Alison Sudol - who has also gone by Alison Munro - is A Fine Frenzy. Is that an unusual professional name? The name of her one-girl band? The name "A Fine Frenzy" is actually from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
"A Fine Frenzy," Alison, however you refer to her, she is a fine singer and talented musician, born on December 23, 1984 in Seattle, Washington.
Given that birthplace, this singer-songwriter/pianist's chosen genre of indie and alternative rock doesn't seem surprising; however, she hasn't lived there since she was 5 when her parents divorced and her mother, Alison in tow, moved to Los Angeles, California. There she got into Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and swing music.
Her fine intelligence matches her fine musical development, as she graduated high school at only age 16. From there she went to college, where she formed her first band, Monro. Besides being immersed in her music, she also got into fine literature, diving into the works of great authors like C. S. Lewis, E.B. White, Lewis Carroll, Anthony Trollope and Charles Dickens. This interest in classical literature is no doubt what inspired her to choose the name "A Fine Frenzy."
Perhaps all that reading is what inspired her to put more creative energy into writing songs. In fact, the demo, showcasing her fine musical and writing talent, she put out got the attention of EMI's Jason Flom and the rest is history. In 2007, she appeared at a musical conference after, debuted an album (One Cell in the Sea which got rave reviews), put out a hit single "Almost Lover" from that album which reached #25 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The album has sold about 300,000 copies so far, not just in the U.S., but also in Europe where she is becoming quite famous. She made her television debut in February of 2008 on The Late Show with David Letterman performing the song "Come on, Come Out." She sang that song and "Almost Lover" on CBS's Saturday Early Show later that month. On September 26, 2007 she made her acting debut, playing a small part on CSI: New York. Her song "Whisper" was played on an episode of House, MD in the episode "Joy To The World."
Alison's voice is quite soulful and ranged and her piano playing is fine, not extremely remarkable but she's definitely got skillz, as it were. But to really separate herself from the rest of the pack, if she wants to, she's got to reach a higher level with her musical development and creativity. She's good but has not convinced me to go out and buy anything, or even download any of her songs. Her music is enjoyable, but I feel like I've heard it before. She sounds a lot like a slightly milder Fiona Apple, actually.
I discovered "A Fine Frenzy" listening to an internet Christmas music station last December. Her soulful rendition of "Let it Snow" is what prompted me to Google her. Go ahead and YouTube her, there's plenty of footage demonstrating her fine musical talents (as well as the redhead's fine looks) so you may judge for yourself.