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Singer/songwriter Laura Marling was only 16 years old when she emerged on the British indie scene in 2007 thanks to a handful of infectious singles made available on her MySpace profile. Endowed with a husky voice, an acoustic guitar, and a gift for building quirky, hooky folk songs (characteristics that find her compared favorably to artists like Lily Allen, 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 Alas I Cannot Swim, which also came as part of a multimedia Songbox package. In 2010, Marling 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 appeared a year later and was her third to be nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize. Following the album'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 sixth studio album. Semper Femina, her sixth LP, was co-produced by Blake Mills and released in early 2017 on Marling's own More Alarming label. The album featured a darker, smokier vibe than her previous efforts. ~ Margaret Reges & Scott Kerr