Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Across the pond: Connecting through music

Laura Marling /
I Speak Because I Can
Laura Marling is only 21.  Yet, she sings with maturity and passion that is poised beyond her years.

The singer/songwriter from Eversley in Hampshire, England, whom many have compared to a young, folksy Joni Mitchell, writes songs that are both strikingly melodic and lyrically poetic.

Simple and pure, Marling is an authentic talent, a voice for her generation.  Fortunately, her lovely and lilting voice is becoming heard more ~ and gaining recognition ~ on this side of the pond thanks to her music receiving airplay via public radio.

Recently, Marling won the 2011 Brit Award for Best Female Solo Artist, besting Ellie Goulding and Cheryl Cole, and she was bestowed the same honor from the NME.  Her anthemic song, "Rambling Man," from her 2010 album I Speak Because I Canwas also nominated for Best Original Song at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Could a Grammy Award be in her future?

It was during last month's televised broadcast of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in London that Marling took the stage and previewed the unreleased "Flicker and Fail". It's a song that's been passed down a generation to her from her father.

If old is suddenly the new new, could "Flicker and Fail" be the start of a trend?  After all, she's covered other songwriting greats like Neil Young ("The Needle and the Damage Done") and Jackson C. Frank ("Blues Run the Game"). According to Marling's website, "... Foundations of ("Flicker and Fail") were in fact laid down via a battered old (but still surviving!) Yamaha guitar over 30 years ago by LM's own father.  LM has revived and tinkered with the lyrics and melody somewhat and shaped it into something old but new."

As someone who has been a fan of Marling's work since first being introduced to her music by Nic Harcourt on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2008, when she was only 18, I'm extremely excited about what the future holds for this wonderfully talented and passionate musician.

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