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Friday, 22 February 2008

I'd like to recommend an album: 'Alas I Cannot Swim', by Laura Marling, a 19-year old songwriter from Reading. This is her debut and it's a record to cherish. Beautiful, original tunes with folksy harmonies and rhythms.

I first got into her stuff after watching the video above, 'Ghosts', on youtube. When the CD arrived it came in the handsome A4 sized cardboard box you can see here, complete with a game/postcard/random cardboard trinket for each song.

Cute huh? PLUS, a free ticket to an exclusive gig in March at Islington's Union Chapel for songbox owners.

Ms Marling's explanation for the songbox concept is, in an interview with the Guardian, "I wanted to show, in a physical way, how much work goes into an album."

I never really doubted that album-making takes a lot of work, and to be brutally honest the cardboard things are slightly useless and I can't really think what to do with them. But that said, they look very pretty, and it was incredibly exciting when the parcel originally arrived, leading me to wonder, could this be the beginning of a record industry fight-back against the inevitably intangible itunes? Also I do quite like the artsy crossover effect of the songbox; the way some of the songs have been represented by woodcuts, which are then printed on postcards you can send. There's no doubt Virgin have got some clever marketing people on this case. But if it helps Marling on her way, I for one don't mind.

And the complimentary gig ticket is GREAT.

1 comment:

Kiran said...

THE ENVIRONMENT! WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE ENVIRONMENT?! (He shouts, like the crazed Greenpeace activist he's always wanted to be)