Who else is getting tired of that whenever Laura Marling is written/spoken about, it inevitably comes up that she used to date Marcus Mumford? Ridiculously, as Laura was walking onstage to receive her BRIT award for Best British Female (well deserved, a long time coming, ‘I Speak Because I Can’ is one of the best English records released last year), the announcer felt compelled to tell everyone that she was part of the ‘West London folk scene’ and used to be romanced by Mumford. Why?! I have no idea whether this is because she’s a girl or whether it’s because she gives so little away in interviews but this must stop! Here are five reasons why Laura does not need to be quantified by her relationship with Marcus:
1. She’s fucking awesome. As is her second record, ‘I Speak Because I Can.’ As someone who was mildly annoyed by Laura’s debut with her warblings about Ryan Adams and the ubiquitous ‘these are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you,’ her darker and more sophisticated new direction blew me away. Grappling with themes such as independence and womanhood, backed by her deft guitar strummings and an awesome band and backing vocals (that does, admittedly, include Marcus), as well as her beautiful voice, ‘I Speak Because I Can’ is a record to get lost in.
2. She’s a role model. For doing what she wants and remaining herself in an industry that creates ridiculous examples of womanhood and holds them up as the ideal. Her fellow nominees in the BRITs showcase what she’s up against: the average pop of ‘nation’s sweetheart’ Cheryl Cole or hot off the press Rumer, an artist who has been consistently shoved onto the public in a campaign that casts her as the new (more clean) Amy Winehouse and yet doesn’t have the tunes to back it up. Laura came onstage in a simple white top and trousers, got her award, thanked her mum, and left. I’m not saying that in order to be a ‘true’ feminist/role model that you have to boycott makeup and dress plainly (and let’s be honest, Laura is beautiful) but Laura refuses to let the industry affect her or change her into something she’s not - so rare!
3. She refuses to give things away. Laura does not have a personal twitter or facebook account. Most of her album campaign featured a 40 year old man on a beach instead of her. In interviews, she never discusses personal matters and instead talks about what we should care about - her music. Even her lyrics are ambiguous and mysterious and can be interpreted in a million different ways. In a world where even musicians are expected to be on Twitter in order to share their most inane thoughts with their fans, Laura refuses and lets her music speak for itself.
4. She cares about her music. Immensely. Throughout the publicity campaign for ‘I Speak Because I Can,’ Laura said that she would be ready to release an as yet untitled third record by the end of last year. However, it later emerged that she had scrapped older songs in favour of more new material and had chosen to demo again rather than record and release the album immediately. Refusing to bow to inevitable label pressure, she did not allow herself to release material with her name on that she wasn’t 100% happy with and has since said that she thinks her third album will be better for it.
5. She’s only going to get better. Although it is a fact constantly remarked on, she’s only just turned 21, and judging by the progression between her first album and her second, we’ve got so much more to hear from her yet! Anyone who’s been to her recent live shows and witnessed the ‘new song medley’ she’s been playing will be able to see how the new record is shaping up to be yet another forever album showing yet another step forward. Can’t bloody wait.