A cold drum track opens the beginning of “2+2=5,” the first song on Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief. For the first twelve or so seconds, the album sounds like it would be a continuation of Amnesiac‘s electronic experimentation. Once Thom Yorke starts screaming, however, it’s clear that Hail to the Thief would be their most “rock” record in recent memory. Just like how LCD Soundsystem made all of us adjust our speakers before blowing them out midway through “Dance Yrself Clean,” Radiohead and many others love messing with their fans, experimenting with false intros and instant crescendos to keep everybody on their toes. Today, Laura Marling joins those ranks.
Marling is fairly predictable. Yeah, she once put “The Beast” and “Night After Night” back to back on 2011’s A Creature I Don’t Know, but her music generally leans towards the quiet, acoustic and beautiful.
That all changed today with “False Hope.” The beginning of her latest track hides behind a false front — in this case, the same strings that were present on her last single, “Short Movie.” Immediately afterwards, however, Marling launches into an electric guitar riff, an instrument she seldom uses, only to explode around 1:00 with a second guitar and drums. Forget “Devil’s Spoke” and “Master Hunter” — this is Laura Marling’s most ferocious, PJ Harvey-esque song to date.
Back in 2011, Laura Marling mentioned that she “might be coming into [her] electric phase” when she hinted that she wanted to make a punk album. But after the success of her last record Once I Was an Eagle, an electric album seemed anything but possible. Now, with “False Hope,” it’s clear that we should never pigeonhole her again.