Laura Marling Pages banner 2018

LAURA MARLING PAGES -- last updated 22 June 2018

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LUMP

Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay (from Tunng) have combined to form LUMP. Their first album is now available on Apple Music and Amazon. Here is the tracklist:

  1. Late To The Flight
  2. May I Be The Light
  3. Rolling Thunder
  4. Curse Of The Contemporary
  5. Hand Hold Hero
  6. Shake Your Shelter
  7. Lump Is A Product (credits)

"On paper, adding spoken credits might not sound very interesting but in Marling and Lindsay’s hands you get something akin to the instrument listing on Tubular Bells as put through David Holmes’ Henry McCullough. They’ve simply removed BP Fallon’s romantic tale of a passionate friend and stuck with Vivian Stanshall’s literal translation of sleeve notes. It’s oddly compelling."
---- target="_blank">Dylan Llewellyn-Nunes, Live4Ever

MARLING AND FASHION SHOOTS

Kim Hillyard Marling talked about a wide range of subjects with Kim Hillyard of The Line of Best Fit, including Marling's re-evaluation of her portrayal as an artist. "I don't do fashion shoots or have my make-up done because I think that is not the point of me," Marling said. "It's a very respectable point of some people, but not me, but as a result of that, I've sort of felt like I've had to leave my sexuality behind in my career...It's not a huge part of my private persona but it is a part of it and it's so weird that it's not a part at all of my public persona."

REVERSAL OF THE MUSE

"It occurred to me that in ten year of making records, I had only come across two female engineers working in studios. Starting from my experience of being a woman I began to ask myself what difference it might have made had I had more women around, if any. I wanted to know why progress has been so slow in this area and what effect it would have on music."
---- Laura Marling

In Episode 4 of REVERSAL OF THE MUSE, Marling talks about her now ended five album deal with Virgin Records. "I was signed to a pretty terrible deal," Marling tells former Epic Records executive Amanda Ghost. "My dad did my contract because I didn't have a manager then. He used his lawyer from the '70s and we got the most incredibly bad deal which we couldn't get out of for five albums. And to be fair, I wasn't bothered, they never bothered me and I never bothered them."

TATTOOS

Laura Marling - semper femina tattoo - photo by Hollie Fernando Laura Marling has three tattoos. The most recently acquired is semper femina on her upper left thigh. On the inside of her left wrist is the Marling family crest, and on her right wrist isthe family motto: We Are Prey To None. These were described by interviewer Tony Clayton-Lea in The Irish Times. On right is a photo of the semper femina tattoo (enlarged in inset). The photo is by Hollie Fernando.

ZEPPELIN COVER

Led Zeppelin is reissuing all of their albums to celebrate their 40th anniversary. To help commemorate the re-reissue of Physical Graffiti, MOJO releaseed a tribute disc in the spring of 2015, on which a host of contemporary acts recreate the entire record in a series of bold and original cover versions. Laura Marling contributed a cover of Bron-Yr-Aur to it. The two-disc vinyl set was limited to about 5,000 copies. (Video of Marling's cover is available on YouTube)

The J Files - 2015

Karen Leng interviewed Laura Marling for episode 95 of Double J Radio. Marling spoke of, among other things, her early days in London. "When I was 16 years of age," she said, "I began playing at a football club bar for these underage nights. I used to get the train up with my friends from Reading and end up in a place called Brentford. Around that time it was me, The Mystery Jets, Adele and, most importantly to me, a guy called Jamie T. He very kindly took a very shy, awkward, young Laura off on tour with him, which resulted in me being signed to his label. I'm still very grateful to him." The episode is no longer available on Soundcloud, but can be downloaded from iTunes.

COVER OF THE MONTH

The Laura Marling Cover of the month is described on Marcus Holt's DailyMotion Channel as "Laura Marling Master Hunter covers by Whale" in English and "Weil's Attic Live #1" in Korean.

Best covers from previous months are on Best Covers Playlist (YouTube).

SONG PAGES INDEX

Lyrics and video for 104 Laura Marling songs.


Marling's entire catalog can be streamed on Spotify.

MARLING LYRICS AND VOCABLULARY

A report by The Trinity Mirror data group on word usage by songwriters states that, over her first three albums, Laura Marling employed some 1200 different words. She used the pronoun 'I' 337 times, and the pronoun 'you' 185 times. (From 4 September article by Karen Jordan in Get Reading)

SEMPER FEMINA

Laura Marling A Deluxe Edition of Marling's sixth album, SEMPER FEMINA. is available on CD from Amazon and as a download from iTunes. It adds recordings captured at the live debut of the album, at Martyrs’, Chicago, where Laura and her band performed the record in full.

Semper Femina is an excerpt from a verse by the roman poet Virgil: varium et mutabile semper femina. "Woman's a various and a changeful thing." (John Dryden's translation) Shortened to semper femina, it means   "Always a woman".

ORIGIN DU MONDE

In an interview with Alexandra Pollard, Marling discussed Semper Femina, and, among other things, the reference to an 1866 Gustave Courbet painting in NOUEL:

Alexandra Pollard"...the Origin Du Monde is an image that I've always found very powerful in relation to women, in the origin of the world being this very graphic female genitalia. There was something to me about her that had the essence of that painting, rather than the literal gaze that I was experiencing. So I was writing it, and I was aware that I was treading this line between sexual ambiguity and innocent adoration. And they are not separate, they're the same. It's difficult to explain." she pauses, before adding with a wry smile, "but I haven't seen her vagina, if that's what you're asking."

ASHVILLE SETLIST

The setlist from Marling's Asheville, N.C. show last year (on right) shows tentative titles for some of the songs on the Semper Femina album: THE VALLEY, NEXT TIME, WILD (which became Wild Once?), SOOTHING, ATW (Always This Way?), NOTHING NOT NEARLY, WILD FIRE, NOUEL, and DPMB (Don't Pass Me By). It seems that TENNESSEE did not make it into Semper Femina.

Noeul Riel - a possible influence on Marling's next album Marling setlist - The Orange Peel - Asheville - 15  November

An explanation of NOEUL -- Justin Tyler Close, who photographed Marling for Lab Magazine, has been and currently is working with Los Angeles mixed-media artist Noeul Riel, and Marling has posted some of that work on Instagram.

BECK'S SONGREADER

Beck's Song Reader, previously released exclusively as an illustrated book of sheet music, is now available on CD, MP3, and vinyl. All vinyl orders receive an instant mp3 download of the album upon purchase. The album includes newly-recorded versions of all 20 songs from the original book by a variety of performers including Laura Marling, Jack White, Beck himself, and Norah Jones. Marling performs the song Sorry (track #10).

MARY STUART

Mary Stuart poster Marling spoke to Laura Barton of NEWSWEEK about writing original music for Robert Icke's production of Friedrich Schiller's MARY STUART. She said that Icke was the first person ever to ask her to rewrite her lyrics. "I sent him the demo and the final draft of the lyrics, she said, "or what I thought would be the final draft, and he sent a really amazing critique of what he felt was relevant and what he felt wasn't drawn from the play and couldn't be placed there."

Actors Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams alternated in the roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart at the Almeida Theatre in London. Which actor played which role was decided by the toss of a coin before each performance.

RADIO MARLING

Marling sang three songs from Semper Femina on A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION: Nouel, Always This Way, and Wild Fire.

On BBC Radio 4's MASTERTAPES series (B side), Marling discussed SEMPER FEMINA, and plays excerpts from it. The A Side of the broadcast, aired one day earlier, discusses the album "Once I Was An Eagle".

ISLE OF NOISES

Isle of Noise cover art Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters by Daniel Rachel, which is available from Amazon in a Kindle Edition and in hardcover, includes extensive conversation with Laura Marling. Asked if she records 'little ideas' and then builds from them Marling said: "No, it's all from memory. I'm a complete technophobe. Sometimes if I finish a song very quickly then I write it down because I'll definitely forget it the next day. But I can't read or write music so I do write down chords and stuff.". And she says she can't just sit down and write a song just because she wants to. "I've tried," she says, "and it's awful, awful, awful, awful." Rachel is himself a songwriter who has released three solo albums, the most recent being A Taste of Money (2006).

Launched: 25 August 2009

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  • LUMP is Number 11 on the 22 June UK Record Store Chart. The album can be streamed on Spotify.
  • Lee Adcock of Drowned In Sound reviewed LUMP and said that Marling and Lindsay convey "startling visions".

    Lee Adcock If you fast forward to the woozy and wonderful single 'Curse of the Contemporary' (I won’t stop you – it’s too mesmerising to ignore), you’d imagine the blazing bright desert that Siouxsie Sioux and company trekked through in 'Arabian Nights'. But behind that, you’d feel the cool breeze of droning flutes that loop through the lagoon, especially the half-Portishead, half-Joan As Police Woman cavern of ‘Rolling Thunder’. And if you push forward, the last heavy machinery of mankind hums like a Kraftwerk steam engine through 'Hand Hold Hero'. As distant as these coordinates might seem, they’re all on the same grid, so that LUMP resides in a fully rendered & self-contained space; each zone allows the other to exist.

  • James Auton, writing for God Is In The TV, described LUMP's 5 June performance at Oslo, Hackney:

    Laura Marling at Oslo Hackney There is no welcome, no spoken thanks, not a word is uttered that isn’t sung. It is as if a spell would be broken if they didn’t stay in character. They are under LUMP’s control. The album is played in it’s entirety and in order with elongated beginnings and endings. Live they have an additional weight, "Rolling Thunder" and "Hand Hold Hero" possess a bulk that isn’t there on the record, guitars turned up a bit, bass rumbling and drums vibrating. Lead single "Curse of the Contemporary" is the closest to how it sounds on the LP and results in the only appearance of the LUMP dancing next to the curtains leading backstage.

  • Australian music critic Bernard Zeul posted a review of LUMP on his website, and had this to say about two of the tracks:

    Bernard Zeul "In Hand Hold Hero, for example, a persistent electronic autobahn momentum features almost haphazard percussive and instrumental 'noise' contributions through its final stages (that merge seamlessly into the contrasting next track, Shake Your Shelter) which gives the sense of destination sought. However, before then, out of wafting away high vocal sounds, Marling’s dry and deep delivery gives us someone offering dispassionate advice ('don’t buy nothing you’re being sold, I’ve told once and again') and dry-eyed observation ('you can’t complain once you’ve been bought') while promising 'I choose to always be there for you', in a way that suggests a rootlessness to the emotion."

  • Leonie Cooper Writing for NME, Leonie Cooper called Marling Britain's most important songwriter. On the tenth anniversary of the release of ALAS I CANNOT SWIM, Cooper said of Marling's debut album: "It wasn’t just her age and precociousness that made people take notice; it was the moody experimentalism that she brought to the classic sound of British folk music. In the wake of the ultra-laddish second wave of Britpop...Laura Marling’s music offered a more intimate kind of emotional catharsis." And Cooper called SEMPER FEMINA "... a bold record but one that’s every bit as left-of-centre as her debut, picking apart the way women see other women with sharp intelligence and a burning fire."
  • Allison Thom of the Australian Dark-Folk group Howlite penned a "Love Letter To A Record: Howlite’s Alison Thom On Laura Marling’s ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’" for Music Feeds. Here's how it begins.

    Alison Thom and Howlite Dear Alas I Cannot Swim,
    I first met you in year 10 on a burnt CD, wrapped in coloured paper and handed to me, like a drug deal, in the aisle of the school bus by my friend Melissa. Between us, Melissa and I had established something of a piracy ring of Myspace music downloads, YouTube rips and Limewire files. We were the curators of our own secret music club, dedicated to scouring the internet via dial-up for new and exciting artists. There was no band too obscure, no demo too rough, no download too painfully slow. Every few weeks we would return from our crusades and wordlessly exchange handmade cases, with meticulously handwritten notes detailing the contents.

  • Elizabeth Aubry reviewed LUMP for The Independent She described Mike Lindsay's soundscape "at times deliberately chaotic" and had this to say about Marling's contribution to the album:
    Elizabeth Aubrey

    Marling’s soaring voice brings the reason to Lindsay’s chaos whilst her lyrics examine our warring private and public personas at a time when the world around us often feels empty and void. Inspired by 20th century surrealism together with the absurdist poetry of Edward Lear and Ivor Cutler, Marling’s compelling narrative delves into the commodification of our public personalities and the manifold ways we try to escape the mundaneness of our everyday selves.

  • Lump - t-shirt and CD Marling told Larry Bartleet of NME that LUMP was named by her six year old goddaughter. The album ends with a two minute credits track in which Marling reads out the names of those who worked on it. As for the yeti in the videos:

    "The yeti became a suitable analogy for the animal unconscious, the randomness – and the weird dancing, like you’ve never learned how to dance. It became a fitting thing to put everything on. He’ll continue his journey in the videos and keep getting weirder."

  • Laura Marling's performance at St. Giles in the Field in London on 17 February as part of BRIT's Week was reviewed for The Telegraph by Patrick Smith. "Alone with her guitar, her flowing white shirt matching her complexion, she laid bare her gusty parables about solitude and self-realisation to the 200 fans genuflecting before her," said Smith. "Drawing mainly from Semper Femina, she opened with Wild Fire, her Hampshire accent drifting into an American drawl, before weaving through the dreamy waltz of The Valley and the melancholic Next Time, her eyes fixated on the balcony above." (Marling was nominated for a Brit Award in the category British Female Solo Artist. Dua Lipa won in that category.)
  • Marling stars alongside Tim Key, Sophia Broido, and Will Hislop. in the short film REGULARS, about an awkward café regular (Key) who has been dying to ask his favourite waitress (Marling) a particular question. The short is available on demand from All 4.
  • Laura Marling with the cast of REGULAR
  • Season four of PEAKY BLINDERS (a crime family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps) began airing on BBC Two recently and all six episodes will be available on Netflix in the US on 21 December. Laura Marling has three songs featured in the fourth season – a cover of Nick Cave's Red Right Hand, another mystery cover and one of her own originals. "Being an outlaw is not about being loud," composer Antony Genn told Rhian Daley of NME. "Being an outlaw is about being powerful. When Laura Marling opens her mouth and sings, it’s like when people say, 'This person is the real deal.'"
  • Laura Marling and Jo Whiley Marling has added her name to an open letter calling for the extension of shared parental pay benefits to the self-employed in the UK. Parental Pay Equality, the group behind the action, was begun by sound engineer Olga FitzRoy. Among other signatories are Coldplay, and Bond composer David Arnold. Leaders of entertainment unions BECTU, and the Musicians Union and Equity have also signed.
  • Sonia Saraiya, writing for Variety, described a scene from the TV series DAMNATION:

    "The second episode of "Damnation" pivots on a striking scene: A group of shabby farmers walk into a small Iowa town, carrying handmade signs and chanting slogans. The signs demand unity, a living wage, a compassionate economy: "UNITED WE STAND," "GROW YOUR OWN FOOD," "WE NEED FAIR PRICES." It's a showstopping set piece, set to Laura Marling's "Devil's Spoke," a similarly timeless banjo number that reminds the listener, "all of this can be broken."

  • On Body and Soul poster Hungarian writer-director Ildikó Enyedi's latest film, ON BODY AND SOUL (Testrol és lélekrol), is a tale of two loners, Endre (Géza Morcsányi)and Mária (Alexandra Borbély), living on the outskirts of Budapest, who fall in love. In the film, Laura Marling's 'What He Wrote' is the one tune Mária plays on repeat. The movie won the Golden Bear Award at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.
  • Michael Roffman and Heather Kaplan, writing for CoS, pointed out an interesting co-incidence. Marling sang the line "I hope we meet again" during her performance at Lynch's Festival of Disruption. That line is the last thing Special Agent Dale Cooper says to his friends near the end of “Part 17” of TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. Marling performed at David Lynch's 2017 Festival of Disruption, 14 and 15 October at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Among others in the music lineup were Bon Iver, The Kills, Sharon Van Etten, and Moby. There were also screenings of Lynch films (including some rare shorts). On 7 October, Marling spoke with New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook and performed live at the 2017 New Yorker Festival, at the Gramercy Theatre in New York.
  • Laura Marling sigils for Semper Femina Laura designed an individual sigil for each track on Semper Femina, and they are now available as metallic gold transfer tattoos on Marling's official website. (A sigil is a symbolic representation of the desired result of a magical incantation.)
  • Bernard Zuel reviewed Marling's 12 June performance at the Sydney Opera House for the Sydney Morning Herald, saying that "...the addition of the Topolski sisters made for some stunning moments of choral power as well as giving the full Fleetwood Mac to Daisy, a b-side from 2015 which has become a live staple and luxuriates in its evocation of 'golden age' Christine McVie." And about Marling herself:

    ...it is still something of wonder to hear a storyteller with such mastery of tone and temper, word and imagery, who can command a room without recourse to domination, who can tell you everything you need to know while saying almost nothing through the show, and who can lift you with her as she rises.

  • Katherine Gillespie In an interview with Katherine Gillespie of Noisey Australia, Marling said that she hates being called a "female songwriter". and said that her previous album, SHORT MOVIE, was a direct reaction to that label being applied to her. "I did quite a lot of work to distance myself from the way I was portrayed in the media," Marling said. "I don't do fashion shoots; I don't wear makeup when I have my photo taken. And for that reason, not many people want to take my photo. I try to keep a sense of ownership over my appearance."
  • Marling was nominated for a 2018 UK Americana Award in the category of UK Artist of the Year. Others nominated in that category were: Danni Nicholls, Danny & the Champions of the World, and Emily Barker. The winner was Emily Barker.
  • Semper Femina was among the 22 albums shortlisted for the 2018 IMPALA European Album Of The Year Award. This award was launched in 2011 to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of IMPALA, which represents European independent labels. Nominated albums were required to have been released on a European independent label in 2017. The award was won by Gurr.
  • SEMPER FEMINA is number 30 on Peter Margasak’s 40 favorite albums of 2017. Here, in part, is what he says about the album:

    "Most mentions of Semper Femina note that singer-songwriter Laura Marling addresses only women in its nine songs. It's hard to tell if those women are friends or lovers, but Marling's sharp observations and plainspoken language render the ambiguity irrelevant. The title comes from a line in Virgil's Aeneid, 'Varium et mutabile semper femina' (Fickle and changeable always is woman), and in just about every song a doubtful narrator wrestles with a relationship at a crossroads."

  • Laura Snapes reviewed Marling's show at The Dome in Brighton for The Guardian. Here's part of her description of the show.

    Laura Snapes She [Marling] does a bit where everyone gets to present a new fact they've learned that day. It's pretty awkward, in keeping with her enduring discomfort as a focal point (she mostly delivers her lines to the Dome's ornate ceiling). Enjoyably, she seems most comfortable when things start going awry. Womanhood has clearly been on her mind – playing solo, she flubs "dress" as "breast" on Nouel, and stops to laugh amid lyrics comparing a friend to Gustave Courbet's explicit painting L'Origine du monde. There are more mid-song giggles. The band returns and she asks if anything fun happened backstage. "Actually yeah!" a Topolski blurts [Emma and Tamsin Topolski are Marling's backuup singers], but declines to expand at the risk of embarrassment. "And I was out here being sincere," Marling rues.

  • Richard Tester wrote for The Yorker about Marling's Q & A session at Goldsmiths, University of London in early 2017, and quoted Marling's response to questions about the kind of literature she enjoys:

    "I used to read a lot of fiction and I don't anymore, but I read a lot of poetry. So Gothic Romantic literature used to play quite a big part in my vocabulary of emotional experience. Now that I have my own emotional experiences, many of them, I like drawing on them and delving into poetry more, as well as literary fictional/fantasy."

  • Laura Marling - photo by Kirk Chantraine Edward Dunbar writing for Spectrum Culture about Marling's Boston show:

    "For more than 10 years, Marling has established herself as a riveting antidote to the sometimes stagnant, sometimes commercialized world of modern folk. Lucky for us, her live show is just as emotionally powerful as her studio work, if not more so. More Tuesday nights should be like this."