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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘You oughta know’ her

    Pianist Alison Sudol is most famously known by her stage name, A Fine Frenzy. The VH1 You Oughta Know artist will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. with Brandi Carlile at The Rialto Theatre.
    Pianist Alison Sudol is most famously known by her stage name, A Fine Frenzy. The VH1 ‘You Oughta Know’ artist will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. with Brandi Carlile at The Rialto Theatre.

    Alison Sudol has signed a major label record deal and drawn the attention of VH1, but she’s no sellout.

    Sudol is the centerpiece of A Fine Frenzy, a musical entity built to express her feelings through song. Her debut album, One Cell In The Sea, was recently released on mega-label Virgin Records to very positive feedback.

    VH1 has called Sudol one of the artists that “”You Oughta Know”” about. The channel’s Web site lists her music as “”moody ballads from a flame-haired fantasy lover.”” While descriptive, Sudol isn’t quite sure if it’s the best description.

    “”You know, I’m flattered, it makes me sound very intense,”” Sudol said. “”It leaves out the side of myself where I walk into walls.””

    The description does have some basis. Sudol is indeed a “”flame-haired”” woman creating heartfelt ballads at the age of 22. One song, “”Almost Lover,”” is a slow-paced number that recounts Sudol’s story of love that didn’t come to be. Calling her a “”fantasy lover”” may not be so far from the truth.

    “”Goodbye my almost lover/ Goodbye my hopeless dream,”” Sudol sings in the track, over a beautiful piano arrangement.

    Piano plays a central role in A Fine Frenzy, which is a given considering Sudol’s love for the instrument. She is primarily self-trained with the exception of a few childhood lessons and sessions with a songwriter.

    What is the favorite city you’ve performed in?
    Montreal

    What musician would you like to work with?
    Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes

    What’s your current favorite album?
    Iron & Wine’s The Creek Drank The Cradle

    Another noticeable quality of A Fine Frenzy is lyrical imagery of nature and the outdoors. While some deep explanation of the imagery may be expected, it’s very simple: Sudol loves the “”untouched beauty”” of nature.

    “”I’m obsessed with nature and animals,”” Sudol said. “”Whenever I think of peace, I think of things in nature.””

    It may be that music fans are turned off by A Fine Frenzy because she is associated with Virgin Records. Sudol encourages people to think otherwise.

    “”It’s just such a fantastic label,”” she said. “”They’ve been so supportive of me and what I’ve wanted to do.””

    Sudol said she was once turned off by the idea of major record labels. Rumors of strict control and manipulation are rampant among music fans. While those notions are true in some cases, Sudol’s experiences with Virgin have changed her mind.

    “”Being well-known does not mean you’re selling out,”” she said. “”I bet a lot of indie artists wish they had that support.””

    She also noted that artists like Radiohead, Interpol and the Beastie Boys all have gained popularity on major labels without compromise.

    “”I want to dispel the image that it’s all manufactured crap,”” she said.

    A Fine Frenzy performs Saturday night at The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Fellow buzzworthy musician Brandi Carlile headlines the all-ages show. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 on the day of the show. Doors open at 7.

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