Marling shines in ‘Semper Femina’

By Christopher Reynoso 

British folk star Laura Marling’s sixth studio album Semper Femina is a welcomed addition to the singer’s discography, giving fans more of what they’ve come to love her for.

In the album, she brings new sounds to keep it fresh. It offers newcomers a solid first taste of what Marling is all about, smooth vocals, rhythmic melodies and entrapping storytelling.

Her discography has always been at the forefront of the nu-folk scene with songs such as “Rambling Man,” “Master Hunter” and “Gurdjieff’s Daughter,” Semper Femina continues Marling’s legacy. One song in particular does stand out positively is the first single “Soothing.”

It’s the first song on the album and works well to set the tone and pace for the rest of the tracks, as it delves into the themes of introspection and femininity that are explored throughout the album.

While not being a very long album with only nine tracks, it is put together very well. The transition from song to song is smooth.

There is a consistency to the quality of the music in every track.

If there is anything to complain about with this album, it would definitely be the length. It’s too short.

While there is an extended edition which features a live recording of each song on the album. It does not include any new tracks.

There aren’t any songs that stand out as weaker than the rest, and this helps to keep the album strong all throughout listening.

The songwriting stands out in this album and it does well to explore the themes of the album while remaining fresh from song to song. In fact, the biggest strength of the album is the fact that it works so well as a cohesive whole, while still maintaining a freshness from song to song that is hard to describe.

It’s akin to a good film in that way, it can be watched, or in this case heard, multiple times and there will always be something new to discover.

With the amount of work she’s put out in her decade-long career, six studio albums and constant touring, it’s hard to keep in mind that Marling is only 27 years old. It may well be that her best work is still ahead of her.

Semper Femina is a welcomed and strong addition to Laura Marling’s discography.

Apart from standing on its own as an album, it adds an unexpected but fresh dimension to Marling’s body of work that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Semper Femina is now available digitally on Spotify and iTunes, as well as on vinyl at Target, Barnes & Noble and Amoeba Music.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MORE ALARMING RECORDS

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