Saturday, September 10, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 09/10/2016 Update

Today, we return our attention to our 2015 Laurel Canyon Revelry mix and focus on one of the two songs featured on that mix by British folk singer Laura Marling from her self-produced fifth LP,  Short Movie.

In truth, Short Movie is probably the best 2015 release I won't review in depth for this calendar year or include in our 2015 album countdown, even though I believe it to be better than many of the albums that will make our countdown. Alas, there's only so many albums I can work fully through my listening rotation in any given year, and at a certain point, the time comes to just do a quick Spotify scan of the most notable albums and singles I've yet to catch for that calendar year and move on.

That's what happened to Short Movie, which was very close to the top of my next purchases list when I cut 2015 off, but later, when I did my quick two-pass listen on Spotify, the album blew me away.

"What's this?" I said. The normally placid, spartan Marling had suddenly gotten outright dynamic, working in all manner of electric instrumentation on a number of tracks, and invoking sonic structures that would have sounded right at home beside Love, Tim Buckley, and others on a couple of Nancy and I's 1967 mixes.  The rolling, life-lesson spewing, Four Sail-ish Gurdjieff's Daughter is a perfect example of this new dynamic, not to mention a song I would love to play for my teenage daughter for the nuggets of wisdom it passes on, though I doubt she'd take the time to listen.

And while even here Marling's singing remains a touch too intentionally anti-melodic for my tastes, it rarely gums up the works on these tracks like it has on past efforts like her sophomore LP I Speak Because I Can.

So overall, even though I've only given Short Movie two full listens, I have nothing but praise for the album, and it leaves me excited for what Marling will do next.

Can you believe this young woman, already five full-length albums into her career, is barely twenty-six?

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