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I Speak Because I Can
Folk Princess Turns The Screws On Blabbing Ex.
Ed Power, 06 Apr 2010
Laura Marling’s second album bubbles and broils with contradictions. On the one hand, the Hampshire folkstress, all wide-eyed coos and breathy warbles, cleaves tightly to the archetype of doe-eyed waif. And yet there’s are glimpses of steel too – on single ‘Devil’s Spoke’ she is a woman possessed, slapping her guitar whilst her mannered croon slips free of its shackles so that, for a moment, it sounds as if she’s about to break into a snarl. If she’s agitated, you can hardly blame her. Last year her ex-boyfriend, Noah and the Whale’s Charlie Fink, wrote a concept album about their separation, painting 20 year old Marling as quite the ice queen. A well-brought up young lady from the London commuter belt, Marling is naturally too classy to turn I Speak Because I Can into a revenge letter. Nonetheless, the record contains plenty of clues as to her state of mind: on ‘Rambling Man’ she points out that heartache flows both ways (‘I’m broken too, and spoken for, do not tempt me’); ‘Goodbye England’ sees her kicking out at everyone who has ever tried to control her (‘I tried to be a girl who likes to be used/ ’m too good for that/ There’s a mind under this hat’). A triumph of devastating understatement.