Laura Marling - Roulette - May 28, 2013
Better than: That last text you sent your ex.
Laura Maurling ain't sweet. Laura Marling is feisty.
Last night at Roulette, an intimate venue composed of beautiful, gothic architecture (and where a hanging chandelier wouldn't feel out of place) that's just blocks away from the monstrosity that is the Barclays Center, Marling wore her emotions on her sleeve. Like, so much so that she turned that cliche into a reality. Seriously. It was like her arm was sprouting blood from a cut out heart.
However, these overwhelming statements of frustrations with love were not the typical complicated feelings you'd expect to hear about from a 23-year-old. Marling doesn't fuck with immaturity. Her art is years wiser than her age. Standing proudly, stoically, she pounded her acoustic guitar for over an hour, keeping the venue so silent that you could hear the clicking of photographers who snapped photos from the side of the stage.
Folk music is easy to dismiss. Where's the bass? Where's the pulse? Why can't I twerk to this? But really, folk music can take more confidence and swag than Jay-Z has walking out onto the stage of the Barclays Center, a venue that's practically been built in his honor. Imagine you're Marling: an earnest young woman from England performing before a sold-out venue in New York City. You're playing songs about heartbreak for the city that practically invented heartbreak. But Marling, she makes this work. The emotions she tackles in her music aren't necessarily sad. They're rooted in loss and heartache, sure, but she brings an aggressive tone to the material. On stage, she's at her most vulnerable, but somehow manages to whip that into confidence. It probably has to do with her quality as a songwriter. "Well if you want a woman who can call your name," she crooned on "Master Hunter." "It ain't me babe; no, no, no, it ain't me babe."
That's why when she plays a venue like last night, it's a bit odd to see a crowd full of couples, ranging from 20 to 50 years of age. Her music is about love, but in a way where you break the frames and tear up the photos of you and your ex. However, that speaks to the quality of Marling as a performer and songwriter. Tickets aren't bought because concert attendees want to cry in there seats (although there was some of that--not me, I swear), but enjoy a raw emotional experience with an artist who's figured out how to carve into what makes the heart tick, and what happens when you connect with another human being.