Let’s face it – Laura Marling can make the average person feel pretty damn unaccomplished. She’s released three multi award-winning albums, played many a renowned venue and collaborated with countless amazing musicians – all before she turned 22.
Needless to say, she’s an excellent songwriter and performer, and she also has the incredibly rare ability to sound just as flawless live as she does in studio recordings. Her live album, Live from York Minster, definitely has lived up to expectations.
Recorded in 2011 at an iconic London cathedral, the sound quality and acoustics are sublime. Marling’s voice is crystal clear and the vocals and instruments are balanced. The civility of the crowd is also worth a mention – there were no awkwardly timed heckles (or at least, none made it onto the album!).
The setlist is a great mix of old and new works – all her three albums are equally represented. The variety within the songs on the album is also notable – there’s jazz influenced tunes (“The Muse”, “My Friends”), older and folkier works (“Night Terror”, “Ghosts”) and pure genius (“Alpha Shallows”). “What He Wrote” and “The Beast” were particularly special moments in the set, and I suspect you would’ve been able to hear a pin drop in the theatre during either of them.
The instrumentation is also very well done – very true to the studio recordings, but of course a little more raw. The warmth of the strings and acoustic guitars is stunning, and the way her voice resonates is also beautiful.
Having seen this incredibly talented songstress live, this is the next best thing! She’s an incredible young talent and listening to her, it really is mind-blowing that she wrote some of these tunes in her teens. Her voice accompanied by her band mates are very sophisticated, seasoned musicians who honestly, don’t miss a beat. Seeing Laura Marling live is a magical experience, and this album perfectly exemplifies it. If you haven’t seen her live yet, be prepared to be completely floored – if you have, it’ll just make you want to see her again.
Review score: 8.1 out of 10