Tag Archives: laura marling

Better late than never! Laura Marling review

Remember how I reviewed Laura Marling’s third album, A Creature I Don’t Know? Or her fantastic gig with Alessi’s Ark at Bimbo’s? Yeah, me either. One of my new years’ resolutions is to be better about reviewing the things I say I’ll review.

Thankfully, I got a second chance with Ms. Marling’s acclaimed album. It posted on Mxdwn a few days ago. Here’s an excerpt, and click to read more.

Laura Marling began her 2011 Brit Award acceptance speech with an introduction. Heralded on stage by Boy George, the shy 21-year old squeaked “Hello, I’m Laura” before thanking her fans and walking off in stunned silence. She did scoop the title of Best Female Solo Artist from megastar Cheryl Cole—so the shock was understandable.

If the British public didn’t know Laura’s name then, they certainly do now. The petite songwriter seems to have come to that realization as well, as last year’s A Creature I Don’t Know is her most confident album yet. Though still marked by the world-weariness that made her stand out at sixteen, this third offering is assertive, complex, and unabashedly experimental… (Read more.)

NEWS! Lots of it.

Check out ‘Mukraker’ by Conveyor–mark my words, you’ll be hearing a lot from them in 2012.

If I covered all the music news that I’ve found interesting over the past week, I’d be writing this post for three days straight. It’s been nutty. So here are some snippets.

King Charles releases Mississippi Isabel EP
At long last, I can listen to a version of ‘Ivory Road’ that wasn’t recorded in the back of a London taxicab (although I adore that one too). The king’s EP is available on iTunes and Amazon, and features:

1. Bam Bam
2. Love Lust
3. Ivory Road
4. Mississippi Isabel

Andrew Bird reveals Break It Yourself tracklist:
I’m stoked to see Andrew Bird and Laura Marling in April–and if that tour prospect isn’t juicy enough already, those tickets come with a digital download of the new album and two live EPs. Check those tour dates out here, and the tracklist for Break It Yourself is below.

01. Desperation Breeds…
02. Polynation
03. Danse Caribe
04. Give it Away
05. Eyeoneye
06. Lazy Projector
07. Near Death Experience Experience
08. Behind the Barn
09. Lusitania
10. Orpheo Looks Back
11. Sifters
12. Fatal Shore
13. Hole in the Ocean Floor
14. Belles

Three Blind Wolves release video for ‘Echo On the Night Train’
These guys need to be better known–they’re phenomenal. I’m happy just closing my eyes and listening to ‘Echo On the Night Train’, but a video (almost) always makes things better.

Slow Club announce US tour
I’m particularly excited about this one, because it means I finally get to catch this duo live when they hit SF’s Brick and Mortar in March.

14 – Washington, DC – DC9
15 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
16 – Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House
17 – Boston, MA – TT The Bears
18 – Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo
19 – Toronto, ON – Rivoli
21 – Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room
22 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

06 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club
07 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
08 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10 – San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar Music Hall
11 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
12 – San Diego, CA – Casbah

SXSW 2012 dates TBA

Laura Marling discusses her poem and website for The Beast here
Laura has posted a poem on the-bea.st; it’s inspired by the album and narrated by Gil from Old Crow Medicine Show. Read about her multimedia process and inspiration in the interview above.

Eugene McGuinness releases free download and trailer for ‘Thunderbolt’
Though we’re still waiting on a release date for Eugene McGuinness’s upcoming album, at least he’s given us another taste of the new material. You can grab the track here and watch the trailer below.

Summer Camp hits LA, NY, and DC on upcoming tour
I’m bummed that they’re not stopping in San Francisco, but you can catch Summer Camp at the following dates:

02/06 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
02/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands Gallery
02/09 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
02/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

And finally…. if you’ve been on Mars and haven’t caught the Coachella lineup yet, click here. Or, for heat-averse San Franciscans like me, check out the Bay Area’s Fauxchella dates.

Crazy Week for New-Folk!

As many of you likely know, this is a crazy week for new-folk, English music, and just music in general. It feels like there have been a billion album releases: Laura Marling, St. Vincent, Slow Club, Peggy Sue, Blitzen Trapper, Girls. I’m still working through reviews, but here are a couple I’ve gotten out recently, followed by some news bits and bites.

Slow Club, Paradise (Thank Folk for That)
Slow Club’s debut album, Yeah, So, is indie-pop perfection. It’s just the right mix of sincerity and whimsy; sweet without being cloying, heartfelt without being trite. Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson captured the topsy-turvy spirit of post-adolescence, from bubbly songs about broken hearts to wistful tunes about new relationships. I figured Slow Club’s follow-up would be more of the same: a little older and wiser, perhaps, but full of their signature folk-pop duets. They’d done so well the first time around, I couldn’t think of any reason to tamper with such a charming formula.

I was dead wrong. One spin of Paradise proved that this sophomore effort is not only different, it’s so much better. Rebecca and Charles have moved far beyond adolescence, switching spunky folk for sophisticated pop. Elements of their earlier sound are certainly present, but even those are more mature: think of songs like Hackney Marsh as I Was Unconscious, It Was a Dream, version 2.0. If Yeah, So was the perfect encapsulation of one phase of life, Paradise shows that same lyrical sensibility in this new one. (Read the rest.)

Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (For Folk’s Sake)
As the only Californian on the For Folk’s Sake writing roster, I felt it was my duty to grab Nothing Is Wrong by Dawes. Not only are they from Malibu, an oceanside haven near Los Angeles, but they sound more Californian than most other bands from the Golden State. The quartet draws inspiration from the Laurel Canyon music scene (which historically includes such musicians as Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, & Nash), and even named their 2009 debut North Hills. Their sophomore effort still gives a nod to their esteemed SoCal heritage, but moves far beyond homage or imitation – Nothing Is Wrong is truly, and magnificently, their own. (Read the rest.)

Catch Laura Marling performing “The Muse” on New York’s KFUV:

Florence and the Machine have also announced details about their sophomore album, Ceremonials. Here’s the track listing:
‘Only If For The Night’
‘Shake It Out’
‘What The Water Gave Me’
‘Never Let Me Go’
‘Breaking Down’
‘Lover To Lover’
‘Seven Devils’
‘Leave My Body’
‘All This And Heaven Too’
‘What The Water Gave Me’

Peggy Sue have released a video for “Song and Dance” off their new album Acrobats. Though out in the UK as of yesterday, Peggy Sue fans in the US have to wait until October 25th for the Yep Roc release.

Peggy Sue – Song & Dance from Wichita Recordings on Vimeo.

And finally… Summer Camp have released an adorable video for “Better Off Without You”. This is the first video where we actually get a glimpse of Jeremy and Elizabeth, and it’s a charming mix of modern and 80’s footage. And it starts with “Welcome to Condale”, a nod to their fanzine of the same name (and the LA suburb where a lot of their songs take place).

The Leisure Society Join Laura Marling on UK Tour

The Leisure Society’s “Dust on the Dancefloor”, live in the Virgin Red Room.

I must say, The Leisure Society’s second album, Into the Murky Water, is shaping up to be one of my favorite albums of the year. It’s full of fun, bright, melodious pop songs like their next single, “Dust on the Dancefloor” (above), and “This Phantom Life” (the video is great–watch it!). It’s just a solid record.

While I’m not complaining about the fact that I’ll be seeing the inimitable Alessi’s Ark on my branch of Laura Marling’s tour, I would dearly like to see this merry group of Londoners. If you’re in the UK and have coveted tickets to Ms. Marling’s sold-out cathedral tour, congratulations: you get to head-bob your way through a Leisure Society set.

You can also buy tickets for The Leisure Society’s gig at the Barbican on December 8th (with the Heritage Orchestra and Micah P Hinson).

Laura Marling Releases “Sophia” Video, Daughter Free Download on US iTunes

Laura Marling released the official video for single “Sophia” today, and it’s as lovely as the song itself. Set in a candlelit cathedral, it reminds me of the equally simplistic “New Romantic” video; in fact, juxtaposing the two songs illustrates just how far she’s come musically. Wow.

After you’ve finished watching the two videos, and have gotten over your feelings of inferiority for not being like Laura at age 21, head over to (US) iTunes. Check out Indie Spotlight. Download “Landfill” by Daughter, and buy the rest of her His Young Heart EP for $2.97. Then begin to feel inferior again.

Laura Marling’s highly anticipated third album, A Creature I Don’t Know, is out September 12th in the UK and the 13th in the US. Preorder information is here.

Laura Marling Announces US/UK Tour, Gives Pre-Order Option

I’m going to hustle to get tickets to Laura Marling’s US tour in September, supporting A Creature I Don’t Know. Luckily for me, her first tour date is at Bimbo’s in glorious San Francisco.

US in September:
Sat 17th – CA, San Francisco – Bimbo’s 365 Club
Sun 18th – CA, Los Angeles – Masonic Temple
Tue 20th – CA, Los Angeles – Troubadour
Thu 22nd – IL, Chicago – Lincoln Hall
Fri 23rd – ON, Toronto – The Great Hall
Sat 24th – QC, Montreal – Corona
Sun 25th – MA, Boston – Brighton Music Hall
Tue 27th – DC, Washington – Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Wed 28th – NY, New York – Webster Hall

She also has UK dates in October:
Fri 14th – Exeter, Exeter Cathedral
Sat 15th – Winchester, Winchester Cathedral
Mon 17th – Guildford, Guildford Cathedral
Tue 18th – Gloucester, Gloucester Cathedral
Fri 21st – York, York MInster
Sat 22nd – Sheffield, Sheffield Cathedral
Mon 24th – Manchester, Manchester Cathedral (standing venue)
Tue 25th – Bristol, Bristol Cathedral
Wed 26th – London, Westminster Central Hall (standing venue)
Fri 28th – Liverpool, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Sat 29th – Birmingham, Birmingham Cathedral

AND she has a presale option for tickets starting at 10am local time on July 27th. People who buy presale get the opportunity to pre-order A Creature I Don’t Know. Not a bad deal, eh? (The ‘eh’ is practice for Canada. Leaving in a few hours.)

Laura Marling Announces Track List for A Creature I Don’t Know

Laura Marling has released the track listing for her much-anticipated third album, A Creature I Don’t Know. The album is due September 12th. (An aside: One of the songs is called “Salinas”, the town where John Steinbeck lived, and I used to live right near there. Interesting, considering Marcus Mumford actually rented a car once to go down and visit; apparently the new-folk world is full of Steinbeckians.)

The tracks are:

The Muse
I Was Just A Card
Don’t Ask Me Why
The Beast
Night After Night
My Friends
Rest In the Bed
All My Rage

New Video: Noah and the Whale’s “Tonight’s the Kind of Night”

Click here for the new video for Noah and the Whale’s “Tonight’s the Kind of Night” (stupid Vevo won’t let me embed it). I’ll refrain from comment (for now), but I’d just like to show a bit of their video evolution. Given Charlie’s fondness for filmmaking, this has been a pretty big part of the band’s identity. This latest video is another Fink-directed piece, but seems to feature the same glossier, bigger-budgeted vibe as the album itself.

I’ve always loved this “Shape of My Heart” video. It typifies their Wes Anderson-influenced early style.

Embedding for their “5 Years Time” video has been disabled by request, but we all know it as the indie cutefest featuring Charlie and Laura. It’s still adorable, but definitely a teeny bit awkward at this point.

Here’s a trailer for their film, The First Days of Spring. This accompaniment to the album is beautiful both emotionally and visually.

This scene from the film makes more sense of “Love of an Orchestra”, and features the coolest old man ever. Even though the character is committing suicide, it is the film’s most uplifting moment.

Noah and the Whale isn’t constricted by categorization–the band genre hops with apparent ease. It seems to me, though, that this third work is devoid of the quirks and sentiments that made the first two albums interesting. I respect Charlie’s desire to look at the world as if through a camera lens, but the series of vignettes do not step out of the realm of cliche by a few added details (however well-written). Especially when juxtaposed with their poignant sophomore album, Last Night On Earth feels especially vacuous.

“Tonight’s the Kind of Night” is filled with that stock American imagery that has lost its emotional force through the countless retellings. Fink’s video may look lovely and polished, but it adds nothing new to the tale of a wide-eyed boy grabbing a Greyhound to The Big City, USA. It almost feels like Charlie and company already followed the boy’s inevitable path: they ventured to LA and lost their sense of self.

M Magazine: Young Folk, New Traditions

Photo courtesy of Broadcast 2000’s Joe Steer. This is currently my computer background.

For Folk’s Sake founder and all around awesome person Lynn Roberts recently wrote an article for M Magazine about new-folk’s steady rise in popularity. Guess who’s featured in it? Me! Needless to say I’m pretty excited to be in print, but I haven’t actually been able to get my literal or figurative hands on the text until today.

Lynn traces the roots of the ‘new-folk’ movement (and, of course, challenges that categorization) from its early Bosun’s Locker days to its present mainstream successes. To read the full article, click here.