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Laura Beatrice Marling was born in Hampshire, England, on 1 February 1990. Her father, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, was himself something of an amateur singer/songwriter and owner of a recording studio. He taught her to play the acoustic guitar when she was three years old and she went on to learn the bass guitar and piano. Her early love of music led her to write songs throughout her childhood and at the tender age of 16 she left home to go to London and establish her musical career.
Early influences such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, the Libertines and Macy Gray helped Laura develop her own style and her talent was soon spotted by Winston Marshall, who later went on to perform in the band Mumford & Sons. She was invited to join the band Noah and the Whale as a backing singer and sang on their 2008 album, Peaceful the World Lays Me Down, as well as on The Rakes’ album, 10 New Messages, before leaving to pursue a solo career.
After touring the UK extensively, she signed to the Virgin record label and released her first album, Alas I Cannot Swim, in 2008. It was an immediate success and earned her a nomination for the Mercury Prize of that year. She then embarked on the Night Terror tour and was invited to open for Adam Green as well as Jamie T. She released her second album, I Speak Because I Can, which was produced by Ethan Jones, in 2010. It got to number three in the UK albums chart and received a Mercury Music nomination. A Creature I Don’t Know, her third studio album, was released in 2011 and ensured she won Best Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards that year. Her most recent album, Once I Was An Eagle, came out in 2013. It immediately went to number three in the UK album charts and was ultimately nominated for that year’s Mercury prize.
Laura now lives in Los Angeles, USA and continues to work, releasing singles which have not featured on any albums and posting YouTube videos of her work.