Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mercury nominated

I've written so many times now about Laura Marling that I don't think there's much left to say, other than I've seen her a couple more times (at St James Picadilly - above, and Field Day festival - below) and she's so still so understatedly, jaw-droppingly amazing. I can only encourage you to buy her album, Alas, I Cannot Swim.

In July I was asked by the Evening Standard to comment on the Mercury Music Prize nominations, and I told Londoners that Laura Marling was the best. I think it was published about three weeks ago - I never saw it in the paper, but a friend's mum did. Here's what I said:

The Mercury Music Prize nominations never cease to stir up a whirlwind of excitement, discovery and controversy. ‘Elitist! Populist! Tokenist! Obvious!’ shout the public, but most music fans have bought a nominated CD on the credibility of the nomination alone. This year will be no different, with such a solid list of nominees.

If the Klaxons’ win last year was a nod to an electronic future, this year’s nominations represent the distinctly earthy, organic character of some of Britain’s best new music. The Last Shadow Puppets and Elbow’s grandiose offerings are laden with sweeping strings, Plant and Kraus’ duets are heavily inspired by American folk, while Rachel Unthank’s album is classic British folk at its haunting best. Even Radiohead have switched off their synths!

Laura Marling’s Alas, I Cannot Swim is my favourite of the bunch. It is earnest, brooding, understated and flows perfectly as an entire work. Laura has accidentally become the figurehead of a young London-based folk scene, and albums from such peers as Johnny Flynn and the Wave Pictures deserve to be on this esteemed list. I wouldn’t be surprised if her friends Noah and the Whale, Slow Club and Mumford and Sons populate next year’s nominees.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 8/20/2008 08:26:00 pm


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