30. Sixpence None the Richer – Sixpence None the Richer

SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER

Sixpence None the Richer

In early 1994 I was working for the newly created Diamante Music, a company birthed from the demise of Frontline Records/Distribution. We were having  sales Conference in Nashville, TN at the offices of REX, an independent label that Diamante had recently signed a distribution deal with. This was a label driven by very creative aggressive musical leanings like Circle of Dust, Believer, Living Sacrifices, Six Feet Deep and Hot Pink Turtle. But this time we were presented something we never saw coming.

The owner of Diamante was a hulk of man named Bill Conine. He stood at the front of the conference room with his arm around this pretty little, diminutive red haired girl. A young man I remembered from the band Love Come stood next to her. Minutes later the sales force was introduced to songs “Trust” and “Field of Flowers” from the upcoming debut release, “Fatherless and the Widow” by Sixpence None the Richer.

Guitarist Matt Slocum read a portion from C.S. Lewis that explained the seemingly odd name of the band. It didn’t matter. The sales force was in the presence of something that was bigger than they even imagined. As stellar as the debut release was, it did not compare to what Steve Taylor’s fledgling label, Squint, would produce with the bands self-titled third release.

After experiencing some moderate sales success the album started to fly when mainstream radio stations began adding the single “Kiss Me.” This became a huge hit reaching Number two on both the Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts. The single would continue to breathe life into the project as it was used in a pivotal scene in the popular teen romance movie “She’s All That.”

Soon afterward the band would record a cover of the La’s “There She Goes” which would also chart extremely well. Squint immediately began repressing the project with the bonus song added to the project. But if all the reader knows of this project are those two great singles than they are truly missing out on a wonderful record that captures more and more with each listen.

Highlights include the very groove driven “Waiting Room.” This contains some of the best combination of Slocum’s guitar work and Leigh’s breathy vocals mixed with a very dynamic string arrangement. Strings don’t normally rock like this! The longing lyrics match the music to a “T”

Here we are in the waiting room of the world.
We will wait until you call our name out loud,
In the waiting room of the world.
We will wait until you call our name out loud.

Sixpence experienced very strong Christian Rock radio support for “I Can’t Catch You.” But this not an album of singles. It is an album best experienced as a whole. Some records are amazing because of how each and every individual song is such a wonderful work on its own. SNTR is radically different in that it really is meant to be enjoyed as a single unit. Songs flow and move and leave an impression more than an indelible mark. When the listener has finished they believe they have truly taken in a work of art.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Truly a great album! I’m sad that most people just remember this for “Kiss Me” as I think it’s easily the weakest track on the disc.

    I’m enjoying the countdown by the way!

    God bless,
    Adam

    Reply

  2. Posted by Shawn McLaughlin on February 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    The interesting thing about this album is how the first 3 songs are thinly disguised diatribes against their former record label and the industry in general. This album was in limbo for some time and Matt, in particular, felt like he was being worked over by the industry. I love the album, but, am partial to This Beautiful Mess, which still is in my top ten of all-time.

    Reply

  3. Posted by James Blind on February 14, 2010 at 2:34 am

    i also am partial to This Beautiful Mess….Tess Wiley added so much to the band….

    Reply

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