In 2009, the unrelenting year of the kooky female, there were reasons to be thankful for 18-year-old Alessi Laurent-Marke. The west Londoner hadn’t the bohemian eccentricities of Florence & The Machine, sassiness of VV Brown or the… what exactly does Little Boots have again?? There was no schtik to Alessi’s Ark, no immediate selling point, no ram-it-down-your-throat pr campaign. There were just songs - supreme, mature and remarkably fully-formed folk songs that introduced a significant and likely enduring new talent. Promising debut album, Notes From The Treehouse, showed just what happens when you’re brought up during the emergence of Joanna Newsome; your parents introduce you to Syd Barrett and Graham Nash and you record a debut album with Mike Mogis.
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A year or two ago, Laura Marling popped out of the wood work. She released a lovely little album. She spoke gently and carefully on TV, looked like a skinny little boy and when she performed she blew everyone away with that voice. She was, is, a talented singer-song writer. A folksy...