Hesketh began writing her own songs and posting covers on social networking sites such as YouTube and Myspace. After appearing on several shows including Later... with Jools Holland and Last Call with Carson Daly, Hesketh entered production on her debut album Hands. With increasing media attention regarding her then-yet-to-be-released debut album, Hesketh topped the BBC Sound of 2009 poll and received a Critics' Choice nomination at the 2009 BRIT Awards. With the release of her debut, she was linked to a recent wave of breakthrough female artists in their twenties playing 1980s-influenced music, including Lady Gaga, Ladyhawke, Florence and the Machine and Elly Jackson of La Roux.
Her debut album, Hands, released on 8 June 2009, peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart and at number twenty on the Irish Albums Chart. The first single off the album "New in Town" became a top twenty hit, while the next single "Remedy", produced by RedOne, reached the top ten. She has also released the EP Illuminations in the United States. Her second album Nocturnes was released on 5 May 2013.
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