Once I Was An Eagle

"It ain't me, babe," sings Laura Marling in "Master Hunter," echoing Dylan for her own back-the-fuck-off-my-love song. Since her days singing folk pop with the Mumford & Sons clan, she's followed her own muse to more-interesting places. Her fourth LP begins with seven songs linked by drones, lyric shards and a suicide-haunted relationship. The set goes on to explore loneliness in brighter shades, with percussion, strings and organ-coloring acoustic guitar. But her voice is the headliner: Miked so close you can smell the cigarettes on her breath, it's sultry, wise, rueful and unapologetic, connecting a 1960s singer-songwriter tradition to the ache of the now.

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