Darkness and Light


Alan Dearling shares his reactions to two albums from Caz Templetree and one from Laura Marling


Laura Marling

New album: Song to our Daughter

Plenty of videos to sample here from Laura’s new album and more: https://www.lauramarling.com/ 

Simple and sad. Whimsical and kind of old-fashioned. Laura Marling, seven albums into her career, is still described as a British folk singer-songwriter. It’s where she started out and what it says on the tin still fits, but it’s full of slices of Americana too. Not for the first time, Laura is heard evoking the spirit of early Joni Mitchell.

“You took out that money your mumma saved

She told me she kept it for running away.” From ‘Fortune’

And here’s the short video film for the title track, song-poem: ‘Song for our Daughter’



Complete with its recurring thematic of “I think we did our best”. It’s happy-sad, sentimental, tinged with oodles of pedal-steel guitar, in all, reminiscent of the little girl lost image that Laura portrays on the cover of the new album.

It gets a bit gooey at times, but she’s proved that her talent is here for the long haul. Laura is most definitely one of the go-to musicians of her generation. Folk-American Royalty. Indeed, I last saw her live supporting Neil Young and Promise of Real a couple of years ago at Glasgow’s SEC Hydro, but my first sighting of her was in a smallish tent at the back of Neil’s gig some years back in London’s Hyde Park. There, she was hanging out with Mumford and Sons. My guess is that Jonah and the Whale were hanging-out too. Definitely one of the prominent members of the Class of 2007/8.

Following a lengthy sojourn in California’s LA, intriguingly, Wikipedia tells us: “As of 2020, Marling is enrolled in a master’s degree program in psychoanalysis. She lives in northeast London with her boyfriend and older sister.”

Here’s another tempting track from the album, ‘Alexandra’, a musing on Leonard Cohen’s Alexandra – “I need to know, where did Alexandra go?”



Templetree Caz




Great Oak Records tells us that it is:

“The label of Templetree & friends. Established by Sophia Mitchell in 2007. Sophia does not respond to people trying to call her caroline mulcahy. Caz or Sophia, is what I’m called.”

Templetree Stoner Folk: The Inside Circle

Let me take you down to a deep, dark space of…intensity…the ‘Inside Circle’ of stoner folk.

Mournful, scornful, melancholia. I’ve now heard the scream of the butterfly. She’s called Caz…

“Aching, shaking, faking…” angst-ridden on the darker side of Nick Drake, circa ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Pink Moon’ and Nico’s ‘Marble Index’. Approximately infinite miserablis. Mournful but also unique and individual. Undertones of reggae.

“Let’s hit the peaks and watch the sun go down

And discover the new world.”

“It’s all downhill from here”


A gnarled, sneering, snarling frenzy. A siren. A witch in heat. Humming up a spell or three. Jazzy at times. Moody and richly spiced as Gumbo Gris-Gris.

“Oh Roots,

Keep I Strong.” (from the Templetree track)


Templetree and Friends: The Love of Wales

Eclectic. Trippy, melodic, drum ‘n’ bass, languorous lounge – trip-hop and jazzy back beats. Warbling and whispering. Ancient voices and tribal murmerings. Hypnotic. Experimental. Shades of Amy Winehouse, or, maybe early Joni Mitchell scat-singing in late-nite bar rooms. Picture a scene from the 1950s in monochrome, ‘Play it again, Sam’, Bogart and Bergman, smoke-filled and sensuous. A tapestry of soundscapes, often ethereal… Indian ragas floating on a cloud of whimsy. Caz Templetree on a spacey exploration along with her varied psychonautical, musical friends.

Wales has rarely sounded so ‘out there’, sounding like a musical search for a unicorn lost in oft-changing inter-galactic tundra.

Templetree is joined on this album by Golden Ears; Rob Jones & Dave Kirk; Dean J; Bill Sutton; sounds from Maxtrax; and Control Freqs.








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