Growing up surrounded by music, the 16-year-old artist made her way to London to join the 'nu-folk' movement. She became a part of indie folk outfit Noah and the Whale, and collaborated/toured with a number of acts, including Mystery Jets and The Moldy Peaches. She then debuted her solo album, Alas I Cannot Swim in 2008, and was promptly nominated for the Mercury Prize. I Speak Because I Can came soon after in 2010, evidence that Marling was continuing to craft her own brand of graceful folk music.
This year, Marling has released A Creature I Don't Know, a dark and wonderful third album, and XPN Featured Album of the Week. As with her earlier work, comparisons to the likes of Dylan, Feist, Fiona Apple, and Joni Mitchell all at once can hardly be helped. Laura Marling has crafted an album both hauntingly mystifying and warmly welcoming. This album's theme could be seen as deeply personal--Marling sings of a woman struggling against herself and convention--but at the same time, it's a release that's both frustratingly hard and gratifying to try to interpret. With jazz undertones, banjo plucking, and lots of angry guitar, A Creature I Don't Know is simply mesmerizing.
Be sure to check out Laura's recent performance on World Cafe. You can listen to the full performance and interview at WorldCafe.NPR.org.
Find more information at her website, lauramarling.com, and you can like her on Facebook too!
Recent Release: A Creature I Don't Know
Release Date: Sept. 12, 2011
Label: Virgin Records
Band Origin: Hampshire, England