Lump review: Laura Marling’s intriguing side project

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Artist: LUMP
Genre: Alternative
Label: Dead Oceans

As mutual admirers of each others' work, Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay first met two years ago after the former had supported Neil Young in London. Within days, they were in the studio recording what would become known as Lump.

The foundation blocks of Lump were lain by Lindsay and informed by his previous work with avant-garde folk band Tunng– from the buzz and burble of the electronic undercurrents, woozy guitar lines and tremulous woodwind riffs smattered throughout this seven-song collection.

Marling's lyric sheet is certainly more obscure ("Don't wear your smiley face T-shirt tonight, dress like a cow," she advises on Late to the Flight), but her voice remains as magnetic as ever before.

On Rolling Thunder, she leans into the eerie warble of the soundtrack with an almost sultry r'n'b tone; on Curse of the Contemporary, her falsetto is Joni Mitchell-esque and well-suited to the snaky 1960s-style folk crackle.

Although things get a little pretentious and lumbering at times (as heard on Hand Hold Hero), and forgettable at others (Shake Your Shelter), this is an interesting experiment for Marling. Not quite essential listening, but certainly an intriguing side project.