused on Eagle, Marling visited her 2010 outing I Speak Because I Can for a three-song stretch mid-way through (“Alpha Shallows” was great), performed “Sophia” from 2011’s A Creature I Don’t Know, test drove two new ones (“Bleed Me Dry” has been performed on radio sessions, another listed only as “Rambo” seems very brand new) and played her take on The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post.” The husky blues of the original was remade Marling’s minimal acoustic style, but she didn’t seem pleased with the results. “I think I’m too English to pull that one off,” she said. Not true; it sounded great.
Philly folk-inspired trio The Gallerist opened the night with a well-recieved half-hour set drawing from their 2011 EP A Falling Waltz as well as material from the record they told the crowd they’ll be recording this fall. Catch them playing two shows on October 5th at One Shot Cafe (with The Sun Flights) and The Fire (with The Levee Drivers). Below, see a gallery of photos from the concert, and after the jump, check out Marling’s setlist and a video of “I Speak Because I Can.”
British singer/songwriter Laura Marling played a humble acoustic set on the Free At Noon stage today. Warming up for tonight’s highly anticipated, sold out show at Prince Music Theater, Marling played favorites, like “Master Hunter,” off of her new critically-acclaimed album,Once I Was An Eagle. Check out the photo gallery above, the set list below and listen to the entire performance here (via the WXPN media player).
British singer-songwriter Laura Marling just announced a short run of U.S. dates that brings her to the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia on Friday, August 30. Tickets to the show go on sale this Friday, July 12th, at 10 a.m. Marling’s fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle, was released on Virgin Records back in May. Below, watch a short film inspired and soundtracked by the first four songs on the album.
At 21, Laura Marling is already one of the great young folk singer-songwriters. With a sound characterized by graceful, refined lyricism and remarkable melodies, she’s attracted widespread praise for her third album, A Creature I Don’t Know.
Growing up surrounded by music, Marling made her way to London at 16 to join the “new-folk” movement; she soon became a part of Noah and the Whale and collaborated with acts such as Mystery Jets and The Moldy Peaches. She then released her solo debut Alas I Cannot Swim in 2008, and was promptly nominated for the Mercury Prize. The graceful, gorgeous I Speak Because I Can followed in 2010.
On A Creature I Don’t Know, Marling has crafted an album both hauntingly mystifying and warmly welcoming. The album’s theme could be seen as deeply personal — Marling sings of a woman who struggles against herself and convention — but at the same time, it’s both difficult and gratifying to interpret. With jazz overtones, plucked banjo and lots of angry guitars, A Creature I Don’t Know is mesmerizing.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9th Laura Marling’s initial musical success wasn’t so much an option as it was a way of life. Raised in the English countryside by a music teacher, it was evident early on that Marling’s innate talent would inevitably guide her in the direction of folk music. By the age of 20, Marling had produced two well-recognized full-length albums and had toured with fellow Brit-folk stars, Noah And The Whale and Mumford And Sons. Now, only a year later, she’s released another album, A Creature I Don’t Know. Its sound capitalizes on her pastoral heritage, which is then paired with a healthy dose of Joni Mitchell-esque lyricism. Each song is a wordy, raw narrative accompanied by simple instrumentals, bluegrassy acoustic guitars, and banjos. Yet, despite her dedication to simplicity, every song manages to be a massive composition. It’s as if she can’t help but out-do herself in each subsequent track. Laura Marling performs at 7 & 8:30 p.m at Grindcore House; tickets to both shows are SOLD OUT. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
The Barr Brothers‘ eponymous debut is patriotically Americana. In 10 tracks, the band runs the gamut of great American folk traditions. From a crashing cover of Willie Johnson’s blues anthem “Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying,” to the original “Old Mythologies”—which channels the intellectualism of Andrew Bird, the aesthetics of the Fleet Foxes, and the freak folk of Sufjan Stevens—The Barr Brothers proves itself to be well versed in the diversity of the genre. At the center of the four-piece band are Rhode Island natives Brad and Andrew Barr, who have played music together since childhood. Given their sound, it’s ironic that The Barr Brothers as a cohesive band didn’t come about until a three-year stint in Montreal. Removal from the California folk-festival scene and exposure to the Canadian indie community seems to have produced ideal creative conditions for songwriter Brad Barr. The Barr Brothers performs with Jocie Adams at 8:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the show are $15. —Naomi Shavin
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes City And Colour + Hacienda, Daniel Romano at The Trocadero (8 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Slo-Mo featuring Mic Wrecka + The Good Problems, John Train, Ella Dars at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, $10); The Extraordinaires + Conversations With Enemies at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $8); XPN Welcomes Francis Dunnery at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., 21+, $25)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10
The Dead Milkmen at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT); Between The Buried And Me + Animals As Leaders, Tesseract at Theatre Of Living Arts (7 p.m., all ages, $29); The Devil Wears Prada + Whitechapel, Enter Shikari, For Today at Electric Factory (7 p.m., $27); Robin Thicke at World Cafe Live (9 p.m., $30–$40); Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies + Oh! Pears, Arrah And The Ferns at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); Yelle + Housse De Racket at Union Transfer (8:30 p.m., all ages, $15); Toy Soldiers + Young Statues, The Quelle Source, Revolution I Love You, Michael McCarry, Case Closed at Milkboy Philly (8 p.m., 21+, $10–$12); The Yule Ball 2011 with Harry And The Potters + Potter Puppet Pals, Diagon Alley, Justin Finch-Fletchley And The Sugar Quills, The Giant Squidstravagnaza, The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!, Dead Cat Orchestra at First Unitarian Church (2:30 p.m., all ages, $15)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11
Rocket From The Tombs + Explosive Head at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $15)