And so it came to pass that circumstances and a certain someone drew my attention back to the work of 21 year old Laura Marling on the week she released her superb third album “A Creature I Don’t Know” back in September. The attention was drawn primarily due to the intensely superb and undoubtedly Cohen-esque track “Night After Night” and, in particular, the live performance on youtube captured in New York. Eclectic though my taste in music is, as a big fan of Leonard Cohen (the acoustic years through to 1975 particularly) and also of 60s & 70s Joni Mitchell, to say that the vision of loveliness that is 21 year old Marling appealed to me is an understatement. Though her current third album is a certainly a step ahead of her previous two albums, her whole discography works as an entity in itself. Yes, both “A Creature I Don’t Know” and 2010’s “I Speak Because I Can” are a definite musical step ahead of the first, 2008’s “Alas I Cannot Swim” (which was also (very) slightly tainted by Laura’s thankfully brief dalliance with an estuary accent) this is indeed the artiste in which I can see myself having a lifelong admiration for, like very few others of this century. Like her two quoted influences Cohen & Mitchell, she exudes through her work both a deep lustful yearning and a semi-detatched literati prowess that places her right up there with those time-served icons and above that of the majority of her contemporaries. I was lucky enough to see Laura and her band perform in York Minster on October 21st, and it was an experience I will not forget. The atmosphere and acoustics of the grand Minster warmed the ethereal music like some kind of dream, and though – through sheer absorbing enjoyment – I felt initially her 90 minute set was brief (and was also disappointed she did not play the majestic Night After Night) it was all told an experience I will never forget. On a personal note, it was a shame (though perhaps fitting) that my partner in this particular crime did not accompany me due to the strange strained circumstances of that particular week & month, I know in years to come that in my head 2011 will definitely be soundtracked by Laura Marling.