In such strange times, there are certain things in life that are bound to bring some kind of familiarity to what, at times, feels completely foreign. One of these things is Laura Marling, her songwriting, and the re-assuring nature of her stories. Returning with her seventh studio album, Song For Our Daughter is Laura Marling at her most accomplished, as she caresses you through a space and time that absolutely no one is entirely sure of.
Marling has always had folk music on a string. From her earliest tracks on Alas, I Cannot Swim through to 2017’s Semper Femina, she has always been able to deliver music that even the most lauded of folk acts would be stoked to deliver. Whilst straying a little from the path she treads on Semper Femina, Song For Our Daughter is Marling at a point in time where she knows exactly what she is capable of doing and rightfully delivers.
Written from the perspective of a mother teaching and caressing her daughter through life, Marling has tried to conceptualise what it is like for women in modern society, whilst working to equip her daughter with the tools required to grow and navigate this truly weird world. The tracks are used to re-assure this imaginary daughter, whilst providing her with confidence and affirmations that the mother may have struggled to have whilst growing up herself. Marling sings about connecting with and loving the daughter for being different and unique on “Strange Girl”. An upbeat and frankly fun track, “Strange Girl” is equal parts light-hearted and endearing. It’s a song that every mother can almost definitely empathise with.
“Fortune” is tender in its delivery, as Marling cruises through on her guitar, with her vocals delivering a soft and fond moment on a release that is the isolation album you never knew you needed. On the other hand, “For You” is reminiscent of those old folk songs your parents would play on a slow and sunny winter afternoon, as the Sunday dinner was being prepared and you started to fret about the home work you definitely hadn’t done.
Prior to its release, Marling announced that despite everything that’s been going on in the world at the moment, she would proceed to release the album as anticipated. For many bands, they’ve pushed back releases in the hope that they can coincide its release with a tour once there has been a return to a somewhat ‘normal’ world. For Marling she has released the album as a sign of hope and connection. In a time where people may be struggling through isolation, Marling sees the opportunity to release Song For Our Daughter as a chance for people, to at the very least, be entertained, and at its best, provide some sense of union.
Song For Our Daughter is an album all mothers and fathers, whether current, past or future, should listen to. It makes a pretty special statement about how you can guide and nurture those in your care. Whether this child is real or not, there’s a sentiment in the album that makes you want to be protective and garner a glowing love and respect for those nearest and dearest to you. Whether they’re your daughter, son or no relation at all, Song For Our Daughter is an album that is there to reassure and provide a special type of level-headedness. In today’s climate, we can all use a little bit of this.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Song For Our Daughter is out now.