Artist Biography by Margaret Reges (allmusic.com)
Alas I Cannot Swim 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’s third studio album, A Creature I Don’t Know, arrived on September 9, 2011 and featured prominently on numerous year-end lists. Marling relocated to Los Angeles, California the following year and began work on her fourth long-player, 2013’s Once I Was an Eagle.