Singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore was born to Irish parents in 1979. While coming of age in North Aston, Oxfordshire in England, she ignored the new wave reign of the '80s and instead began to seek out her parents' Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell albums. Later, she found comfort in the work of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and the Replacements, naturally absorbing the intelligence behind each artist's work. Gilmore began writing poetry and short stories to amuse herself amidst her conventional surroundings, but she needed something more tangible. She left home at age 16 to work in a recording studio. Gilmore also founded her own Shameless Records and released her debut album, Burning Dorothy, in 1998. The Lipstick Conspiracies and the As If EP followed two years later, and Gilmore's star power started to buzz.
In the new millennium, Gilmore inked a deal with Compass in the U.S. and finally graced American shores with the 2002 release of Rules for Jokers. Gilmore's third album, 2003's Avalanche, was a much more daring effort for her, and the single "Juliet" earned her her first Top 40 hit in the U.K. A year later, Gilmore released a collection of cover songs entitled Loft Music. This self-released effort featured Gilmore's renditions of songs by the Buzzcocks, Paul Westerberg, Jimmy Cliff, and the Ramones. Songs from the Gutter (2005) gathered career-spanning cuts not previously available, as well as other hidden treasures from Gilmore's catalog of unreleased material. In August 2006, Gilmore issued the emotionally charged Harpo's Ghost, her first set of original material since Avalanche.
Gilmore returned with the ultra-polished Liejacker to mixed reviews in 2008, and became a parent. In typical idiosyncratic fashion, she recorded the seasonal holiday collection Strange Communion, issuing it in 2009 and, in lieu of a new studio offering, released the half-acoustic/half-electric live set Recorded Delivery in 2010. In 2011 Gilmore returned to recording with partner and co-producer Nigel Stonier and co-producer/engineer Mike Cave for her 11th studio offering, Murphy's Heart, recorded both in Liverpool and in Ventura, California. The cast of 13 musicians for these sessions was her largest to date. Returning to the studio once again with Stonier, Gilmore set about to record 2011's John Wesley Harding, a complete reworking of the album by Bob Dylan. Gilmore followed this up with Don't Stop Singing, a specially recorded collaborative album with the late Sandy Denny. Two years later, after giving birth to her second son, Gilmore returned with 2013's Regardless. Gilmore's next record, 2015's Ghosts and Graffiti, saw her revisiting six songs from her back catalog and also included four new compositions. By 2017 she had returned to a more traditional format for her 16th studio record The Counterweight. Described as a companion piece to Avalanche, the record features an number of songs inspired by events in 2016, like the murder of MP Jo Cox and the British referendum on Brexit. ~ MacKenzie Wilson & Thom Jurek