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Music Notes

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.

Monthly Archives: October 2009

A-Fine-FrenzyKnown by her stage name “A Fine Frenzy,” singer songwriter Alison Sudol’s angelic voice and masterful piano skills made for her debut album, “One Cell in the Sea,” to be an inevitable success. This Seattle native is admittedly “nerdy and quiet,” and used her passion of literature to adopt the band name “A Fine Frenzy” from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Sudol’s career began recently in 2007, after touring with and opening for “The Stooges” at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. The release of her first single “Almost Lover” shortly followed, and reached number 25 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. Sudol went on to tour once again in March of 2008, headlining alone and covering not only the U.S. and Canada, but European locations as well including France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Sudol’s “One Cell in the Sea” also produced other hit singles such as “You Picked Me,” which was featured on iTunes as a “Free Single of the Week.” Sudol’s debut alum was also recognized by VH1, who featured “A Fine Frenzy” as a “You Ought to Know” artist. Yet, with the release of Sudol’s sophomore album, “Bomb in a Birdcage,” listeners can expect a different sound as compared to “One Cell in the Sea.”

“On the first record, I felt very young, and I think I made up for it by being very serious… about everything…,” said Sudol. “This time, I didn’t want to limit myself. I wanted to stretch and grow and push myself past my comfort zone. I also wanted to have fun.”

As her music continues to develop and Sudol explores other sounds, the crooning, gentle persona she adopted through of “One Cell in the Sea,” lead Sudol to present the public with a more upfront personality, as shown in “Bomb in a Birdcage.”

“I think some people may be surprised,” said Sudol. “They think that I’m all fragile and ethereal—and that’s lovely, it’s flattering. It’s all I’ve really let anyone see, up to this point. But I have a wild side too. I like to bang on things and cause a ruckus every now and then. I’m a quiet person with a loud streak. I like both. This record is a testament to that.”



Mat Kearney’s release of his 2006 album “Nothing Left to Lose,” brought about a unique sound mixing innovative writing with urban undertones. While it was through his 2004 debut album, “Bullet,” in which Kearney was introduced to the music scene, it was “Nothing Left to Lose” which began to gain Kearney critical acclaim.
Thanks in part to VH1’s rotation of “Nothing Left to Lose” for 45 consecutive weeks, Kearney’s music began to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Popular singles including “Undeniable” and “Nothing Left to Lose” also topped the “Top 40” chart, as well as numerous other singles being featured on shows such as “Kyle XY,” “The Unit,” “Without A Trace,” “Laguna Beach,” and “The Hills.”
Most notably, Kearney’s single “Breathe in Breathe Out,” released in September of 2007, was picked up by creators of the hit show “Grey’s Anatomy.” The song marked Kearney’s fourth and highest profile placement on “Grey’s Anatomy,” while also being used continually in promotions for the fourth season of the show. A music video of the song also premiered on September 19th, during a fourth season preview.
In the spring of 2007, Kearney hit the road and toured with the likes of John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, The Fray, and Jason Mraz. As his fan base continued to grow, Kearney went on to release his third album, “City of Black and White,” in March of this year. In May, Kearney toured once again with bands such as “Keane” and “The Helio Sequence” while “City of Black and White” reached number 13 on the Billboard 200.
“I knew that I wanted the whole record to feel good when I put it on,” said Kearney of the “City of Black and White” writing process. “I wanted the drums and bass to demand something of your body, I wanted the songs to come to life when I played them live.”
While the temperament of Kearney’s soothing tunes changed only slightly between albums, the spoken-word pros and hip hop elements associated with “Nothing Left to Lose” were no longer prevalent in “City of Black and White.” However, Kearney’s consistent focus on inspiring and mellow love songs, mixed with tales of troubled situations found in both “Girl America” (“Nothing Left to Lose”) and “Annie” (“City of Black and White”), made for two truly masterful albums thus far by Kearney.