When Laura Marling walked on stage in her white cotton dress, she looked exactly like the bride that should never be married to anyone, because no one else truly deserves her. I couldn’t ignore the matrimonial atmosphere of the stage filled with ferns and white flowers, plants twisted and tangled all around the instruments, her decorations transforming the venue into a charming and delicate space that almost made me forget about the giant trash disco ball hanging from the ceiling. It was the same Laura Marling, which is what we wanted, but with a new lease of love, devotion and celebration all directed towards her.
She has written love songs before, but on the new album, Semper Femina, they don’t always feel like expressions of love towards someone else. In her song Nouel for example, she seems to address another woman: “She likes to say I only play when I know what I’m playing for / Oh Nouel, you know me well”. Despite the pronoun, I couldn’t stop thinking that she was really talking to herself.
Since the album is dedicated to femininity and to her relationship with women, I feel as though she did write those songs not just for them, but for the number of female facets that exist inside all of us. Laura Marling is one of those women who channels delicacy and strength all at once; those feelings all shine through in her voice and guitar. She almost seems to have an alter ego too; it’s noticeable in some of her songs that her attitude changes, her lullaby-like voice transforming into a more direct and predominant one, in which she almost talks rather than sings. Her personality feels like a collision between two forces: two different women, that are opposite to each other but at the same time the live harmonically inside of her; a pair of leopard-print boots peeking out from underneath her angelic white dress.
She sang to us on Friday: the day that Semper Femina came out. I felt emotional for the entire concert and I had tears stuck in the corners of my eyes until the final song. This happens to me when beauty hits my senses, and I can’t contain my feelings. I’m so sure that the virile, bearded man next to me had glassy eyes too.