The music of Alison Sudol is no longer a sweet walk in the park | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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The music of Alison Sudol is no longer a sweet walk in the park


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In 2013, Alison Sudol put aside her band A Fine Frenzy to focus on her acting career, which has included roles in the television show Transparent and the film franchise Fantastic Beasts. In the past year, she’s returned to music with new material, and the time off has done her good. Her early singles, such as 2017’s “You Picked Me,” were the sort of breathy, surging, hooky, anonymously pleasant indie pop you’d expect to hear playing during intense moments on teen TV dramas. But the songs on her latest EP, May’s Moonlite (released under her own name by the We Are Hearth label), are much more intriguing, with Sudol setting aside twee, uplifting romance for goth menace. On “The Runner” she whispers and quasi-raps over ambient washes, drones, and a darkwave beat. “Enough Honey” is spooky and spacious psychedelia, with Sudol’s little-girl vocals providing an eerie contrast to a monotonous keyboard riff. The melody on the slow piano ballad “If Patience Doesn’t Kill Me” is perhaps closest to her earlier style, but it’s sharpened with an edge of desperation: “I want to show you I’m not just a sweet little walk in the park . . . / I want to show you the thorn in the wreckage,” she sings. With Moonlite Sudol has succeeded at both, making an intriguing break with her past and suggesting that she has bleaker, thornier music to come.   v

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