Several months ago I saw Laura Marling play Swedish American Music Hall, a venue seemingly built with singer-songwriters in mind. There I had the pleasure of seeing her work through much of the songs from her recently released album “Once I Was An Eagle.” Even in their formative stages, these songs showcased what makes Marling a forceful songwriter–brilliantly turned phrases that ooze vulnerability but do not make her seem weak, and evocatively strummed strings that amplify this effect. She is utterly captivating and commands the stage even while her sincerity and sweet soft speaking voice make each performance feel like an intimate gathering in your own living room. Perched on an industrial stool with nothing but a guitar, she held the attention of every single person in that room for the entirety of the show with a spellbinding effect that enraptured all, from the worshipping teenage girls in the front row to the disaffected hipsters in the back. The silence of respect was palpable, and the roar of applause reflective of her effort.
Simply put, Laura Marling is an intelligent hunter and it would be foolish for we, her music-listening prey, to turn away. Offered here is my favorite track from her newest effort, my favorite since she dropped “Alas I Cannot Swim” in 2011. Enjoy.