Good Girls Should Be Seen and Heard
It’s a new start for A Fine Frenzy–aka Allison Sudol. Since last we saw her, this radiant piano-poetess has traded her red Florence Welchian mane for a sunnier blonde, and written a fable manifesting in three forms: album, illustrated book, and a mixed-animation short film.
PINES is an adventure story, about “a pining tree,” given “the unheard-of chance (for a conifer) to make a life of her own choosing.” Aptly, there is as much forest as longing in this record. “Now is the Start,” “It’s Alive,” and “Sailing Song,” are all killer femme pop tunes, skewing towards the wistful side of the PINE-cone. On the evergreen side–that is to say, songs that feel like the inner monologue of a lonely Redwood—come the delicate and wordless “Dance of the Grey Whales,” and closing track “Winds of Wander.” The journey is as diverse as it is exquisite, with moments of solemn austerity cleverly offset by felicitous rapture.
Sudol’s albums have always been thick with placement-ready lullabies, destined to fill the background of every network drama’s poignant moments–and that trend certainly continues here. However, PINES carries a riper and more deeply developed feel, perhaps due to the tangible storyline or the connective tissues built betwixt the trio of mediums. Hopefully this depth and quality of songwriting will move A Fine Frenzy to the forefront of her own work. Good girls should be seen and also heard.