Most Underrated Act:
In Britain, 2008 was yet another year for women to come along and laugh in the faces of men. Female singers are now by far the best ones around in our country, with everything from Kate Nash and Lily Allen right through to M.I.A. or Duffy. In fact, the retro musicians did themselves rather well all year, Duffy being one of the more obvious talents to break through recently. However, with people like Amy Winehouse and Duffy taking up space, less brashy musicians found themselves struggling for space. Among them were people like Laura Marling, the little folk sprite who wrote some of the best love songs of the year armed only with her acoustic guitar. She very almost wins the category for one story alone, which goes along these lines:
Laura Marling was only seventeen at the start of this year, and because of this she was on more than one occasion not allowed into the bars where she was due to perform because she couldn’t provide any ID for the locale, and was thus legally required to remain outside. After this happened for the nth time, she got tired of it and simply started her gig by the front door, with her guitar as the only backing. Head to Youtube and you will be able to find countless videos of her performing in the street, because she decided to do it a few times as a form of mini-protest. Her album, anyway, was called “Alas I Cannot Swim”, and is a great debut from this talented folkie. She sings love songs, but proper love songs that are intricately written and perfectly performed. On top of this, she won a Mercury Music Prize. So how come nobody seems to have heard of her?
Awarded to: Laura Marling