In typically genius style, Laura Marling called her newest album ‘Short Movie’. Its name perfectly encapsulates what a good album should be – a miniature-scale piece of audio-cinema that toys with the listener’s feelings and shoves them into an “Emotional Rollercoaster” more erratic than a drunken ride on Inferno. And – in turn – the first sonic slab sliced from the album is perfectly fitting of that, through its mentally unstable narrative of self-alienation (‘Is it still OK that I don’t know how to be, at all?’). That’s like any good plot: dripping with engaging conviction.
Musically, ‘False Hope’ is just as arresting. It’s like making little tiny lightbulb circuits in Physics at school - it’s experimental, bright, and best of all, it’s far more electric than the stuff on ‘Once I Was an Eagle’. The folky elements are still latent, but it’s got a pretty bad-ass guitar riff in its potent underbelly of urgent drums and throbbing bass. Even the vocals have been flecked with something different; there’s a Lou Reed edge to some of the spoken-word drawls, and confidence oozes from the whole track like an arrogant candle with fever. All that’s needed is a nice comfy seat and a vat of popcorn to see you through until March 23rd.