Balancing light and darkness through melodies.

Although Laura Marling is known as one of the best and most prominent folk musicians working today, her recent albums have found her expanding her sonic palette a bit. Her interests don’t start and end with the acoustic guitar. LUMP, her new project with Mike Lindsay from the band Tuung, takes her sound a few steps further afield. But what remains undeniable is her ear for melody, strong lyricism and a voice that breaks right through to the surface.

And there’s quite a few layers on “May I Be The Light” to push through. It starts with an ominous drone and discordant piano keys. If you didn’t know who you were listening to, Marling would be the last artist you’d guess. She even flattens her voice, sounding distant and remote. That is, until drone makes way for lovely flutes, like clouds parting. Her voice elevates, as she passionately sings out, “It’s the sign of the times.” The song is odd, at times off-kilter, but ultimately beautiful and elevating. This collaboration was worth it for both artists, if just for this track alone.

But you can decide for yourself, as their full-length, self-titled LP is out now, via Dead Oceans.