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Preview: Laura Marling

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the English singer/songwriter who's coming to the Civic Theater



Only 23, Laura Marling has already lived as a child, a bird, a grandmother and a ghost. The English singer/songwriter's anthropomorphic fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle (Ribbon Music), is a memoir playing out as it is being written; in more modern terms, it would be a video streaming just ahead of its buffer, but there's not much modern about Marling, a slender, washed-out specter of a woman whose reprising song-suites, tidal guitar tunings, first-person reminiscence and churned alto reinvent and repurpose the dusky pastorales of 1960s British folk and the diurnal rhythms of 1970s Laurel Canyon pop. Written with minimal accompaniment and recorded the same way over 10 days at Ethan Johns' studio, Eagle captures Marling in the midst of a marvelous transition, both figuratively (from limitless wunderkind to emotionally wizened troubadour) and literally (the Brit is now a U.S. resident, having moved to Los Angeles). At the age when many young Americans are trying to figure out what to do with their degrees, she's arrived with a doctorate in self- and cross-examination, and she has the aced dissertation to prove it. Tickets $15 advance purchase, $20 day of show.

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