LAURA MARLING – ” Semper Femina ” Best Albums Of 2017

Posted: October 4, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Semper Femina

This past year has brought on a new wave of feminism, and with it, the most strikingly feminine album I have heard. At 27 years of age, by U.K. singer-songwriter Laura Marling who has crafted a collection of intimate, emotionally rich songs that seek to explore the female gaze turned on itself. Semper Femina which is Latin for “always woman”..

This is Marling’s conscious edit of a cautionary phrase from Virgil’s Aeneid: Varium et mutabile semper femina. (“Woman is ever a fickle and changeable thing.”) In fact, it is precisely the mutability and complexity of women, in our relationships to each other and to the world around us, that Marling celebrates within these nine vignettes. From the darkly sensual album opener, “Soothing,” which banishes with love an unwelcome lover, to the coda, “Nothing Not Nearly,” which concludes “nothing matters more than love,” she gets to the heart of the beautifully multifaceted nature of women — and, indeed, of Laura Marling herself. Personally, I am deeply grateful to her for the gift of this panoramic view of ourselves: We need soothing. We can take away your pain. We need beauty. We cry sometimes. We sing. We put up a fight. We need to be free. We love you. We are the muse, but also the artist. We were wild once, and must remember. Semper Femina.

The characters in Marling’s songs feel like real people—often restless, frequently viewed from afar and almost uniformly mysterious in their motivations. Despite all her growth over the past decade—which has included adding a soulful bounce to her occasionally brittle hooks and orchestral heft to her simpler arrangements—Marling remains at heart a folksinger who uses the foundational elements of songcraft to express abiding truths. And like any great folk singer, she has created an album of songs whose sounds and sentiments are much weightier than they might appear.

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