11 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On A Creature I Don’t Know, Laura Marling's third release, she sounds so confident and mature that the fact she was just 21 at the time of its release seems irrelevant. Her husky, versatile vocals and quirky phrasing puts her in a lineage including Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell, and PJ Harvey, though Marling doesn’t mimic them; she’s already developed her own voice. Her lyrics, rich in symbolism and allusions, are an intriguing blend of traditional English folk song themes and modern introspective singer/songwriter fare. The music is similarly multidimensional. There’s new folk with subtle jazz influences, such as pairing a banjo with a cello, and spare acoustic tracks such as “Night After Night” and “Rest in the Bed.” Elsewhere, “Don’t Ask Why” and “Salinas” are sprawling and lush, “The Beast” is a driving number dominated by textured electric guitar and stark imagery, and “Sophia” is a slow-burning country rocker that starts at a trot and ends in a gallop. Commanding and meticulously crafted, A Creature I Don’t Know is a leap forward for this talented songwriter.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On A Creature I Don’t Know, Laura Marling's third release, she sounds so confident and mature that the fact she was just 21 at the time of its release seems irrelevant. Her husky, versatile vocals and quirky phrasing puts her in a lineage including Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell, and PJ Harvey, though Marling doesn’t mimic them; she’s already developed her own voice. Her lyrics, rich in symbolism and allusions, are an intriguing blend of traditional English folk song themes and modern introspective singer/songwriter fare. The music is similarly multidimensional. There’s new folk with subtle jazz influences, such as pairing a banjo with a cello, and spare acoustic tracks such as “Night After Night” and “Rest in the Bed.” Elsewhere, “Don’t Ask Why” and “Salinas” are sprawling and lush, “The Beast” is a driving number dominated by textured electric guitar and stark imagery, and “Sophia” is a slow-burning country rocker that starts at a trot and ends in a gallop. Commanding and meticulously crafted, A Creature I Don’t Know is a leap forward for this talented songwriter.

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