Release Date: 06/04/09 Label: Virgin Link: Like most people I've gone through my fair share of musical phases, including a year of my life whereby the majority of the music I digested was of the female singer songwriter variety. Thanks to this website and the fact that i've grown up a but I like think that I'm immune to musical phases and that I'm 100% eclectic at all times, but the debut album by Alessi's Ark, Notes From The Treehouse, may just prove me wrong. I've read a lot about Alessi Laurent-Marke, aka Alessi's Ark, over the last few weeks and what I've concluded is that people seem hell bent on comparing her to Laura Marling. Why? Oh yeah, because she's female, from England and plays Folk music. Pretty vague right? To me she sounds like a much more sincere and less radio-friendly version of Marling, which makes her more palatable in my opinion. I think this has a lot to do with her vocal/lyrical talents coupled with the genius production made possible by Mike 'Bright Eyes' Mogis. You could take all the classic Mogis touches away from this record and it would be a girl playing a guitar and singing about love, which would obviously still be good, but that Omaha element really brings this album to life. At times the album makes me think this is what Cocorosie would sound like if they were British, less mental and happened to be the conjoined twin of Sarah Blasko. Like I said before, the overall feel and production of this record is spot on but at times I felt like their wasn't enough contrast in the songs to make it a truly special listen. 'Woman' proved to be the song that stood out the most to me simply because the stripped down nature of the song allowed Alessi's truly stunning vocals and lyrics to shine through. "From the crystals of silver crunching ice, I thought I'd call to say I think you're nice" Although only 18, Alessi has created an extremely confident album full of stunning beauty and maturity which will no doubt put a smile on the faces of anyone that's lucky enough to hear it. Rating: 7.5/10