Isn’t the relationship between an artist and a fan incredibly strange? I’ve been listening to a lot of Laura Marling lately in anticipation of seeing her in three weeks. She’s had such a significant impact on my life and every time I go on a Laura binge I remind myself why I have such a deep admiration of her. Musically she’s an immensely talented songwriter who always seems to tweak her formula from album to album just enough so that it retains her style but still manages to sound fresh. There’s no real drastic changes between each of her sequential outputs. Her approach is incredibly methodical and all about small refinements rather than shaking things to the core. Yet, over several iterations the changes pile up. I mean, compare Alas and Short Movie. It’s not night and day, but the differences are pretty clear. Those differences wouldn’t be things that would be as pronounced if you were listening to her last two albums instead. That subtlety is one of the things I love about her approach.
This will be the fourth time I’ve seen her and the way she performs never fails to strike me either. She’s never been one for gimmicks or for being too showy. She just plays, talks a bit and that’s that. It never feels forced and it never feels fake. And I think that’s the thing I admire most about her. Even though she’s soft spoken, Laura has always exuded this immense sense of being quietly confident. She’s just comfortable playing the way she wants to. She’s quiet (some might say shy), a bit quirky and from what I can tell at least somewhat of an introvert. All of those things aren’t necessarily great companions to have on stage but she goes with it and just presents herself as she is. My own performances (liberal use of that word) are modeled largely after her example.
To come back around to the beginning of this post, this wall of text is the point of my first question. I could go on gushing about Laura for pages and pages, telling you about specific instances in my life where her music helped get me through, how certain songs have inspired pieces of my own writing and a million other little stories and observations I’ve had over the years. And all of them are about someone I don’t and likely will never know. Sure, I shook her hand and had a minute long conversation with her once but that’s literally the extent of it. We aren’t ever going to know each other but at the same time her music has done all these things for me. It’s amazing how that works isn’t it?
P.S. If you haven’t listened to Laura ever, go listen to Short Movie right now. You won’t regret it, promise.