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Following this she released the critically acclaimed Moon Pix (1998), recorded with members of Dirty Three, and The Covers Record (2000), a collection of sparsely-arranged cover songs.

After a brief hiatus she released You Are Free (2003), featuring guest musicians Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder, followed by the soul-influenced The Greatest (2006), recorded with numerous Memphis studio musicians.

Marshall attended ten different schools throughout the southern United States in places such as Greensboro; Bartlett and Memphis and throughout Georgia and South Carolina.

At times she was left in the care of her grandmother.

A second album of cover tracks, Jukebox, was released in 2008.

In 2012 she released the self-produced Sun, which debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting album of her career to date.

In a 2007 interview she explained that the music itself was more experimental and that playing shows was often an opportunity for her and her friends "to get drunk and take drugs".

In particular she cites a concert by Anthony Braxton with giving her the confidence to perform in public.

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Born in Atlanta, Marshall was raised throughout the southern United States, and began performing in local bands in Atlanta in the early 1990s.

The record featured incorporation of piano work by Marshall, with some songs on the album being composed solely on piano.

The track "Maybe Not" from the album was featured in the 2005 film The Quiet, and the track "Speak for Me" was featured in film Assassination of a High School President (2008).

Her first New York show was at a warehouse in Brooklyn and she has described her early New York shows as "more improvisational." Marshall recorded simultaneously her first two albums Dear Sir and Myra Lee in December 1994 in a small basement studio near Mott Street in New York City, with guitarist Tim Foljahn and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley; Marshall and Shelley had initially met after she played a show opening for Liz Phair in 1993.

In retrospect, Marshall stated that during her early career: "I never saw recording [music] as an objective because I never sold any records [...] when I started touring and playing shows, [then] I thought, 'I can play this show and make the same amount of money I would by working two or three jobs.' I could see the world and still work.

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