After a more than successful 2010, Laura Marling's music has returned to our ears this month with new single 'Sophia', taken from the forthcoming album 'A Creature I Don't Know'. The 21 year old has quietly gone about her business, picking up two Mercury Prize nominations and a Brit Award along the way, making it easy to forget that the acknowledged solo artist we know today began her career singing backing vocals for Noah and The Whale and collaborating with Mystery Jets and The Rakes. Perhaps though, the reason for this is that with every release Marling evidently grows as an artist, taking further strides and improving on her previous attempts. 'Sophia' doesn't stray from this pattern however it does unravel a much more contemporary folk feel than that of Marling's back catalogue. A risk no doubt, but one that pays off with every second of the song.
'Sophia' is a different direction, it's a song that shows progression. It grows from a dark seed into a bright flower. Opening with soft vocals and gentle chords, Marling reveals her usual charm with her voice so delicate it's as though she is speaking in conversation directly at you. Before long the transformation unfolds and the Hampshire born artist announces something far more melodic. A string quartet and electric guitars are introduced as the song reaches it's climax, turning from an unhurried ballad into a pitch perfect harmony. With the additional band and backing vocals, 'Sophia' is the birth of Marling's first anthem. A beautiful, poetic release that stays true to her graceful past, but creates something that not only feels good but jumps over the fences that Laura Marling had only previously pushed at.
By Josh Barrow