Laura Mardon – Black Rainbow

My first review on this website was Laura Mardon’s One Week Record in 2015; in retrospect that album was a big part of me starting this site, to highlight music that I didn’t think was getting the attention it deserved. Black Rainbow is the first new music by Laura since her One Week Record and though it is limited to 5 songs, it was worth the wait. The 5 songs on the album are named after places- I assume- from Laura’s past in England with the exception of the last song, Gold Coast, which pays homage to her Australian life. I’d like to say the songs are a story about each location or a period of time spent in each location-the truth is I have no idea if they are, but it seems logical.

The first of these songs is Borough which begins with the lyrics “I’ve been doing better thank you… I’ve not said I want to die out loud in a long long time. But still I’ve cried on my own listening to your favourite songs”, it’s emotional and it’s real and that’s what draws me in. I can’t necessarily directly relate to the song but I don’t need to; the lyrics and the composition with the gentle guitar are enough to give me goosebumps and evoke real emotion. There’s not much more to say about than this song other than to highlight its vulnerability and encourage anyone that reads this to give it a listen.

I’m going to skip over the second and third songs, Deptford and Camberwell, not because they’re not great, but because I try to keep EP reviews short and sweet. The second last song, Brighton, opens with the lyrics “I stole a bible, from a hotel room I ran away from London”. While that’s not necessarily an emotional lyric, the way that it is sung that draws my attention to the song; starting off with no music behind Laura’s voice highlights the power she has in such a soft voice. After just a few listens I’ve found myself singing along particularly to the second half of this song. The final song of the album is the more up-beat, positive Gold Coast. This song is fairly obviously for her daughter as a song for the future, providing life advice such as “stay fragile my child because not everyone needs to wear thick skin. Stay humble my darling, but always remember the garden your roots are buried in”. It’s a nice touch to end such a sad album on an up-beat, positive song that leaves the listener with a smile as they hear Laura’s daughter get in the last words, singing “be kind in love”.

Overall this is a strong follow up from Laura’s One Week Record, retaining the raw emotion on almost all songs but with a positive outlook to end on. I’m not sure I get the locations being the titles of the songs but that doesn’t really matter given the quality of the songs. It seems that most female punk singers utilise sheer anger to sing loudly and passionately, but it’s nice to hear such a soft, vulnerable voice backed up by only an acoustic guitar.


Matt Power
19 February 2018

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Laura Mardon Black Rainbow

Artist Laura Mardon
Album Black Rainbow
Released 07 January 2018
Label Aaahh!!! Real Records
Tracks 5
Run Time 18 minutes
Genre Folk/Folk Punk

Laura Mardon Black Rainbow