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Album Review: Laura Marling – Semper Femina
Semper Femina which translates to “always woman” in Spanish, is the title of British folk singer Laura Marling’s latest album. She’s been amused by the title phrase for many years and delivers on those musings with a complex album about womanhood.
Our “hopeless wanderer” appears out of the gate with Marling’s ever enchanting and strong vocals on the first track Soothing. A pretty sparse track but commanding in its jazz like essence. I love Laura’s tender voice and it’s showcased quite nicely on the folky third track on the album, Wildfire. With themes of identity and hope, each of these tracks offer a view into the world we and Laura are living in simultaneously. Straying from her haunting singer-songwriter vibe, Marling gets a bit funky on Don’t Pass Me By and pleads for the salvation of herself and her relationship.
Midway through the album with the song Always This Way, Marling goes in and truly contemplates her place and womanhood in the world right now. Laura Marling admits to going through and exploring a “masculine” phase in her life prior to the recording of this album and on the track Wild Once, she delivers a thoughtful tune of this exploration. The title phrase shows up finally in the beautiful and relationship oriented Nouel. Marling seems to celebrate the love and the attraction of togetherness in this song and fits nicely on the album.
Closing out this beautiful record is perhaps the strongest track Nothing, Not Nearly. Different stylistically than the rest of the album, this song serves as a rousing call of hope and freedom. “Once it’s gone – it’s gone” Marling sings here and is a reminder that we must live each day to the fullest and be our best selves, always.
I have always been a fan of Laura Marling and maybe because this is the first time I’m writing about her, I have to say she is such a strong songwriter and vocalist. Still smiling from listening to the album, I recommend you all go check it out. Man or woman, there is something for everyone to think about here.