Laura Marling Croons About Fraught Female Relationships

Her new album “Semper Femina” has as much drama as a great soap opera, but without the dopey clichés.


Laura Marling
Semper Femina
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Courtesy of Grandstand Media & Management

Viewed from a distance, the British-born Laura Marling has always played the same familiar role—a woman with a strong voice and acoustic guitar offering pretty songs about love—yet a closer look reveals that predictability to be an illusion. Her previous two albums cast a harsh eye on romance, often preferring untouchable solitude to contact, and the intriguing Semper Femina finds her shifting gears again. Seeking connection, Marling chronicles fraught female relationships marked by need, affection, flawed communication and, above all, burning intensity. While these thoughtful tunes would have worked fine as solo performances, Marling and producer Blake Mills have varied the mix with all manner of effective sonic touches, including the gorgeous strings of “The Valley” and a hazy down-home vibe on “Wild Fire.” Passing the Bechdel test with ease, Semper Femina has as much drama as a great soap opera, but without the dopey clichés.

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

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