Laura Marling's sixth album Semper Femina is an intimate, devoted exploration of femininity and female relationships. She explained that one of the themes running through the record is, "What's been forbidden to me in female relationships in all forms, and at female empathy between each other, and friendships that have been really intense."
On this acoustic track, for instance, a song she calls "a bit of an English nostalgia trip," Marling sings about a golden-haired female singer who neglects to call her when she was in town. The English songstress said the lyrics are about "broken female friendships, and how that feels to be betrayed or betray a friend or a woman in any way."
Laura Marling told Uncut, "the album is about women looking at women in an empathetic way, in a loving way. Not solely - I don't ever write a whole album with one thing in mind. But especially a song like The Valley, which is about a woman struck dumb for some reason - she is living her sadness out and someone is witnessing it and trying to reach out to them."
Asked by MTV News whether the "golden-haired" female character in the song was based on a real person, Marling replied: "With 'The Valley,' the predominant image was of my friend whose father died. She was still mourning him, and those feelings never really went away, but of course people stop asking about it. I was thinking about that sort of forever trauma, which I obviously haven't experienced myself - but I have known the experience of having to deal with feelings all by yourself. I'm interested in the sweetness of watching someone trying to figure it out for themselves at a distance, that feeling of not being understood."