A modern classic on par with the singer-songwriting greats
Jessie Atkinson
00:00 10th April 2020

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For more than ten years now the name Laura Marling has stirred images of acoustic guitars, folksy ditties and gentle lullabies. By 2018, her project LUMP with collaborator Mike Lindsay proved she was no one-trick pony. On Song For Our Daughter - released early as a quarantine gift - Laura Marling has presented a timeless record that sits her alongside the singer-songwriting greats.

Single ‘Held Down’ introduces a Laura Marling more relaxed in her writing than she has ever been: confessional, layered with her own ghostly vocals, laden with precisely-chosen strings. It is apparent almost at once that this is an artist at the top of their game.

Confessional and searing, her many ideas; her poetical lyrics unfurl petal by petal, paced to perfection. By the middle section of her LP, Marling seals the deal on the best singer-songwriter album of recent years, making one thing very clear - Song For Our Daughter will survive as a modern classic.

The title track does what it says on the tin, addressing the imaginary daughter she might one day have: “Lately I’ve been thinking of our daughter growing old/all of the bullshit that she might be told," she sings. It is introspective and comforting, easy to receive as the listener in the absence of recipient offspring. It tracks, too, like a note to Marling's own past, present and future self.

Highlight ‘Fortune’ sails onward on a distinctly vintage tide of strings and Joni-worthy acoustic riffs: a timeless, bittersweet ballad with roots in a great tradition of confessional writing -  though still unmistakably contemporary.

Marling does faster bpm’s justice too: album opener ‘Alexandra’ trumps popular folk predecessors from Alas I Cannot Swim with restrained, delicate ease. Longtime fans never fear: ’For You’ proves lullabies are still a knack of Marling’s too.

Laura Marling has been releasing prolifically since 2007. Despite that, one of her most-streamed songs is not one of her own but a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’. With Song For Our Daughter, she joins the ranks of the world’s most extraordinary singer-songwriters. Laura Marling has written her own Freewheelin’ classic: a Blue for the 21st Century.

Song For Our Daughter is out now via Chrysalis/Partisan.

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