ALBUM: Laura Marling ‘Short Movie’


I’ve pretty much been in awe of Laura Marling since she first graced our ear-drums back when when she was just 17. Now she’s reached the ripe old age of 25, I remain impressed (and slightly jealous) by just how much she has achieved at such a young age, and her consistently wonderful offerings. Now, with the release of her fifth album – Short Movie – Marling proves she hasn’t lost any of that distinctive gritty, folky charm that we’ve come to know and love.

One thing that I’ve always found particularly inspiring about Laura Marling, from the first listen of her debut Alas, I Cannot Swim, is the incredible wisdom-beyond-her-years she seems to convey: whether she’s telling tales of literary characters or personal accounts of her own past loves, she has always managed to perfectly juxtapose an endearing fragile naivete with the intense sense of regret and knowledge that comes with age. And this has remained distinctly apparent in Short Movie.

As Marling exudes her trademark impassioned, exquisitely smooth vocals and her fantastically skilled, intricate folk guitar, each song on Short Movie flows with emotive conviction and – once again – it remains impossible not to lose yourself in the emotion-filled splendour of this prolific young woman. Switching between angelic charm and gritty resentment, each song oozes Marling’s raw, edgy beauty.

‘Strange’ (my personal favourite) instantly grabs your attention with its subtle, driving power alongside a frantic strumming that keeps pulses racing, as Marling switches seamlessly between sultry, embittered spoken word vocals and her incredible, heart-rending falsetto. In contrast, the gentle, folky melodies of songs such as ‘Feel My Love’ and ‘Easy’ hark back to early Marling as an endearing delicacy effortlessly flows with sincerity.

As twinkling melodies run alongside enchantingly smooth vocals, subjects ranging from spiritual guides (‘Gurdijeff’s Daughter’) and religion (‘Worship’), to love and nature – including mentions of the desert and the infamous Joshua Tree (proof that this English rose has truly turned American) – are covered with consistent captivating charm.

Whilst some critics seem to be making a fuss about Marling ‘going electro’ on this album, I really don’t see what the problem is: yes, she may have swapped a violin or two for some amps and drums, but what remains is her immaculate guitar-playing skill, alluring crystal-clear vocals and that sweeping emotive power that will cast you under its spell without fail.

As Laura Marling’s vocals grow stronger and fuller, and her insight yet more thought-provoking, with each album, this young woman has shown she’s able to keep evolving and maturing whilst keeping consistent the things that matter.

Short Movie is released on 23rd March via Virgin Records Ltd.

Mari Lane



Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.