Alison Sudol’s new release is “Moonlight.” (Courtesy Brantley Gutierrez) Alison Sudol’s new release is “Moonlight.” (Courtesy Brantley Gutierrez)

Alison Sudol returns to making music

But actress leaves A Fine Frenzy title behind

Actress Alison Sudol — who rose to fame playing Kaya on Amazon TV series “Transparent” and Queenie Goldstein in two “Fantastic Beasts” Harry Potter spinoffs — knows the absurdity of her words the minute she utters them. She’s not accepting any more roles at present, she says. “I’ve decided to really put myself on the line with music for the next year, and really invest in it and not be distracted by anything else.” For evidence, she’s offers her majestic EP “Moonlite,” featuring top-flight musicians like Portishead’s Adrian Utley and PJ Harvey guitarist John Parish. Years ago, under the name A Fine Frenzy, Sudol battled an indifferent music industry for three ambitious albums, until she switched to acting. “Music, in the past was an area where I, uh, got really hurt,” she says.

How and why did you finally bury A Fine Frenzy?

I feel like A Fine Frenzy should have stayed as a moniker for my first record (2007’s “One Cell in the Sea”) and I should have moved on. But people really associated those songs and that style of music with what A Fine Frenzy was, so I had a really hard time changing and growing after that, because the images that it conjured up to me, at least, were very Victorian, literary and floral. But the name remained, and it wasn’t a name that I could grow along with. So it was time to put that name to bed and start a new chapter.

Do you remember the moment A Fine Frenzy died?

Yes. I was in England, and a lot of things were over for me at that time. I parted ways with most of my team, and it was a really dark tiime for me in 2013. Really dark. It felt very empty, like I couldn’t connect with any inspiration or excitement. Everything was quite wrong, even my personal relationship, and I just really needed to fill up my heart and my soul. I had put so much effort into my last album, “Pines” — I made that record, made a short film, wrote a book, worked with all these amazing artists. And I just felt like I’d dug out everything I had at that point, and I wanted to tell other stories.

Your solution?

Well, that’s when I decided to try acting. Or to try acting by taking an acting class. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but through the class I got the role on “Transparent.” And I really thought that I could live without music. But I wound up starting a little musical project with a friend, and I just really enjoyed it, There was no label, because I didn’t release anything. So I was just making music for me again.

IF YOU GO

Alison Sudol

Where: Cafe Du Nord, 2174 Market St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3

Tickets: $15 to $18

Contact: (415) 375-3370, https://swedishamericanhall.com/cafe-du-nord

Pop Music

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SFUSD: City schools to stay closed for the rest of the year

District joins five other Bay Area districts in announcing closure

John Prine, revered singer-songwriter, dies of COVID-19 complications at 73

John Prine, who traded his job as a Chicago mail carrier to… Continue reading

Supes push to procure hotel rooms for the homeless as coronavirus spreads

‘Friction’ between board and mayor over strategy to protect those living on the streets

Coronavirus cases exceed 600 in SF; 9 reported dead

Mayor launches data tracker after calls for transparency

Breed changes plans for massive new Moscone West homeless shelter

City now moving more shelter residents to hotel rooms after three test positive for COVID-19

Most Read