Charlyn Marie Marshall better known by her stage name Cat Power is an experimental indie rock artist from Atlanta, Georgia.
Cat Power could be said to have music in her veins, her father Charlie Marshall was a blues musician and pianist. However due to her parents divorcing and her stepfather having a job that demanded a lot of travel, Charlyn attended ten schools throughout the Southern United States. She was not allowed to purchase records as a child, yet she was permitted to listen to her step father’s collection which including Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones.
At the age of 20, Marshall escaped the unpredictability of her family to start a new life in New York and pursue her love of music. Introduced to the free-jazz and experimental scene by Glen Thrasher, Charlyn channeled her inspirations into simultaneously recording her first two albums under the name Cat Power. The singer has however later stated that she classes 1996 release ‘Myra Lee’ as her official debut, its predecessor ‘Dear Sir’ is more of an EP due to its short length. Her lack of commercial success never phased Charlyn during the early years, in an early interview she stated: “I never saw recording as an objective because I never sold any records when I started touring and playing shows, I thought, ‘I can play this show and make the same amount of money I would by working two or three jobs'”.
Despite then signing to Matador Records and releasing her third album, a year later Cat Power decided to retire from the industry and retire to Portland, Oregon. However after suffering a hypnogogic nightmare in 1998 whilst living alone, she found this to be the main inspiration for her fourth release ‘Moon Pix’. In the early 2000’s, Marshall developed a heavy drinking problem which affected her live performance, the New Yorker scathingly stating “It is foolhardy to describe a Cat Power event as a concert”. Her relationship with model Dan Curry broke down at the height of her addiction, and she claims he is ‘the ex-love of her life’.
After taking some time away from the industry, Marshall re-emerged in 2003 and toured the world with her fifth album and this became the grounds for her most successful release ‘The Greatest’ which made Charlyn Marshall the first woman ever to win the Shortlist Music Prize. Her next original release came in 2012 in the form of ‘Sun’, which is her most commercially successful album to date yet is also hailed for it’s passionate combination of power pop and electro. Now a hugely respected and celebrated artist, Cat Power has put her troubled past behind and amazes crowds worldwide.