Laura Marling

When one hears that Laura Marling is the daughter of a gentleman of peerage, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, one might assume she was simply to the manor born. But her father ran a recording studio, and her ... Read more »

Born: in

Filmography

other (1)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2013 (Tv Show)

Performer

Biography

When one hears that Laura Marling is the daughter of a gentleman of peerage, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, one might assume she was simply to the manor born. But her father ran a recording studio, and her childhood was a bohemian mass of cable wires, guitar lessons and tutelage in the finer points of Neil Young's catalog. Marling was a musical original, carving a place for herself in the UK "nu-folk" movement.

Marling was born in Eversley, Hampshire and attended a private Quaker school in Reading, Berkshire. At 16 years of age, Marling moved to London and became part of the flourishing folk scene that included the up-and-coming band Noah and the Whale. Marling was in the band's original line-up, and became romantically involved with lead singer Charlie Fink. Marling departed the band shortly before its debut album hit No. 5 on the UK Album Charts to pursue her solo career. Fink produced her critically favored debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim (2008).

Marling's sure-footed, gutsy vocals and confessional Joni Mitchell-influenced lyrics, as well as her percussive guitar-work, invited praise and attention for the newcomer. Shortly after breaking out on her own, Marling was invited to tour with singer-songwriter Jamie T and collaborated with Adam Green, formerly of folk duo The Moldy Peaches.

In 2010 Marling released her second album, I Speak Because I Can . Critics took note of her solid musicianship and American folk inflections. The multi-talented artist and producer Ethan Johns, son of the rock producer Glyn Johns, who had made a name collaborating with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, produced the album. The album charted at No. 4 in the UK, hit No. 7 on the US Folk Albums Chart and ranked No. 8 on The Guardian's Critic's List for 2010. Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons played drums on the record and provided back-up vocals. Mumford and Marling were romantically linked until late 2010.

Marling's third album, A Creature I Don't Know (2011) peaked on the UK Album Charts at No. 4, and was considered noteworthy for its increasing maturity and evolving emotional depth. Creature became a critic's favorite, and comparisons were drawn to Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and 1960s English folk-rockers Fairport Convention. As was apparent in her first two records, the artist's literary influences continued to color her output. But her second collaboration with producer Ethan Johns was stylistically her own: she had eschewed outside influences until she had fully worked through the arrangements on her own. The artist's folk styling was noticeably augmented by a deepening soulfulness.

Marling's follow-up, Once I Was an Eagle (2013) was conceived while touring America in 2012. This fourth album combined the phrasing pyrotechnics and the polished vocal runs of an accomplished R&B artist with the lyrical candor of a seasoned songwriter. A concept album about emotional transitions, it was constructed around three distinct sonic tunings. Rather than working with a band, the project was a musical collaboration with producer Ethan Johns, who was featured on drums, and cellist Ruth de Turberville, with all the arrangements structured around live takes of her guitar and vocal. The album was a critical success and also Marling's highest-charting album thus far in the United States.

EDUCATION

Leighton Park School

Milestones

2013

Fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle .

2011

Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards.

2011

Third album, A Creature I Don't Know .

2010

Second album, I Speak Because I Can .

2008

Debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim.

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