Artist: Sixpence None the Richer
Song: Breathe Your Name
Album: Divine Discontent (2002)
Genres: Pop rock, Pop, Dream pop, Christian music
Sixpence None the Richer (also known as Sixpence) is an American rock/pop band that formed in New Braunfels, Texas, eventually settling in Nashville, Tennessee. They are best known for their songs "Kiss Me" and "Breathe Your Name" and their covers of "Don't Dream It's Over" and "There She Goes". The name of the band is inspired by a passage from the book Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
Guitarist/songwriter Matt Slocum met vocalist Leigh Nash in the early 1990s. They recorded a demo, which now circulates as "The Original Demos", with bassist T.J. Behling and drummer Brad Arnold at Verge Music Works recording studio in Dallas, and eventually an album, The Fatherless and the Widow, for the independent label REX Music in 1993. The record featured Chris Dodds (a member of Love Coma, in which Slocum also played guitar). Shortly after the release of The Fatherless and the Widow, Slocum left Love Coma to pursue Sixpence None the Richer full-time. The band added Tess Wiley (guitar) Joel Bailey (bass) and Dale Baker (drums) to tour in support of The Fatherless and The Widow. On this tour the band toured the US, opening for the Choir, the newly reformed 10,000 Maniacs, Audio Adrenaline, Pray For Rain, Over The Rhine, and more. In the fall of 1994, the band left for their first tour of Europe. The club and festival tour saw them performing with bands such as the Proclaimers, Newsboys, Julie & Buddy Miller, and many more. The band added J.J. Plasencio (bass) for 1995's This Beautiful Mess. Both albums were produced by Armand John Petri, who also managed the band from 1993 to 1997. Shortly after the release of This Beautiful Mess, Wiley left the band.
In 1997, the group signed to Steve Taylor's label Squint Entertainment and released a self-titled album, which slowly began garnering attention from a wider audience in the mainstream industry. Although Placencio played bass on most of the album, he left the band before it was released and was replaced by Justin Cary, who joined the band around the same time as second guitarist Sean Kelly.
In 1998, "Kiss Me" was released as a single, propelling Sixpence None the Richer into the national pop spotlight. That year the song was also featured in the film She's All That. In 2001 the film Not Another Teen Movie used the song in a parody. "Kiss Me" was also played on the WB teen drama Dawson's Creek in episodes #2-06 "The Dance" and #2-18 "The Perfect Wedding," and is found on the show's first soundtrack CD, Songs from Dawson's Creek (Volume 1) and also played at the televised wedding of England's Prince Edward.
In 1999, the band recorded a cover of The La's' "There She Goes", which became their second hit single and propelled them into the limelight again. Sixpence appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and numerous morning talk shows. "There She Goes" was added to subsequent pressings of the self-titled album.
In 2000, Sixpence None the Richer contributed the song "Us" to Today Presents: the Best of Summer Concert Series CD, which raised money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Later that year, the band recorded a Japanese version of "Kiss Me", which was released exclusively in Japan on an EP with numerous versions of the song, as well as remixes of other songs on the self-titled album.
The band had a follow-up album ready to release, but their label Squint Entertainment started to fall apart, leaving the band in limbo for several years. Finally, Squint Entertainment folded and that album, Divine Discontent, was released in October 2002.
Baker left the band before that album's release and was replaced by Rob Mitchell. The album itself differs significantly from the first pre-release version of it that had circulated: the songs "Us," "Deeper," "Don't Pass Me By," "Too Far Gone," "Northern Lights," and "Loser Like Me" were cut, and "Down and Out of Time," "A Million Parachutes," "Tonight," "Waiting on the Sun," and a cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" were added. All of the unreleased songs were eventually featured on singles or compilations, with the exception of "Deeper". Two of Divine Discontent's singles, "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Breathe Your Name", received significant radio airplay and appeared on various Billboard charts.
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