The delicacy of precisely placed fingers on a guitar's nylon strings, words sung with care and clarity. A voice speaking from the past, or is it the future, or the spiraling present moment? "...me and time go way back when...", sings Laura Marling in the song "Don't Ask Me Why". The British singer-songwriter's third album "A Creature I Don't Know", recorded with all acoustic instruments in London by Ethan Johns wafts up like invisible smoke and infiltrates. It carries like the wind; there you were, here you are, changed.
At 21, Laura Marling is confident from years of listening and playing, at first with her parents and siblings in her home in Eversley, Hampshire, England. The youngest of three, she heard the music of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and James Taylor around the house. She stared playing guitar as a child, began performing as a teenager and was a member of England's Noah and The Whale. Marling set out on a solo career in 2007.
With literary references to John Steinbeck and Robertson Davies, and sonic nods to Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, this collection of songs has great depth and power. The living thing that is the record album is all the more vibrant with questions unanswered, time undefined and an interior wanderlust. Thank you, Laura Marling.