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Interview: Laura Marling talks feminine identity and covers Dolly Parton


Those good people of the Strombo Show welcomed Laura Marling to celebrate her new album, Semper Femina  on Sunday evening. Marling covered Dolly Parton and discussed the album, feminity within the music industry, yoga instructing, her father recording Black Sabbath and plenty more.

On how the conversation of feminine has changed recently:

“Well when I was writing this record, we didn’t have a female Prime Minister in England or we weren’t sure what was going to happen with America and I was actually writing the music for a play called Mary Stewart which was about the two Queens of England and one of them signing the order for the other one to be beheaded. So and it was an interesting point because we thought that Hilary might be President and Theresa May be Prime Minister, and these two women will rule this power. Yeah, so it’s definitely a time of trying to get through some how.”

On her brief time as a yoga instructor:

“No, no I’m not [any good]. It gave me a good respect for really good yoga instructors! Um no that’s not my calling and uh I couldn’t get a job at a coffee shop or anything. You know I have no identity and I didn’t know anyone. It’s cool to push those boundaries of isolation I think, well I mean I found it quite inspiring, um and it’s funny like how much of a sense of like, you know how I weirdly found a sense of self, because I knew that whether I was a musician or not. Um, for other people I didn’t, yeah.”

On why she took time off music:

“I think the lost charm of you know, music, or realise I was probably going to have to monetise it somehow cause the money is disappearing… I’m super cynical by nature or like critical maybe, but I just didn’t see like a joy in making music if I have to carry on trying to understand business as well, but now I have sort of reconciled those things a little…

“Yeah there was definitely a sort of contention between the desire, because the album I did end up making was sort of a contradiction of ideas, that was you know really difficult. When I first moved to LA, I was like doing sessions to write songs for other people. I think that’s what sent me south, like this is terrible! This is how music is being made.”

On what she learned from her interviews with Dolly Parton and others on her podcast:

“That it is very varied and my experience is really my own experience, everyone’s experience is very unique. That there is not necessarily anything to moan about, you know like, and also um, there is amazing progress. We still don’t understand feminine or masculine well enough to honour either of them and I think it’s really important particularly in artistic capitalism, that we understand it is so important to the masses – you know.

“I’ve gained more understanding about where its at on the business side and I think that’s really important, because ultimately you know the autonomy of artists is pretty rare. You know there’s a lot going on behind and above them and ultimately how that works is kind of more important, so um… yeah, there needs to be more women. There just needs to be more women. And you know women are perfectly capable of it. And apparently there’s no one shutting them out, we just need to stuff em in there.”



The Strombo Show is the home of the best records played in the best order, from the 1-2-3-4 to the 808’s and beyond. For over two decades, George Stroumboulopoulos has been working on behalf of you to find and champion the songs that’ll get you through the night.

Interviews, intimate sessions and out-of-its-mind full blown house concerts. The Strombo Show reflects the beautiful and the badass of Canada’s diverse cultural landscape. There are no boundaries, with the gamut running from Aretha Franklin to Slayer and everything in between.

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