25 November 1979 (age 38)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Thea Eve Gilmore (born 25 November 1979, Oxford, England, to Irish parents) is a British female singer-songwriter. She began her career working in a recording studio, where she was discovered by her now long-time collaborator, producer and sometime co-songwriter Nigel Stonier. Gilmore released her first album, Burning Dorothy, as a teenager in 1998 and over the course of the next four years, released increasingly well-received albums that earned her a reputation in the UK music press but no chart success. She finally made a breakthrough at 23 with the release of Avalanche in August 2003, which became her first album to break into the Official UK Album Chart, at #62, and spawned two minor hit singles.
Gilmore is said to have become interested in music as a result of her father's record collection, which included work by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits, among others. At 16 she left home and began working in a recording studio where she was discovered by her now long-time collaborator, producer and sometime co-songwriter Nigel Stonier, who became her husband in a ceremony in October 2005.
Thea recorded her debut album aged just 17 and then entered a spell of productivity which, in the four and a half years from January 1999 to August 2003, saw her record and release six albums including four "official" releases and two cult albums which were only intended for internet release but which have long since been available in the shops. In 2001, with the release of Rules For Jokers, she hit some kind of national nerve and garnered some attendant airplay but it wasn't until 2003's Avalanche that Thea finally began to make significant waves. Avalanche became Radio 2's Album Of The Week and spawned two hit singles including her first certifiable Top 40 hit Juliet. Thea has gathered countless plaudits over the years - "the best British singer songwriter of the last ten years - and then some" (Uncut), "so good its scary" (Mojo), and "Gilmore is already in a league of her own" (Q) immediately spring to mind - but Avalanche was truly a quantum leap forward and "a breakthrough record" (Times) to boot. And you can bet that Thea remains the only artiste to have her under-$50 video shown on Top Of The Pops.
Increasing radio support and acclaim from the music press led to a lucrative tour of the US in 2004, in support of legendary folksinger Joan Baez. During this time, Gilmore was diagnosed with clinical depression and also split from her personal relationship with Nigel Stonier after seven years, although they continued touring and working together.
In 2005, Gilmore continued touring commitments, for the first time not releasing a new album (the covers collection Loft Music was widely released during 2004). In October 2005, she and Stonier, who, in the light of Gilmore's depression diagnosis, re-started their personal relationship, married in a ceremony near their home in Cheshire.
Gilmore finally returned to recording with the release of Harpo's Ghost in August 2006, after a three-year absence of new material. The album was once again acclaimed in the music press and UK radio lent their support to the single "Cheap Tricks." Gilmore has been touted by Uncut magazine as "the best British singer-songwriter of the last 10 years…and then some" and has gained steady acclaim for each of her albums.
On November 14th, 2006, Gilmore gave birth to her first child with Stonier, a son named Egan, having conducted a UK tour in the autumn while heavily pregnant.
Thea Gilmore writes lyrics that somehow combine awesome poetic grace together with a 21st century barbed undercurrent. She also delivers razor sharp missives on life, love, sex, death, politics and wars (both personal and global) and all with an achingly-beautiful delivery which melts hearts in an instant. Someone once remarked that Thea is a hellraiser with a voice like honey and if you get to meet her you will know what this means. Barely out of her teenage daze, Thea was being compared to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Ryan Adams and Tom Waits and now at 31, Thea is going to make you think sweet somethings all over again.
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