Single Review: Laura Marling – Don’t Pass Me By

By on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

It’s perhaps a bit unusual to write a single review for a song that we’ve already mentioned in a review of the full album. However, Laura Marling’s early 2017 LP ‘Semper Femina’ is well worth a second look. The album has been mentioned on several Best of 2017 lists (including this one from Noisey and this one from NME) and was recently nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Folk Album. On the strength of those accolades, Marling has released a new deluxe version of ‘Semper Femina’ and a new single from the album, ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, which is accompanied by an elegant and artistic lyric video.

The song itself is graceful and refined, its arrangement evolving slowly and hypnotically over the course of four wistful verses and a plaintive refrain. Marling’s vocal delivery is both sultry and soothing as she sings of an evolving relationship and the residual emotion that lingers between two people in the process of growing apart. The protagonist of her narrative seems to be of two minds, confessing, “I can’t get you off my mind”, before asking in the next breath, “can you love me if I put up a fight?”

This kind of duality is characteristic of ‘Semper Femina’, as Marling fluidly and unapologetically juxtaposes opposing emotions, gender pronouns, and musical styles. ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ is among the most elusive of the songs on the album, its poetry both consciously evocative and willfully vague. But despite the layers of thematic conflict, Marling’s musical treatment is calm and composed, its dynamic hushed and its tempo serene throughout. The visual representation in the lyric video streaming below conveys a similar sense of peace and tranquility, as its graphics continuously modulate and transform in much the same fashion as Marling herself over the past several years.

9/10

‘Don’t Pass Me By’ appears on the new deluxe version of ‘Semper Femina’, which is available now via More Alarming Records/Kobalt. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Laura Marling is collected here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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