Laura Marling – 'Once I Was an Eagle' album review

On her fourth album the singer-songwriter goes back to beautiful, acoustic basics

Laura Marling – 'Once I Was an Eagle'

  • Rated as: 4/5

On her fourth album in five years, Laura Marling has stripped down her sound. Each of her last three records added more and more musicians, creating denser and richer songs whilst firmly embedding themselves in the sound of the new folk revival. ‘I Was An Eagle’ sees the 23-year-old return to the studio with only producer Ethan Johns for company – as well as the occasional mournful thrum of cello, courtesy of childhood friend Ruth de Turberville.

Opening with a four-song medley was an ambitious choice, but the risk pays off as isolated piano notes and spluttering drums compliment Marling’s signature acoustic sound. On ‘Master Hunter’ (it’s unknown whether this is a tribute to a certain Teutonic digestif) Marling sings of having 'cured my skin, so nothing gets in', but there is a real feel of osmosis in the album too. There is also a mood of ending, of change, and maybe, Marling is on her way into an exciting new phase of her career. This is definitely a fitting addition to the current one.

Watch Laura Marling's 'Master Hunter' video

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