I was thrilled to get on the phone with Alison Sudol, the force behind A Fine Frenzy, to talk about her third full-length album, “Pines,” as well as who she would want to have dinner with and how she is writing a children’s book that I can’t wait to read.
How has your music changed over the years?
My music has deepened and broadened as I have sunk into my own skin. As you get older, you find out about what you really love, what message you want to put into the world. I found what makes me happy and I honed that feeling. I like to be deeply rooted in reality but also have magic that transports the listener.
Pines has a tree theme, can you tell me about that?
It’s really about reconnecting with your childhood. I had a bit of a painful childhood and then friends started to have kids. I looked at that and realized I lost the sense of wonder. When you have a sad childhood, it almost pops that bubble of magic and you have to find your way back to it somehow. That’s really what Pines is about.
*Note from Aimee: this is where I got chills, because as many of you know, my childhood wasn’t so great either, but two songs from the album specifically made me think about the brighter side and/or kicking butt after that time: “Sailingsong” and “They Can’t If You Don’t Let Them.”
What is your favorite song on Pines?
It’s hard to pick favorites, every song on an album is about that particular point in time when you were writing it. But “Avalanches” and “Riversong” really shaped the album. Avalanches from a music and theme perspective and Riversong was really about that moment of letting go. It’s emotional and poignant for me.
You just finished a tour, how would you describe your live show?
My live show is really very much like the record. At first it’s intimate and meditative. Then the second half has more of the wild side where there’s dancing and everything goes.
I read you are writing a children’s story?
Yes! I have been working on a children’s story for a long time. It’s an adventure classic about two children and it’s really hard to describe without going into the whole storyline. But they start in the 1940s and then, there’s no time involved. There’s an island of talking animals, then they travel to an island in the clouds, and to the bottom of the ocean. It’s really fun.
Nick Drake, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Simon and Garfunkel, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Bob Dylan
Which would you like to work with and who would you like to have dinner with? Because those are two very different things.
Would love to have dinner with Fleet Foxes and work with them. Of course I’d love to work with Nick Drake but that’s not really possible, right? And I would love to have been in the room when Simon and Garfunkel were recording back in the day.
I have to ask, since I’m a blogger – how do you use social media?
With Twitter and my Tumblr, I like to put things I love out into the world. I share the beautiful things I find, my favorite poets, great work from the charities I am involved with.
Speaking of, you are the Goodwill Ambassador for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Yes! Their scientists work on marine conservation, green energy, with indigenous communities on reforestation work, National Heritage sites, the endangered species list. Really amazing. I work with many other charities too… it makes me feel like I’m earning my place in the world.
And earning her place, she is. I love all of her albums but the really cool part is I have THREE of her latest album Pines, autographed, to giveaway TO YOU!
Enter the Rafflecopter contest below by next Wednesday night to win!
Thank you Alison, for your time and graciousness!
Interview was provided through A Fine Frenzy’s record label, who will be mailing the winning CDs.