The magnificent Laura Marling doesn't even try on this cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark." She doesn't need to. Los Angeles singer-songwriter Eddie Berman kicks off his sleepy-eyed Sunday morning rendition of the 1984 heartland hit, and when he sings the line, "Hey there baby, I could use a little help," the inordinately talented young woman to his right cracks her mouth just enough to let a perfect harmony slip out. She barely raises her voice, barely moves at all, and yet absolutely sons everyone in the room. At one point, as she takes lead, she even poises her index finger against her lip as if she's thinking about something else entirely.
What Marling supplies is so absolutely other that we can only assume she's beaming her presence in from some pure white cloud in the heavens. Or that she's horribly, terribly depressed. Either way, this session recorded for The Lab TV is divinely inspired and offers yet another reason to pay close attention to the English singer's fourth album, I Once Was an Eagle, due out May 28. Revisit "Where Can I Go" and the striking video for "Master Hunter," and peruse Marling's very serious influences via her recent SPIN interview.