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A Creature I Don't Know
Laura Marling A Creature I Don't Know
Released 9 September 2011
Producer Ethan Jones
Label Virgin
Length 41:21
Genre Folk
Website www.lauramarling.com

A Creature I Don’t Know is the third album from twenty-one year old singer-songwriter Laura Marling, but listening to the album suggests a far more established voice. Her mature and insightful lyrics suggest an older singer– the deep wisdom of an aged blues man in the form of a twenty-one year old girl.

Given her age it could be possible to draw a parallel with Adele, but in many ways Marling is the exact polar opposite of this. Her music is subtle, off-beat, but beautifully striking. The folk sound is soft and acoustic led throughout, and A Creature I Don’t Know gives the impression that Marling is telling her story by the fireside, with little more than her guitar and the power of her arresting voice.

Marling’s dark poetic imagery brings to mind songwriters like Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen, powerful, emotional, and at times deeply unsettling. Marling moves from beautiful moments of dreamy tenderness, to moments of intense, haunting darkness. Her gift for storytelling is evident throughout, and themes such as love, loss, friendship, redemption, religion and motherhood recur constantly. These songs are beautiful compositions with a definite story to tell, with wonderful lyrics such as, "My mother she’s a saviour/ six foot of bad behaviour/ with long blond curly hair down to her thigh", from the song 'Salinas'.

In a way Marling reminds me a lot of Bob Dylan, not because she sounds like him, but because she is a young musician who has seemingly come out of nowhere in possession of a wisdom beyond her years and an uncanny ability to tell a magnificent series of stories with nothing but her voice and a guitar. If the parallels really are there, this girl could be huge. Like Dylan, Laura Marling’s music is not going to appeal to everyone, but her songs have an incredible ability to grasp the listener with their powerfully crafted emotions, something few musicians can truly claim capable of.

- Bernard O’Rourke