Monday, March 22

Words with... Laura Marling

. Monday, March 22

Laura Marling releases her second album ‘I Speak Because I Can’. Bolder and more forthright than ever before the album sees Marling, still only twenty years of age, growing before our eyes and ears. Gigwise caught up with Laura to discuss making the album and how she feels entering this new stage of her career...

How does this new album differ to your first?

The set up this time was entirely different. The first album (Alas I Cannot Swim) was my songs but produced by someone else. This album is made with people I’ve known for years sitting together in a room and writing parts for the songs and making them work. It was really interesting because they knew what I liked and I knew their style and it came together quite well.

‘They’ is Mumford and Sons isn’t it?

Yeah. It felt like a much more organic way of making an album to do it with friends, people I’ve known for a long time.

What have you learnt since you emerged as an artist? Are their mistakes that you made in the past that you want to do differently this time around?

The mistake I made, and one I think a lot of people make, is not going with my gut feeling. When it comes towards the end of making an album you have gut feelings all over the place and you know that whatever decision you make is one you’re going to have to stick with for the rest of your life. There have been times that I was convinced that my gut feeling was wrong and then you realise it wasn’t and you end up being a bit annoyed. So that is something that I looked out for when I was making the new album, to stick to what I knew deep down would work.
Do you think the new album is reflective of who you are generally or is it more of a snap shot of a specific time in your life?

I think it reflects a couple of sides of my personality that conflict really. I hope it doesn’t completely sum me up, that would be a whole new level of self indulgence! I don’t think I could make something as full on as a record that tried to represent everything that I am.

Do you ever hold personal things back when you write songs?

I’m naturally quite withheld so yeah I do self edit quite a lot. I could never write something that is too miserable or soppy I don’t think. It would be too strange to sing things like that every night.

Do you think or hope that the new album will change people’s perception of you?

I think it will actually. I remember listening to the first one straight after I finished this second one and was amazed at how different I sounded, particularly my vocals. This image of a tiny little me maybe being quite quiet is definitely going to change with this new album.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?

Not a favourite necessarily but the one which I was glad turned out the way it did is ‘What He Wrote’. That could potentially have been quite a boring song but then Pete Rowe came up with this amazing humming arrangement and totally transformed it. One of the best things about making an album is being proud of the songs and that’s definitely one that I am very proud of.

In terms of writing are you more confident than you were in the past?

Yeah I guess so. I think there’s more punch than there used to be. I remember recording a few songs and not really noticing it too much but then listening back to them I was like, “Wow, I mean business!” So yeah there is more confidence there definitely.
Do you have any plans to do something special like you did with the Songbox last time around?

Yeah, we’ve got a special edition of the album coming out which has lot of postcards with stuff by the girl who did my artwork. On the postcards there will be some codes which you can use to access some songs to download from my website. There won’t be anything as big as the tour we did with the Song box but obviously I will be touring and playing festivals too.

How are the new songs coming across when you play live?

I’m always quite conscious of not playing too many new songs in a row when I play live because otherwise it can be a bit unfair on the people who bought tickets for the gig. Having said that when I have played new songs they’ve gone down really well. The people who come to my shows are always so lovely anyway that they’d never be rude about them anyway.
How do they feel to you when you play them?

They feel good. I’ve been playing some of them for nearly a year now and it feels good to be able to give the set a whole new dimension.
You’re planning on releasing another album this year aren’t you? How will this work, will the second one work in conjunction with ‘I Speak Because I Can’?

Musically the album I’m releasing later this year will be totally different because the guys I wrote I Speak…’ with are not going to be on it. lyrically I think they will be pretty similar though.

Will it be more upbeat do you reckon?

Knowing me, probably not no…

Does releasing two albums in a year come from being frustrated at having to wait eighteen months to a year to release new music?

Yeah I do find that annoying and it doesn’t really make any sense either.

It seems odd that people, like yourself, who write very personal songs have to keep performing the same songs they wrote a long time ago even if they probably don’t feel the same way any longer…

Yeah it is odd but then all of this is weird. Other than playing the guitar I find so much of this thing very strange. Basically I’m normal and don’t think about being a singer or in the public eye. Twenty three hours of my day are just like everyone else’s, I just play gigs too which is all I really care about I think.


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