Laura Marling was just 16 years old when she emerged on the British indie scene in 2007 thanks to a handful of infectious singles made available on her online profile. Endowed with a lyrical voice and a gift for building timeless-sounding folk songs (characteristics that find her compared favorably to artists like Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, and Martha Wainwright), Marling quickly made a name for herself throughout England thanks to a heavy touring schedule and a few high-profile gigs, not the least of which included an appearance at the 2006 City Showcase: Spotlight London and as the opening act for Jamie T.
Although she was still without a label one year later, her debut EP, My Manic and I, was slated for independent release in the late fall of 2007. This status didn't last for long, however, because in early 2008, signed to Virgin, Marling issued the acclaimed Alas I Cannot Swim, which also came as part of a multimedia Songbox package. In 2010, she released her sophomore album, I Speak Because I Can, which debuted at number three on the U.K. albums chart and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Marling completed a working holiday tour of the U.S. in 2012, where she played a host of solo shows as she traveled through the States, and announced her fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle, while in California. The record, which appeared a year later, was her third to be nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize.
Following Once I Was an Eagle's release, Marling relocated to L.A. in a bid to settle in one place after moving multiple times while releasing four albums in five years, each with accompanying tours. Plans for a fifth release were initially shelved in early 2013, but by 2014 Marling had completed new material and returned to London to record the album. The resulting Short Movie arrived in spring 2015. Just as Short Movie introduced a heavier sound via the addition of electric guitar, Marling further distanced herself from her folk beginnings on her next long-player, Semper Femina, which was co-produced by Blake Mills and released in early 2017 on Marling's own More Alarming label. The record featured a darker, smokier vibe than her previous efforts and picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. She then joined producer Mike Lindsay for 2018's Lump, the self-titled debut from their collaborative duo.
In 2020, Marling returned with her seventh full-length effort, Song for Our Daughter, which was inspired by Maya Angelou's book Letter to My Daughter and co-produced by Marling with Ethan Johns. The album, which reached number six in the U.K., again found Marling short-listed for the Mercury Prize and nominated for a Best Folk Album Grammy. In June 2021, she again paired with Mike Lindsay for Animal, their second album as Lump. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi
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