False Hope

Album: Short Movie (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Laura Marling painting a picture of urban alienation on the Upper West Side of New York as she sings of inner-city anxiety and an ill-advised romantic reconciliation amidst storm-caused blackouts. Her lyrics are underscored by a more electric sounding track than previous efforts with guitar flourishes and experimental arrangements. "It happened very naturally," she told American Songwriter magazine of her new sound. "Where I was living last year was in a studio apartment and all I had was an electric guitar and a little amp that I couldn't play very loudly. And that was kind of a nice restriction."
  • Marling wrote the song about a New York visit in 2012, during which Hurricane Sandy hit the city and the power failed. "It was like a zombie apocalypse," she told Rolling Stone.

    The singer added that she witnessed one panicked woman literally being kicked to the ground on the street. "When all the lights go out, what does anything actually mean?" she said. "Nothing. I've had that kind of thought in my head for the past two years."
  • Marling's plugged-in sound was spurred by her father's gift of a cherry-red Gibson 335 electric guitar, which she told Rolling Stone, "completely changed my perspective on music."
  • Laura Marling described to Under The Radar magazine being in New York when Hurricane Sandy hit the city as "one of my most intense experiences." She added: "I live in LA, so I find New York incredibly scary anyway. The idea of being enveloped by concrete and being dwarfed by buildings."

    "We were driving from a show in Boston," Marling continued. "We got there an hour before the storm hit. We went and queued up outside Trader Joe's and all the candles were gone and all the torches were gone and all the hummus was gone. So we just had to sit in a dark West Side apartment for two days. It was really intense. Going out on the street, everyone had just walked 40 blocks to go to the Ace Hotel to charge their iPads. It was a real shocking look at what the priorities of the world are."

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