Laura Marling (born 1.2.1990)
Laura Marling is singer-songwriter from Eversley, Hampshire. She rose to fame through the London folk scene and later found prominence as a solo artist. Marling has toured with a number of well-recognised indie bands and her own work is acknowledged for her bold melodies and poetic lyrics.
Laura Marling: Childhood & Early Musical Career
Laura Marling was born in Hampshire, England, where she learned guitar at a young age. As a teenager, Laura was one of the original members of Noah and the Whale. During the time that she was in the band, she dated the band's singer, Charlie Fink but left after the release of their album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down. The artist Emmy the Great was also in the band around the same time.
In 2007, Laura Marling appeared on 'Suspicious Eyes' by The Rakes, a track from their album Ten New Messages, after their singer Alan Donohoe discovered her on Myspace. She went on t
collaborate with Mystery Jets on their single 'Young Love'.
Laura Marling: Music Career
Laura Marling's debut solo album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, was released in 2008. The album went on to be nominated for that year's Mercury Music Prize but lost out to Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid. Following the release of the album, she embarked on her 'Night Terror Tour', named after the single 'Night Terror'. Laura Marling was also invited to tour with Jamie T, as well as opening for Adam Green (of The Moldy Peaches). Laura Marlin also infamously chose to perform on the street for her fans, after being denied entry to her own gig for being underage.
In 2009, in an interview with The Guardian, Laura Marling announced that she was dating Marcus Mumford of the British folk band Mumford and Sons.
Laura Marling's second album, I Speak Because I Can was released in 2010 and was produced by Ethan Jones. The debut single released from the album was 'Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)'.
"Semper Femina" (Always a woman) is a phrase reclaimed by Laura Marling and something she had tattooed on her leg ten years ago. It originally formed part of a Virgil line that shares the philosophy straight out of theBilly Joel Gender Studies Primer, where 'always' and 'woman' form part of a wider statement about how a woman is always fickle and changeable, but Marling's use of it couldn't be further from its origin.
Marling always intended her sixth album to be an evaluation of contemporary female identity, but she observed that in its early development, it looked at femininity as viewed by a man. At this point, she responded to an inner calling to put forth an unfiltered, unexpurgated, unapologetic female interpretation instead. That its release follows on from the Global Women's Marches and post-dates International Women's Day by no more than 48 hours makes this more than just a splendid suite of intelligent but unpretentious songs. Its cultural allusions to literary, artistic and psychological influences occur with the regularity of quiz answers you don't get on University Challenge, yet they are never baffling and nothing feels exclusive. This album is timely and of 'practical use' to contemporary society, as Marling hoped it would be.
Perhaps giving Virgil's 'changeable' label the tiniest smidgeon of credence, or refusing to be pigeonholed into one rigid persona, Marling alternates between voices, her English heritage and her American residence equally to the fore. The album's early releases exemplify this. "Wildfire" is almost drawling, cranky country, asking a potential lover, 'You wanna get high?' which sounds inviting, until she snarls 'You overcome those desires before you come to me.' "Soothing" has a very restrained, yet forthright Englishness to it, as well as pathos worthy of King Lear. 'Oh, my helpless wanderer, you can't come in,/ You don't live here anymore' calmly banishes an unwanted, unreliable influence, the duelling basses throughout evoking a sense of restless interplay between speaker and addressee.
Continue reading: Laura Marling - Semper Femina Album Review
Andrew Lockwood picks his favourite albums of 2015.
10. Belle & Sebastian - 'Girls In Peacetime'.
A glorious return to top form for Belle & Sebastian. 'Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance' contains all the bands trade mark signatures as well as introducing a few new ones. The generally up beat, playful tone of the album is full of pathos, dark humour and heartfelt musings. This is Belle & Sebastian back to their creative best. With an arty intellect and a wry take on life they have combined some of their most varied musical scores to date with more of their joyous lyrics.
9. Girl Band - 'Holding Hands With Jamie'.
A wake up call that needs to be heard. 'Holding Hands With Jamie' is a shot in the arm; a torrent of musical mayhem and magnificent noise. Distorted and unrelenting, 'Holding Hands..' is an unapologetic onslaught to the senses and a nerve tingling jolt of excitement. A quite brilliant debut.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
Elton John and Mumford And Sons are leading the line-up.
Outside Lands organisers have finally unveiled the spectacular 2015 line-up for their eighth year, featuring headliners Elton John and Mumford And Sons. The event is set to bring its usual combination of music and munchies to San Francisco this August.
Joining Elton and Mumford are a range of equally exciting acts, both of the veteran and the up-and-coming variety. Man of the moment Sam Smith - whose already bagged a total of six awards this year, including four Grammys - will bring his pop genius to the stage, alongside The Black Keys who released their first chart-topping album last year, and Kendrick Lamar whose highly anticipated third album 'To Pimp A Butterfly' sailed to number one in both the US and the UK last week.
Which are the best venues to visit this SXSW?
SXSW 2015 is set to take over Austin, Texas for yet another spectacular event, spanning numerous venues with countless showcases and hundreds of artists. We may be a few weeks away yet, but here's a little taster of some of the best places to be this year.
First up, the Parish is hosting some seminal shows all week, so this should definitely be at the top of your schedule. Wednesday, March 18th sees alt rock Londoners Wolf Alice on the bill, impressing with material from their EP releases; though we are yet to see an album release from these four. Equally, LA newcomers BØRNS are not to be missed, nor are San Diego indie favourites Delta Spirit. Thursday sees The Vaccines promote their upcoming album 'English Graffiti', alongside Palma Violets with 'Danger In The Club', while New York's Lolawolf brings their brand of sensational disco pop to the scene. Friday will be headlined by the Jarman brothers' band The Cribs, and Saturday will see appropriate surf-rock from Florida four-piece Surfer Blood.
Borns will perform at the Parish on Wednesday, March 18th 2015
Continue reading: 5 Venues You'll Want To Visit At SXSW 2015
With David Bowie, James Blake, Arctic Monkeys and Laura Marling this year could be truly hard to call.
This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize could be one of the greatest lists of nominees in the awards history. 2013's nominees shortlist includes talent old and new, rock, pop, and dance with one thing to unite them all: they represent a selection of Britain and Ireland's strongest mainstream albums released during the last 12 months.
Bowie Looking A Favourite To Win.
It would be almost too easy to say that David Bowie will win: the 66 year-old made a triumphant and unexpected return this year with the critically lauded The Next Day which was recorded in secret over two years. He's also the bookies favourite along with Arctic Monkeys at the moment, with odds that are unlikely to change. Last time Bowie was nominated was in 2002 when he suffered defeat to pop star Ms. Dynamite but this time round there's been such a lot of press surrounding Bowie's come-back that he's been hard to ignore.
The returning Thin White Duke has emerged as the front-runner to take home this years Mercury Music Prize
David Bowie came back from his retirement/hiatus completely unannounced this January, when he released the video for the single 'Where Are We Now,' and managed to catch everyone off guard with his birthday announcement of a new release and the subsequent quality of his first album in a decade.
This is Bowie's first Mercury nomination
The Next Day made the critics swoon after Ziggy Stardust once again and now, five months after he released his twenty-fourth album, Bowie is still being fancied by critics as he emerges as the front-runner to win this years Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
Continue reading: David Bowie Leads The Pack In Mercury Prize Nominations
Laura Marling's 4th album in 5 years sees her blossom further as the assurances that her growing confidence has given her pervade her writing and her performance. As the naivety of her youth is realised in her early twenties she is now singing ever more expressively and openly about her own life. Her lyrical prowess and literary dexterity have always been an inherent and gloriously enjoyable feature of her songs and each song here more than justifies its inclusion. Laura's ability to impart her stories, lay bare her soul and expertly convey sentiment and feeling are what makes her work so intriguing and desirable.
Once I Was An Eagle, probably simultaneously her most ambitious and accomplished album to date, has concurrent threads and themes running through it making it even more cohesive and complete than any of her previous albums. Her recent re-location, rather aptly to the City Of Angels, and her newest romantic relationship have seemingly served to unleash and ignite a new stream of furtive creativity. If Once I Was An Eagle doesn't make the Mercury shortlist (Just as her 1st two albums did) we will be most surprised; this is definitely one of the best albums of the last 12 months.
The opening four part section of Once I Was An Eagle (Brought to life on film as 'When Brave Bird Saved') barely break for breath and are as fluid and connected as any you'll hear on an album. The mental wrestle and inner turmoil of 'Take The Night Off' flows beautifully into the unflinching, unapologetic and forthright title track 'I Was An An Eagle'. As with some of Laura Marling's previous work that focuses around her love life, her ability to dissect and dismember each detail seem to act as some sort of cathartic release giving the listener an almost voyeuristic perspective. Laura's growing maturity as an accomplished singer-songwriter manifest themselves with a surety and focus on 'You Know' as she pulls no punches with her opinions before 'Breathe' closes out the quartet with its mellow undulating waves of tenderness.
Continue reading: Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle Album Review
Winner of BBC's The Voice, Andrea Begley speaks out for better treatment of disabled fans at gigs and details her plans for a successful music career.
The partially sighted winner of 2013's singing talent show The Voice, Andrea Begley, has voiced her concerns over disabled fans' experience at gigs. "I have had some frustrating experiences at gigs and festivals," confessed Begley, who apparently celebrated her victory by going to a Laura Marling gig. "Sometimes access can be poor because of lots of steps and poor lighting. But often the problem can lie with a lack of knowledge on the part of staff. I think it is essential for venues to train all their staff in disability awareness so as they are able to deal sensitively with disabled customers."
Andrea Begley, Winner Of The Voice 2013.
Hailing from County Tyrone, the singer lost 90% of her vision after a degenerative childhood disease, yet plays guitar and piano and hopes to someday collaborate with the likes of Adele, Newton Faulkner and Ed Sheeran. The 27 year-old from Northern Ireland beat favourite Leah McFall to sign a £100,000 recording contract. McFall was being coached by The Voice judge and former Black Eyed Peas', Will.i.am, who seemed set on knocking the wind out of the ecstatic winner's sails with an odd, unsportsmanly tweet: "You should feel the audiences vibration in the room tonight after the public's vote... its unexplainable... so sad... perplexed." According to Yahoo!'s omg!, Begley was personally congratulated by the American singer and producer after the gig, saying she has "no hard feelings."
Gushing praise for the 23 year-old folk singer
Laura Marling looks to have made a stunning return with her new album Once I Was An Eagle. The 23 year-old is already onto her fourth album and, if reviewers would have you believe, it could arguably be the strongest in the once Mercury-nominated artist’s suit yet.
Simply described as “a masterpiece” by the Daily Telegraph in their review, other assessments have followed a similar vein. “Recalls Joni Mitchell's landmark Blue in the way she ruthlessly dissects her love life, hunting for emotional satisfaction,” comment Uncut, with Clash Magazine adding “Marling must now be considered one of the greatest singer-songwriters of both her generation and generations before it.”
The 405 comment “Her best album yet; better individual songs may lie elsewhere, but her new record's cohesive nature makes it much more of an adventure than what came before.”
Continue reading: Laura Marling's 'Once I Was An Eagle' Soars With The Critics
Albums of Note... David Bowie’s return to the shelves of our local record shops (well, the few that still exist) has been met with a grateful and adulatory fanfare, across the board and it’s been no different here at Contactmusic. Having run out of contemporary influences upon which to draw, Bowie took the old adage that pop will eat itself and made an album to fit. On The Next Day, Bowie largely references himself and his own body of work, recalling his Berlin days, as well as providing an extension of the tracks he released in the nineties.“Assessing how The Next Day sits alongside anything else he's done is irrelevant; an artist who has gone through as many character changes, taken on as many styles and moved through as many eras as he has defies such lazy list making. What can be said is that it is, at this point in time, at this point in his life and career, probably as good a record that David Bowie could've possibly come up with.”
Some of the mystery of Rhye’s cloaked existence has been unveiled and the band’s two components have been revealed as Toronto born producer Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal of Quadron. They draw comparisons to The XX, partly thanks for Milosh’s falsetto, which led many to believe that it was a woman on vocals. Possibly part of the reason they choose to entitle the album Woman...? “'Woman' is a chilled, tranquil listen but not a boring album by any means. The duo creates songs that fill with distant, mysterious moods. But, it still feels like an intimate album piled high with textured layers.”
Date of birth
1st February, 1990
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