In recent years I have been learning to celebrate and express my inherent femininity by not forcing things. Kind of like gestating a baby that’s 120 hours past ‘due’. For that reason, I have not mentioned very much on femininity in this space, though it’s been on my heart to do so. While all my lady thoughts are still incubating, I figured I would celebrate the femininity of the gloriously gifted singer/songwriter, Allison Sudol, also known as A Fine Frenzy.
I’m pretty sure my first exposure to A Fine Frenzy was via Almost Lover from her debut studio album, One Cell in the Sea. I have always really liked this song, and I think that in some ways it encapsulates the character of her writing and performance style. There is a clear and decluttered vulnerability that is often hard to come by, and an honesty that sits with sorrow without bathing itself in it, or spewing bitterness instead. I think in life, and maybe in storytelling both extremes are easier to fall into than the hard work of squaring off and walking through. And that’s what I appreciate about Allison’s writing: a uniquely feminine dignified strength that accompanies settled transparency, and a courage that chooses to fully, but tactfully disclose itself because it’s been decided that whatever the thing is is worth the risk and investment. I tell you, she has mastered her craft.
Also featured on her debut album is Ashes & Wine which is amazing and always makes me think of Psalm 102:9. I think a male cover of this song would be so haunting and beautiful. I have kind of been re-obssessed with for the past week or so. But I’ve also been swimming in Pines, which was released three Octobers ago on Virgin Records. You may have heard Now is The Start if you shop at places like Anthro, American Eagle, or somewhere else that caters to a similar aesthetic, but the whole album is really well done.
And lastly ~ since I deliberately judge an album by its artwork ~ here’s a pic of Allison dramatically wrapped in a blanket by some cliffs in front of what looks like a cold, grey ocean. How could you not lend an ear??