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Interview: Alison Sudol, A Fine Frenzy

September 8th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

At first glance, singer/songwriter Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy looks delicate — fragile, even. But, as her performance at at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y. attests, she’s a soulful singer inspired by the greats, ranging from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong to the Velvet Underground, Talking Heads and Belle & Sebastian. In an interview with Hulu last week, she told us what inspires her ethereal sound: “A lot of it is just people and love, but also how people work. I’m trying to understand that and life. Nature also really inspires me just because there’s so much beauty in untouched nature. It’s miraculous, and I also think there are a lot of parallels to human interaction and nature that’s sometimes easier to understand by using a metaphor.”

You can get a sense for this VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist’s music with A Fine Frenzy’s concert at Guild Hall, courtesy of Live from the Artists Den. “[Guild Hall] is a cool place. It sort of has a circus tent inside, but it also has this old theater kind of a feeling,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s also very small, so it’s not overwhelming at all. It’s very intimate, like a little show. The whole setting is great. The Hamptons are beautiful and there’s such a calm, summery vibe there. It was really neat to experience that.”

Hulu is streaming this episode of Live from the Artists Den well before its TV airdate to mark the release of A Fine Frenzy’s sophomore album, Bomb in a Birdcage. “We’ve kind of evolved on this album,” Sudol says. “I’d say currently it’s like folk-tinged alternative pop rock, I guess, with kind of a cinematic kind of edge to it. I don’t know, it’s very hard to describe music. [Laughs]”

We’re fans of the catchy “Blow Away;” Sudol also told us that “Beacon” and “The Minnow and the Trout” were really fun the night of the Artists Den taping in August. Bomb in a Birdcage is available today, and the Los Angeles-based band starts their U.S. tour in mid-October. We’re looking forward to seeing them in person.

Rebecca Harper ()
Editor, Hulu