is the brainchild of Alessi Laurent-Marke
, a British songbird whose lilting, folk-tinged songs helped propel her from MySpace's inner circle to the roster of Virgin Records. Laurent-Marke
began pursuing a songwriting career at the age of 16, having appeased her parents with a promise to return to school if nothing happened within one year's time. Virgin signed the budding musician on the spot, however, and Laurent-Marke
promptly decamped to Nebraska to hone her skills with the help of Mike Mogis
and Nate Walcott
(two-thirds of the indie folk outfit Bright Eyes
provided the backing for Laurent-Marke
's debut EP, The Horse, which paired her sparse fairytale ballads with flashes of orchestral pop. A full-length album, Notes from the Treehouse, followed in early 2009.