74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 4, featuring Laura Marling

I don’t enjoy putting people into boxes. (Often it is a frustrating process, because truthfully everyone belongs in a different box.) But even if I DID like boxes, I would have a difficult time finding one for Laura Marling. Hailing from Jane Austen’s hometown, she got her start only five years ago, working her way through the musical food chain by playing an endless list of venues. She is precocious without being pretentious, quiet without being bashful, and she demonstrates startlingly innocent wisdom; undeniable sense of knowing: knowing the perfect parameters in which to place a song, knowing how to embellish in the beauty of simplicity, knowing how to communicate feelings as well as images. Her skill as a songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist are not all that notable, though they are deeply delightful. No, Laura possesses something far more rare (and far more desirable) than a gorgeous voice. She is perfectly reminiscent of Harper Lee. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a book that continually astounds me, for it is so innocently wise, so simple but lacking nought. It walks unaffected into the soul, reporting that all found there with a childlike lack of effort to justify or explain. A rarity in all its honest, raw beauty. A treasure.

Alas, I cannot swim

Hope in the Air

Blackberry Stone

Devil’s Spoke

So what do you think? What box does Ms Marling belong to?

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