Review: Semper Femina by Laura Marling

Semper Femina by Laura MarlingThe gaps between Laura Marling’s albums are getting longer – it’s been roughly two years since Semper Femina, her latest, and its predecessor, the electric Short Movie. The distance has meant there’s no clear sonic thread between the two records – you can even say this new record is underwhelming considering how much more subdued it is. But, for a record that spends its time exploring womanhood (and not necessarily from that liberal “woman!” perspective like most lazily ascribe vaguely feminist works) it’s enchanting. Laura pulls back but reserves the tricks to the occasional twirl here and there, and the impact is pretty strong: slinky, even funky songs abound, from the launcher “Soothing” to perhaps the highlight, album closer “Nothing, Not Nearly”, which manages to sum up her already expected sage wisdom by creeping up on us. Now, again, Semper Femina is not a big album. But it doesn’t have to be, and wisely, it isn’t. [NB]4/5

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