Alison Sudol, A Fine Frenzy‘s driving creative force, has a Tumblr. The online blog is filled with Mary Oliver poems, adorable animals that pretty much always require an, “Aww”, and photos of lush forests filled with–as you might have guessed–pines. It’s an incredibly appropriate accompaniment to this 13-track album, recorded during a rainy week before Christmas in Los Angeles.
Pines is a double-edged walk through the woods, with parts of the record playing with forest-inspired imagery while the other fragments draw on the literal meaning of what it means to pine. The former is captured beautifully in the record’s second track, “Winds of Wander”, which begins with birds chirping and a lazy pluck of the guitar as Sudol’s beautifully delicate voice creeps in (“Drown in the drowsy afternoon/In the green grass, the yellow flowers bloom”).
Pines dances between Sudol’s ballad-heavy debut, One Cell in the Sea (“Sad Sea Song”), and her more dance-ready sophomore effort, Bomb in a Birdcage (“Sailing Song”), and Sudol’s subject matter has shifted further from pining for a man and closer to self reflection and possible happiness. Single “Now Is the Start” brings her transformation full circle with both poppy and slow moments as she sings, “Hey, do you hear, do you hear that sound?/ It’s the sound of the lost gone found/ It’s the sound of the mute gone loud/ It’s the sound of the new start.” It’s the sound of growing up.
Essential Tracks: “Winds of Wander”, “Now Is the Start”