Laura Marling – Semper Femina
The sprightliness of Laura Marling’s debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim, is absent on this, her sixth record. Instead of spryness, on Semper Femina (meaning “always woman”, taken from poet Virgil’s Aeneid: “Woman is always fickle and changeable”) a thoughtful mellowness pervades. Gentle, graceful and muted, it’s a slick of spare, yet highly crafted songs that disassemble and examine perspectives of women. Folk dissolves into country tones and fuzzy guitar on Nothing Not Nearly, the intimate, tender Nouel is raw and exposing, while Always This Way pitches and sways with lyrics that reverberate with questions. It’s an accomplished and touching record, but this is
Laura Marling, we’ve come to expect no less.