Alice Fisher, “Little gal with a full-grown talent,” The Observer, 26 October, 2008
I was very satisfied upon reading that, because the description of Laura Marling that comes most naturally to me is that she sounds like a waifish Victorian heroine come to life. Gothic in the literary sense.
I like artists who describe entire worlds with their music, as Vampire Weekend does with upper-crust New England, as Nas did with Queens on Illmatic, or as Green Day did with liberal America in the mid ’00s on American Idiot. But I especially love artists who sound like the world they’re describing exists only inside their own heads, and that they’ve occupied that world too long to even carry on existing in our everyday world. These records are immersive and all-encompassing, and you might even wonder if you could get trapped inside them if they didn’t end; records like Kid A, The Moon and Antarctica, Untrue, or The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me.
Laura Marling sounds like she lives in a 19th Century novel and somehow manages to release CDs from the pages of her (surely tragic) book. I find it a little difficult to remember she’s a real live woman who eats sandwiches and has a cellphone and probably watches TV sometimes.