It’s not often you hear music written by a 22-year old debut artist described as witty and sophisticated.
Yet that’s just the buzz around A Fine Frenzy's One Cell in the Sea, which hit #3 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers with no end to its rise in sight. The album owes its musical chops to vocalist/songwriter Alison Sudol who spent her youth reading such classic authors as Charles Dickens, and listening to master musicians including Louis Armstrong and Aretha Franklin.
“I have always been a voracious reader,” said Sudol during a recent stop in Atlanta. “I learned to read when I was 3 and was unstoppable. I loved being instantly transported into those worlds vividly pictured in books."
But when she stepped into a grade school role in the musical Guys and Dolls, Sudol knew that she wanted to combine singing with writing. While writing had come somewhat easily to her, singing was a challenge which Sudol found herself persuing to excel at. Now her work combines all the various influences – A Fine Frenzy, if you will – that are at play within Sudol’s creativity.
“[A Fine Frenzy] is a strong debut effort of pop songs hidden underneath indie, classical, and international influences,” wrote a critic for CelebrityCafe. “`Almost Lover’ and `Borrowed Time’ are powerful tracks, reminiscent of The Swell Season and Ray LaMontagne.”
Despite her success, the quest for improvement still burns within Sudol.
“I think as a musician I have learned so much on the road with Brandi and all the bands we have toured with,” said Sudol. “This is a constant process to get better, to dig deeper within myself.”
The Brandi to whom Sudol refers is Brandi Carlile, the headliner on the current VH1 You Oughta Know tour, and one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists to Watch in 2005.” The musicians are currently on tour, with A Fine Frenzy opening for Carlile.
Sounds like "you oughta know" A Fine Frenzy. All music aficionados should.