When Alas, I Cannot Swim emerged three days after her 18th birthday in 2008, Laura Marling seemed mature beyond her years.

Thoughtful and tender, I Speak Because I Can improves on that excellent debut: Marling’s voice is more grown-up, both vocally and lyrically, and Ethan Johns’ rootsy American production is a nice counterpoint to Marling’s Britishness.

If you’ve only heard the dreary single, Devil’s Spoke, don’t be deterred: it’s comfortably the worst track on this really impressive record.