Twenty-four year-old Alison Sudol, the woman behind the phenomena known as A Fine Frenzy, describes herself as “a quiet person with a loud streak.” Throwing off the ethereal image garnered from the band’s debut album (One Cell in the Sea) in 2007, A Fine Frenzy is back to make more than a little noise. Still, Sudol’s heart-wrenching and vulnerable lyrics remain intact with Bomb in a Bird Cage (Virgin) as she guides listeners through an idyllic musical journey with songs such as radio single “Blow Away,” “Wouldn’t Do,” and “Happier.” Defying the “sophomore album slump,” A Fine Frenzy delivers a more than satisfying musical experience. In fact, Bomb in a Bird Cage is on permanent rotation in my music collect, which is why I was thrilled that Alison Sudol took time to “Take 5” with Backseat Writer.
What is a little-known fact about Alison Sudol? Like maybe a weird habit or an endearing quirk? Come on, girl, spill it!
Haha. Hmmm…well, my short term memory is pretty disgraceful. I’ve been known to leave home, drive away, suddenly wonder whether I locked the front door, turn around, check the door, get back in the car, leave, wonder if I left the stove on and turn around again.
You just seem to ooze creativity from your music, your beautiful lyrics, and to designing your own t-shirts, what inspires you?
Thank you! I’m mostly inspired by nature, people and other forms of art. I really just try to be open-minded and keep an eye out for the beautiful, the odd, and the interesting.
The title of your sophomore album, “Bomb in a Bird Cage” comes from the song “ What I Wouldn’t Do.” This is also one of my favorite tunes on the album. What is the story behind the writing of this song?
Ah, thanks! That song was written on an exceptionally stormy day. I was stuck at home, sick as a dog with some strange and annoying flu thing, and I picked up the guitar. A couple of hours later, I had “What I Wouldn’t Do” and went back to being bored and grouchy.
“Blow Away” is your album’s first single, so naturally I have to ask about it. It’s a pretty dramatic song—tell me about it!
“Blow Away” is another song that was written quickly. We were going into the studio in the afternoon and we weren’t really sure what we were going to do. I had a few songs written, but I didn’t feel like recording them because they were all pretty slow and sad and I wanted to have fun. I started banging away at the guitar, and within an hour had the “Blow Away” melody. A few hours later, we recorded it! I was still figuring out some of the chords as we played it. Of course, writing the lyrics took forever for some reason, I think possibly to make up for how easily the rest was written. I must have re-written the lyrics from top to bottom at least 6 times. Frustration abounded!
Congrats on your Twitterdom fame! How do you feel about being one of the top ten most-followed musicians on Twitter, with over a million followers?
Thanks! Crazy, right? I feel surprised and a little stunned by the whole thing. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to say something interesting, let me tell you! I realized the other day that I talk about dates with my dog and spiders an awful lot. Haha. Real rock and roll.