Gentle yet stirring folk-pop debut from Reading teenager

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Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim

You don’t need a beard to make special post-millennial folk music. Reading’s Laura Marling’s debut contains just as much musical pixie dust as any Devendra Banhart effort and, on “Night Terror”, a modern folk song as wonderful as any dusty vinyl offering from the 1960s.

Her creamy voice canters over deft fingerpicked guitars and celtic violin throughout the rest of the album, and although the heights of the aforementioned song are barely hinted at elsewhere, Marling’s promise – she’s just 17 years old – is as clear as spring water.

JAMIE FULLERTON

Pic credit: PA Photos