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  Alison Sudol  


Alison Sudol (known professionally as A Fine Frenzy), is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her debut album, One Cell in the Sea, was released on July 17, 2007, and peaked at number 91 on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as peaking at number 25 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. In 2008 it was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In each of those countries, the album peaked inside the top 30, with the first single ‘Almost Lover’ reaching number 8 in Germany, number 10 in Switzerland and number 5 in Austria.


Her song ‘You Picked Me’ was featured on iTunes as the Free Single of the Week for August 14, 2007, and VH1 featured her as one of their “You Oughta Know” artists. In mid-2007, she supported Rufus Wainwright on his tour, and in March and April 2008, she headlined her own tour in the US and Canada, and in April toured France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Her music has also been featured on numerous television shows, including One Tree Hill, Big Shots, MTV's The Hills, House and CSI: New York.




Q: Do you think of your lyrics as poetry?

A: I'm not sure, really! Sometimes my lyrics are stories, sometimes they're attempts to capture moments before they disappear, sometimes they're expressions of emotions or feelings that can't quite be explained in everyday language. The poetry is when the right words and the right melody come together to make the sonic equivalent of falling in love, loss, hope, flying, etc. That's the poetry, for me.


Q: Do you think it is important that songs rhyme and if so why?

A:  I like the structure and challenge that rhyming affords. I have come across so many new words and phrases in my search for perfect rhymes. It's also very satisfying when you find two words that match up perfectly, like putting the last pieces of a puzzle together. Everything fits together and makes effortless, beautiful sense. Rhyming has the danger of becoming trite, but I think that's a danger in writing no matter what your style or structure. Trite is trite, rhymed or not.

Q: Do you think song lyrics must conform to recognised song structures such as clear rhyming schemes, choruses, refrains, hooks and bridges or that songs can also be like free verse?

A:  I think as long as a musical piece creates an emotional impact, it doesn't matter what its bits and pieces are. A bicycle, a horse and a car are all different forms of transportation, but as long as they get you from one place to another, they're all equally valid; it just becomes a matter of taste. I'm learning to ride a bicycle, looking forward to being able to get to and fro on one and not screaming every time I take a turn. I can tell it's going to be fun, though!

Q: When you read poetry in school or elsewhere did you recognize any connection to the music you enjoyed?

A:  To tell you the truth, I felt like an utter dunce in high school when it came to poetry. I was never good at analyzing it in my homework and always felt completely removed from most of the poems I read. Other people always seemed to understand them more than I did. I don't think I listened to music at that point that was particularly poetic, either. It wasn't until I graduated and came to poetry on my own that I began to see a connection between the two art forms. Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, their poems all speak to me in a way that is incredibly personal and current. I have the same relationship with Connor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Kings of Convenience, Ray Lamontagne and many other songwriters. I suppose poetry in a way is a succinct way of explaining the inexplicable, capturing the un-capturable, and by that definition, all of those writers are poets... and brilliant ones at that, in my opinion.

Q: Was there anything about poetry in books that influenced your songwriting?

A: Poetry has always been a great protector of language. There are so many glorious words out there, and without reading them in poems and books I wouldn't have been exposed to them. That would have been a great shame.

Q: Why do you think songs are more popular with people than poetry is?

A:  I think songs are often easier to absorb for people. Melody is a great masseuse, it warms up the ears and heart and then the words can march in afterwards without much fuss. I think music can be life changing, thought provoking, awe inspiring and all around incredible, but you can also dance to it and you can't really dance to poetry. I mean, you can, but...