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. – iTunes
Where to start with Laura Marling. I found out about her after listening to Mumford and Sons nonstop for months. Yes, I am that person who listens to an album over and over again. If this was the sixties, I would ruin records like my mom did. I got addicted to Laura’s first two albums and when I heard she was coming out with a third I got scared. I am a pessimist, I assume the worst, I can’t help it. This is the same with music. If the first two albums are amazing, is the third one going to be amazing? Or will the slump occur?
I can tell you, in A Creature I Don’t Know, the slump did not occur. I can play it non stop just like I did with the first two. I can even intermingle this album with her first two albums and just listen to them over and over again. Of course, I listen to a few more songs on the album more than the rest. Salinas, My Friends, and Sophia are highly recommended favorites from me. I included the youtube music video below for Sophia, which I think helps to show Laura Marling’s artistic side. Although the music is calming and helps to calm my brain and me, it is nice to have the visual cues that the artist approved, too.