Alison Sudol finds comfort in the woods. The singer-songwriter and leader of the band A Fine Frenzy grew up mostly in Los Angeles and Burbank, and even there she's often found herself gravitating toward a convenient corner of nature. On a recent afternoon, it was a picnic table along the pathways of Griffith Park, where she noticed something moving under a tree.
“What is that? Is that a squirrel?” Sudol, 27, said affectionately, peering into the shadows. “That is the biggest squirrel tail I have ever seen.”
Nature and nurturing is a recurrent theme in her music, going back to her 2007 debut, “One Cell in the Sea,” which mixed stories of romantic disappointment with wildlife as a metaphor. Her new album, “Pines” is a mature, deeper version of that, with songs that are expansive and emotional, mixing the organic with the post-modern.
The new album's seven-minute opening track, “Pine Song,” connects human passion with her awe of nature, singing of “pining” for a lover as the music swells from a quiet vibration of strings to a cinematic swirl of acoustic guitar, piano and whispers of sound. Sudol's voice is soft and dramatic: “The words you speak / Stir things in me I thought were gone . . . I can feel it through the fields of graves / A beating heart / While rolling hills are roaming through my veins.”