Hailing from the deep woods and winding rivers of Northern California gold rush town Nevada City, Alela grew up singing songs with her musician parents, and performing in the school choir. During a stay in San Francisco in 2003, she began teaching herself guitar and writing her first songs, blending tense, trance-like arpeggios, with warm, thick vocals and meditative lyrics about family and nature. Written in response to a loss of home and familiarity, her first album ‘The Pirate’s Gospel’ is a powerful document of personal reevaluation and renewal set against the backdrop of generations past and future, mothers and fathers, life, death, and birth. The songs were composed during a trip to Europe and recorded in her father’s studio in Nevada city. Enchanting and endearing in equal parts, the album won the Rough Trade shops album of the year 2007.