Laura Marling's 2015 album Short Movie was a new approach for the British folk singer; after four albums of introspective folk, she picked up an electric guitar and cast her gaze outwards. Two years on, with her sixth record, she's taking a new direction again. Semper Femina will be released on Marling's own label More Alarming Records on March 10, and retains the deeper, stormier sonic palette of Short Movie while intimately exploring themes of gender and sexuality. (It comes after Marling shared a podcast series on female creativity titled Reversal Of The Muse.)
“I started out writing Semper Femina as if a man was writing about a woman," she explained to The FADER in an email. "And then I thought it’s not a man, it’s me — I don’t need to pretend it’s a man to justify the intimacy of the way I’m looking and feeling about women. It’s me looking specifically at women and feeling great empathy towards them and by proxy towards myself.”
In the debut video "Soothing" — Marling's first self-directed visual, premiering above — the fresh tension that breathes through her new songs comes to life in clasping and recoiling bodies. "Soothing" itself is an eerie yet sensual listen. One moment it's sparse, the next it's swelling with strings, as Marling's lyrics push (You can't come in, you don't live here anymore) and pull (I need soothing).