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Singer/songwriter Tom McRae credits his upbringing for leading him to a career in music. While growing up in Chelmsford, his parents were vicars in the Church of England and McRae sang in the choir. His mother played guitar and, as a teen, he'd borrow it. When his sisters were listening to Kate Bush and U2, McRae followed and began buying records. He also started to become serious about music. At age 18, he went off to Guild Hall University to study music politics, soon forming bands and writing songs. A chance meeting with sound engineer Roger Bechirian (Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Carlene Carter) led him to a working relationship. He and Bechirian shaped McRae's soft-spoken sound, which later yanked him a deal with Mercury's db Records. Tom McRae's confessional self-titled debut appeared in fall 2001 and earned him comparisons to Nick Drake and Bob Dylan. Critics raved and McRae also a gained Mercury Music Prize nomination the same year. In 2003 Just Like Blood hit shelves and the next year McRae moved to California, where he recorded his third full-length, All Maps Welcome, an album that was released in 2005. Two years later King of Cards, recorded in England, came out, followed in 2010 by Alphabet of Hurricanes. ~ MacKenzie Wilson