Laura Marling's new album, Once I Was An Eagle, was recorded in the English country studio of long-time producer and instrumentalist Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams) and Marling's lifelong friend Ruth de Turberville on cello. Not only was the process complete in just ten days, but Marling's vocals and acoustic guitars were recorded live in one take - in one day. To that acoustic skeleton - which will be the sound of her upcoming solo tour, her first sans band - Marling and Johns then added textured layers of percussion and instrumentation. It's a hugely ambitious record that echoes the themes of previous album A Creature I Don't Know.
This is Marling's fourth album and the precocious and preternaturally talented British singer-songwriter has attained what sounds undeniably like vocal, emotional, and artistic maturity. It's a record for the ages. Released at the age of twenty-three. Her already impressive career has so far included a 2011 Brit Award (UK Grammy-equivalent) for Best British Female Solo Artist, two Mercury Music Prize nominations, and an NME Award for Best Solo Artist.
When Marling began writing the songs that would become Eagle, she'd been "obsessively" collecting records from the year 1969. She was in the middle of a U.S. tour to promote A Creature I Don't Know. She was about to let go of her band, feeling dislocated on the open road, and searching for what it meant to be an artist and a woman in the world at an age at which her contemporaries were still in college. Eagle is a concept album, sort of. It follows a thread of mythology, lyrically and metaphorically. An eagle and a dove, the devil, and the sea populate her cast of characters: soundscapes ebb and flow like an epic plot, or, for that matter, an epic road trip across the States.
"(Marling) posses a certain kind of ageless poise that makes your jaw drop" - Pitchfork March 2013
"Once I Was An Eagle really does seem to be another astonishingly mature step forward. In 20 years she'll be celebrated as one of the greats - just be glad you could be here now." - NME March 2013
"...substantial, serious, and especially rewarding to those who take the time to listen closely." - UNCUT March 2013
"Marling has always approached lyric-writing from a short-story perspective, giving us just enough character details so we understand why the pivotal moments and realizations matter, while giving us a sense of a larger world just out of reach... [Marling & producer Ethan Johns] strip things down here, opting for stitched-together quilts of ringing acoustic guitar and cello, with occasional stabs of piano and percussion. It's a warm, lightly psychedelic sound reminiscent of British strum god Bert Jansch and the quieter moments on Led Zeppelin III, less a soundtrack for Sunday brunch and more a place to get lost in, though our host herself isn't interested in hiding." - Michael Tedder, SPIN, Rated 8/10
180 Gram Double Vinyl
Limited Time Free MP3 Download Card
LP1 - Side A:
1. Take The Night Off
2. I Was An Eagle
3. You Know
5. Master Hunter
LP1 - Side B:
1. Little Love Caster
2. Devil's Resting Place
LP2 - Side C:
1. Where Can I Go?
3. Pray For Me
LP2 - Side D:
1. When Were You Happy? (And How Long Has That Been)
2. Love Be Brave
3. Little Bird
4. Saved These Words