With just under month until she releases Semper Femina, her sixth album in nine years, Laura Marling has shared the album’s third single ‘Next Time’. On previous singles ‘Soothing’ and ‘Wild Fire’, Marling teased a more austere flavour on her upcoming album, but ‘Next Time’ is a little more in line with the hearty folk of her earlier work.
‘Next Time’ is a delicate confection, built around a restless acoustic guitar line and a recurring orchestral string section. Lyrically, The narrative contrasts with the gentle composition, as Marling is troubled by the decisions she makes and a seeming inability to change for the better: ‘Am I really so unkind/To turn around and close my eyes?/I’ll do better next time/I’ll do better next time’. The lyrics tell a story but still remain ambiguous in terms of concrete meaning. However, the track’s video, directed by Marling herself, helps to shed some light on the song’s meaning. A woman dances around a large, well- decorated bedroom, seemingly desperate to leave but unable to. Perhaps Marling is hinting at the idea of being confined and restricted, and perhaps defined, by the decisions we make no matter how hard we try to escape them. For an album that, according to Marling, will explore female experience and intimacy, ‘Next Time’ is a beautiful thematic fit with its cryptic representation of confinement.
Image courtesy of The List