Laura Marling - Semper Femina
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2017 Ratings: #49 / 880
User Score
Based on 378 ratings
2017 Ratings: #115
Liked by 8 people
Sign In to rate and review


The Independent

When pondering gets this skilled, and this fruitful, the dividends far outweigh the misgivings.


It all adds up to the most serene, stylistically varied album Marling has ever created – and that’s surely the point.


This album deals with femininity in a nuanced and honest manner, with Marling never hiding behind a façade of characters or dealing in over-familiar observations. Few songwriters, let alone any still in their mid-20s, are able to illuminate such complex material with this degree of insight and personal experience.

A.V. Club

In these songs, Marling looks at womanhood and female relationships from various angles and distances, giving the gray areas of these roles and intimacies plenty of breathing room. The result is a record of great affection and fluidity.


Like a great folksinger, she has created an album of songs whose sounds and sentiments are much weightier than they appear on the surface, providing entry to somewhere much more wondrous and strange and troubling than it first appears.


‘Semper Femina’ matches Laura Marling’s personal quest to unlock facets of her identity echoing with the wider struggle to clear a space for the feminine voice within society itself. With a triumphant new album it seems that this songwriter has found a room of her own.

The 405

With Eagle already standing as one of the peaks of modern folk music, we would not necessarily have expected to hear another knockout record from her, but there’s no denying Semper Femina stands toe-to-toe with her opus. 

No Ripcord

While Marling's lyrics come across as powerful and worldly, it's the conversational tone that makes Semper Femina work so well ... United with the strongest set of songs of her career, she has reached a new peak in a career full of them.

Consequence of Sound

It is a strong, elegant, and self-assured album that, in its creative arrangements and lyrical world building, contains remarkable complexity and depth in terms of both skill and concept.

The Line of Best Fit

She takes her steps up the creative ladder so subtly that it’s difficult to discern the depth of them until you’ve really delved into whichever record is her latest; her development as a writer usually ends up manifesting itself in every song, in different ways but always quietly.

The Skinny

Semper Femina continues her decade-long hot streak with another collection of finely wrought vignettes on love, loss, and the empowerment that can be found in both.

American Songwriter

Semper Femina is a concise, dynamic statement from the English singer-songwriter, mixing breezy 70’s country-rock melodies with claustrophobic, fingerpicking folk, often on the same song.

The Guardian

There’s ... something punchy and confident about Semper Femina as a whole, an album that’s as big on telling details as it is on big ideas.

Drowned in Sound

She sharpens and delves deeper into her already superb songwriting abilities. Vocally she continues to mature and explore what her voice is capable of.


Having entered the limelight early, the 27-year-old singer/songwriter has now settled into a comfortable groove to on this finely honed career highlight.


There's always more to Marling than the uninitiated might hear at first, and Semper Femina is yet another astounding testament to her talent and the multitudes therein.


At the heart of ‘Semper Femina’s reversed pronouns, dream-dredged imagery, and darker sonic core, Laura Marling crafts yet another hard-to-pin, experimental, statement.

Under The Radar

Semper Femina is powerful display of Marling's craft and, the album's driving force, love.

This is an exploration of femininity in all its variants; in its power, mystery and vulnerability; above all, in its mutability.

Listening to Laura Marling’s intimate new release Semper Femina is like falling into a dream. Not the surrealist kind with weird imagery, but the half-awake type where one is aware of the day-dreaming and doesn’t want to break the spell.

The Telegraph

It is another gem in an already glittering canon.


It’s an album that broaches a step along the tentatively expanding path for songwriting by women, for women.


With Semper Femina, Laura Marling uses a broad study of femininity to explore complex relationships between women. The album is filled with beautiful observations on the psychology of friendship.

Pretty Much Amazing

If you take one thing away from this review, it’s that you should absolutely listen to “Soothing”, but don’t set your hopes too high for Semper Femina based on its quality. Who knows, though—you might be pleasantly surprised.

Slant Magazine

An album that seeks to push folk's innate naturalism into an even more progressive space, eschewing any trace of outmoded roles and stereotypes.

Loud and Quiet

Laura Marling is a stupendous talent, don’t get me wrong, and if you’re a fan of that voice then you’ll love this record. ... But I don’t buy that it’s any more than a very good album dashed off on a tour bus, by someone with more energy than her talent can contain.

Rolling Stone

It's a timely set, especially for a Brit who makes the U.S. a part-time home. You can hear the double-life: Nick Drake ghosts "The Valley," while Joni Mitchell remains a touchstone ("Nouel").

God Is in the TV

Laura Marling‘s Semper Femina has an interesting set of vantage points about women and intriguing lyrics to match.

The Needle Drop

Laura Marling follows up her relatively bold 2015 album Short Movie with an album that's, more often than not, void of emotion.

My personal favourite Laura Marling record to date, I really dig the very relaxing and lavish instrumentals on this album and I think Laura's vocals are very engaging for the most part. I think the album lacks diversity a little bit with the whole lyrical theme revolving around femininity, I don't really think this theme was explored to it's fullest potential, but it is still tackled in a legitimately captivating way. However, I do think the sameyness of this record does stop it from being ... read more
Gorgeous folk record that exceeded my already high expectations for Laura Marling. Lovely vocals, lovely lyrics, lovely arrangements -- but also bold and captivating enough to avoid falling into a trap of uninteresting pretty music. An early AOTY contender.
This didn't blow me away but it sounds like laura marling's sound developing into that of song for our daughter's. I will lsten to this again and I'm sure it will grow on me further.
Her 6th album but my first time listening to Laura Marling. "Don't Pass Me By" and "Nothing, Not Nearly" hit the spot instantly for me in terms of sound and production - some raw earthy electric guitar, a drum machine, live strings, nicely separated electric? bass and a voice that surprises with leaps and hiccups. I'd like to find more 'electric' Laura, it's right up my street. I also adore the melodies and production on "Soothing" and "Always This Way" ... read more
Laura Marling continues to prepare her fields of gold. Although her capacity for interpretation gives way to her unique lyricism (ok, this is not bad at all), in "Semper Femina" she explores even more the novelty. And that is enough.
Purchasing Semper Femina from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Soothing
  2. The Valley
  3. Wild Fire
  4. Don't Pass Me By
  5. Always This Way
  6. Wild Once
  7. Next Time
  8. Nouel
  9. Nothing, Not Nearly
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: November 28, 2016