Review: Laura Marling's seventh studio album earned fulsome praise from critics when it first landed on streaming services back in April. Listening to this CD version, it's easy to see why. Inspired by Maya Angelou's 2009 book "Letter To My Daughter", it sees the popular singer-songwriter offer up a string of songs written as if she was addressing a younger version of herself. These are personal and often highly emotional pieces, with Marling's yearning and impassioned delivery of her own thoughtful lyrics being accompanied by minimal instrumentation (often just acoustic guitar or piano, though some tracks also include light orchestration). It's therefore a mature and impactful set that should appeal to more than just Marling's core fanbase.
Review: Introducing your players - Jim White, known as a member of Venom P. Stinger, Dirty Three and Xylouris White, not to mention a soloist who has collaborated with the likes of Cat Power, PJ Harvey and Bill Callahan; and the esteemed blues folk traditionalist Marisa Anderson. Together they make a gravelly, earthy strand of instrumental, downtempo guitar roots partly recorded at a 1970s relic of a Mexico City studio, in part using unfamiliar instruments (nylon string Ramos-Castillo guitars), it really does have the feeling of a time capsule about it. Opening is to dive into a percussive-driven journey where our guides are deceptively enthralling chords and melodies that weave around our ears. Exceptional and inspired stuff.