• Justin Tyler Close
  • Laura Marling

With every new recording the British singer-songwriter Laura Marling has made significant leaps in quality, depth, and vision, and that growth continues on her new album Once I Was An Eagle (Ribbon Music)—due out next Tuesday. It’s a gorgeously stripped-down effort featuring acoustic guitar, bass, piano, and Spartan percussion (congas, vibes), putting the vocalist’s stunning voice front and center, where it belongs. While Marling has never reminded me more of Joni Mitchell, she’s also never sounded more like herself. Her beautiful voice is husky, quietly forceful, and gently sensual, and in combination with the resourceful arrangements she dissolves the need for determining whether she’s playing rock or folk music.