And she’s only 18! Still! I’m not sure anyone’s ever been 18 for this long, but research (yeah, Wikipedia) suggests Laura Marling has a couple of months to go yet. As ever, it’s hard to believe when you listen to her worldly debut Alas I Cannot Swim with its seen-it-all songs and careworn empathy, but really – 18!
For just a second, you think ‘Ghosts’ is going to be twee-folk-lite, then suddenly it turns out perfect. The parts are delicately layered, tempos are swapped around, shy strings sidle in, Laura breaks our little hearts, drums perk up, a congregation of voices rears – they’re stalking each other – it’s a hymn now, the drums roll, end. Perfect.
With nothing driving her to cut a rug, Junior plays quietly with her sister. I tell her who’s singing and she replies, “Laura Marling. Oh.” It’s tricky to tell whether that’s quiet acceptance or utter apathy, but she’s listened through to the end as everyone should – its magic is in its full form.
That’s the last of the soloists, readers.