Unless you happened to see the Harrogate Advertiser's latest Retro feature on Top Ten Harrogate Music Acts, you may never have heard of teenage Ripon musician Billie Marten – but Mojo has.
The UK’s leading music magazine has put the 17-year-old singer-songwriter at number eight in its latest playlist, describing the hotly-tipped youngster thus: “this preternaturally talented 17-year-old eschews TV talent shows for running around the internet leaving a trail of glassy-voiced folk lullabies.”
Not for much longer, however. For Billie, who still goes to Ripon Grammar School even though she’s already appeared at Latitude Festival and SXSW, is about to release her debut album on a major label.
Writing of Blues and Yellows will come out on September on Chess Club Records/MCA.
Having started singing aged eight, the videos of her songs recorded at the age of just 12 for local music producers Ont Sofa made an instant impact at a higher level.
Not that the intelligent Billie, who enjoys art history as much as music, has a masterplan.
This shy but mesmerising live performer said: “I’m very lucky. None of this has been an ambition. I never had a specific goal. However old I was, I would stick to one thing then move on. I used to like ballet and horse-riding. I’m very young, I don’t have a clear line yet.”
Having grown up listening to her dad’s record collection, her influences are wide, ranging from John Martyn to Laura Marling, David Bowie to Portishead. It all shows on her forthcoming debut album, albeit in a typically subtle Billie Marten way.
Recorded in both Ripon and London, Writing of Blues and Yellows’ 13 self-penned tracks include recent single Milk & Honey which followed an appearance on the BBC Sound of 2016 shortlist.
With a crystalline voice and burning intensity live, music fans would be well advised to catch her on her first headlining tour of the UK to promote her album which includes two nights at London’s St Giles-in-the-Fields.