There’s a Mind Under This Hat: Meet Laura Marling

I didn’t want to like Laura Marling. Honestly, I actively ignored her and her music for months, but her presence was unrelenting. It was getting obnoxious.

Spoiler Alert: I succumbed.

Let’s scroll back to January 2010, shall we? My own music pusher/co-worker had just told me about this new band with a banjo that I should check out, and sent me a link to Mumford & Sons’ “Little Lion Man.” (One day, I’ll explain how that seemingly unimportant link changed music- and the art of pushing- for one Amanda Conrad.) As Mumford’s debut album, Sigh No More hadn’t been released in the States yet, I took to the YouTubes to find more- I couldn’t get enough. I didn’t even know that the more Mumford I found, more Marling would pop up. Every single time, there she was in the “suggestions” sidebar. It annoyed me to no end, for some reason, and I refused to listen on some sort of principle.

Then I caved. I was intrigued by the animation in this fan-made video for Alas, I Cannot Swim. I was sucked in by her voice and lyrics. I kept clicking… I found New Romantic and Ghosts (featuring half of those wacky Mumfords on backup), and learned she recorded her debut Alas I Cannot Swim at age 17. And that her second album, I Speak Because I Can, was about to be released.

I’m not sure I can adequately put into words how much I love this album. It was a slow burn for me. I liked one or two songs to start with, but I continued to listen, and I learned more about her as well.

Marling is an old soul. It’s evident in her writing, her voice and her overall style of music. She’s well-read and intelligent- I watched an interview of hers where I had to look up no less than three words that she used without thinking twice. When she performs, her music is the show- not her wardrobe changes or perfectly choreographed routine with backup dancers. My roommate called her my generation’s Joni Mitchell.

Back to the album, I think Goodbye England is one of the more beautiful songs I’ve heard in years. Rambling Man and Blackberry Stone have been on near constant repeat for a year. I honestly want to link every song on the album, but I’ll show a modicum of restraint and just send you here.

You won’t regret it. Promises.

About Music Pusher

student. waitress. unabashed lover and pusher of music. red wine and coffee enthusiast. Nashvillain.