The subject of who Laura Marling is might seem a simple one: six albums, Grammy nominations, Brit Awards, Mercury nods, a steady path from a childhood in Berkshire, via the noughties nu-folk scene, to an esteemed and familiar musical presence. Still, the peculiar truth after all this time, is that Laura Marling is perhaps not quite who you might think she is.
She was just 18 when she released her debut album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, and the records that followed, from I Speak Because I Can in 2010, through to 2017’s Semper Femina, captured a young songwriter exploring both her craft and identity. Her voice — a supple, mesmerising thing, evolved too: richer, harder, smokier when called for, while the songs spoke of wisdom and worldliness and womanhood. But youthful success has a habit of crystallising its subjects, and for many, Marling remained forever the naive, clear-voiced folk singer of her earliest days.
But she is 30 now, and her seventh album, Song For Our Daughter, finds her a wholly different proposition: an artist whose gifts are diverse and accomplished, her interests broad, her talent at its most powerful. She is today a quite singular voice in the recording industry.