There are a lot of album release postponements at the moment, as the Corona crisis does not allow the acts to do full promotion for their records. UK folk artist Laura Marling goes the different direction: Originally scheduled for August 2020, Song For Our Daughter has already been released on 10th April 2020.
Laura Marling – About The Artist
Laura Beatrice Marling was born on 1st February 1990 in Berkshire, England. She was the youngest of three daughters. Her mother is a music teacher, her father ran a recording studio. After secondary school, she moved to her elder sisters and moved closer to London to pursue a music career. The first major band she joined was Noah and the Whale, but she left the band before they released their debut album. The single 5 Years Time made it to the Top 10 in the UK and Irleland, though. Her own band also included Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall, who later played for Mumford & Sons. She already attracted people in her first gigs and released her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim at Virgin in Feburary 2009. The album made it to the Top 50 in the UK. Her second album, the 2010 I Can Speak Because I Can already made it up to the fourth spot in the UK, #7 in Australia, #13 in Ireland and good placements in Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece. After that she regularly released albums with similar success. Song For Our Daughter is her seventh studio album.
Song For Our Daughter – Track by Track
The ten songs of the album take 36 minutes. The album title as well as the tracks are not autobiographic – Laura Marling does not have a daughter.
The album starts with one of the most impressive compositions of the album, Alexandra. Very intense song, great songwriting!
2. Held Down
Held Down was the only song released before the album (and in fact, Laura Marling published it on 5th April, so on Monday of the publishing week. Again, lovely storytelling and good musical quality:
I was just gonna tell you that I don’t want to let you down
Get lost in the crowd
Seen or unseen
Say what you mean
3. Strange Girl
Strange Girl is a very rhythmic track, which makes it feel very fast as well.
Woke up in a country who refused to hold your hand
Kept falling for narcissists who insist you call them ‘man’
You work late for a job you hate that’s never fit the plan
Stay low, keep brave
Great lyrics as well.
4. Only The Strong
The fourth track is again a great song. It is a bit scary that all these lyrics are imaginative and that there is no daughter Alexandra in her life. The bridge is adding a lot of intensity to the song.
5. Blow By Blow
Blow By Blow is a song with strings and even backing vocals. This track illustrates one characteristics of the album, which underlines the special atmopshere of Song For One Daughter: the song is recorded in a way that you feel that Laura Marling is incredibly present – it somehow sounds that she is singing to you directly.
6. Song For Our Daughter
Here we go: the title track. I would usually quote parts of the lyrics, but for this one I better leave you with an external link (genius.com) to the whole lyrics. I can’t stop having a threatening feeling when listen to these songs – which only admires the authenticity which which Marling tells her stories about the fictive daughter.
You took out that money that your momma had saved
She told me she kept it for running away
Oh my, fortunes can change
There are a lot of not-too-happy moments shared in this album. The slow track with the so-present voice is extremely catching again.
8. The End Of The Affair
The arrangement of The End Of The Affair is even more intense than the song before. Just very limited background instrumentation, but a backing vocal, sparse guitars. It has a lot of farewell feeling, reminds me even of a funeral, even though this is a bit too much.
The end of the affair
I try to keep us there
Shake hands and say goodnight
I love you, goodbye
Now let me live
9. Hope We Meet Again
I tried to give you love and truth
But you’re acid tongued, serpent-toothed
I tried to share the map with you
But you knew your way, you had your route
I will find God in the hands of truth
Marling creates atmosphere with the same arrangement elements than in the songs before. It definitely does not bore me, but the sheer intensity of her songs really exhausts and tires me. This album is good, but it is demanding.
10. For You
The final track is a bit of easier and lighter, some sort of farewell of this fictive parental musical story. Bye-bye Alexandra, time to leave.
I thank a God I’ve never met
Never loved, never wanted (For you)
I write it so I don’t forget
Never let it get away
I keep a picture of you
Just to keep you safe
Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Song For Our Daughter:
Laura Marling Song For Our Daughter – My View
Most of the critics I read after listening to this album were very good, some were even overwhelming. They are definitely right, but this album is not an album for everyone. I feel it is very intense, heavy, it tired me just by its presence and atmosphere. A very powerful and strong recording with a great musical quality. However, as the musical elements used are very repetitive, I felt that to me the album just does not make it to the top ranks to me – it still gets a really good review.
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