It's safe to say the entire Shopbop office has a crush on singer Alison Sudol, better known to music fans by her stage name, A Fine Frenzy. (The daughter of two West Coast drama teachers, she took it from a line in A Midsummer Night's Dream.)
Sudol's new album, Pines, debuts this month with an innovative twist—besides the songs and music videos, there's also an interactive e-book, "The Story of Pines," featuring original art and writing inspired by the record. We caught up with the singer in the middle of her latest concert tour for a special edition of She's the Bop.
FARAN KRENTCIL: We play your records all the time in the office. How is Pines different from your other work?
ALISON SUDOL: I think there's a huge difference because I knew going into it that all the songs had to be part of [the e-book's story]. Writing it consciously—looking at songs and at these transitions in my life as a part of a larger whole, and as a part of a journey, rather than just individual songs—that was new for me. It was a different life approach, and a different musical approach. And I think I had more patience writing this record, in terms of being patient with how the songs were developing, letting them build and grow in their own way. It's like the song structures breathe more than ever, and there's an intimacy within them that I don't think I knew how to do before. In that way, it feels like a more revealing album.
FK: Your e-book includes animated characters. What were your favorite cartoons as a kid?
AS: I loved Ariel from The Little Mermaid, obviously. What girl didn't love Ariel?!
FK: I loved Ursula.
AS: Yeah?! I loved the whole movie. And I loved Thumper, the bunny from Bambi. [Laughing.] Thumper! He was so good!
FK: Want to talk about your personal style? Has it changed since you've become a more public person?
AS: Yeah. For instance, I'm laughing thinking about the things I wore in high school! Oh my goodness, I had no idea what I was doing. I honestly still don't think of myself as a fashion person. There are people who study and understand fashion on a deep level, and I think that's so cool. Reading The Sartorialist is amazing and also totally depressing, because I'm like, "I'm never gonna be like that!"