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Getting Richer

After being kissed with success, Sixpence None the Richer's Leigh Nash eagerly awaits the chance to road-test potential follow-up hits.


It seems as if it would be the perfect mix -- teen movies, teen shows, teen music. However, when the makers of these films and series look for songs to accompany the melodramatic ebb and flow, they often find themselves drawn to more mature compositions. Apparently, using Korn tunes to reflect anger and Britney Spears ditties to convey glee lacks a certain subtlety. Therefore, the smartly crafted work of bands such as Sixpence None the Richer, a graceful, Beatles-influenced pop act, becomes synonymous in the minds of impressionable young fans with earth-shattering moments, such as Joey and Dawson's kiss or the first appearance of the newly dolled-up Laney Boggs. Sixpence's Grammy-nominated "Kiss Me" anchored the Dawson's Creek soundtrack, but its rise to popularity coincided with its timely use in She's All That, a cinematic gem that did not spawn a soundtrack. Therefore, fans who couldn't get guitarist-songwriter Matt Slocum's jangly guitar lines and singer Leigh Nash's charming delivery of such lines as kiss me out of the bearded barley out of their heads rushed to buy the year-old, self-titled album that contained the tune.

"It was probably like a sieve," Nash says from her home in Nashville. "A lot of people loved the song 'Kiss Me,' and then you send them through this pot with holes in it, and some stick and some fall through because that's the only thing they're going to like. It was definitely a good vehicle to get the song out there, and there's a lot more interest in what we're going to do next than there ever would have been before."

What's next for Sixpence None the Richer is a new album, tentatively scheduled for release in late August or early September. The group has already recorded 15 tracks with producer Paul Fox and is entering the next stage of the process, which involves adding vocals and overdubs and whittling a few songs from the current list. After touring for years in support of songs written in 1997 and 1998, Nash is eager to begin playing fresh material. In fact, the mere discussion of the topic inspires her to go into adverb overload: She admits to being "really, really proud," "really happy," and "really, really excited"; says the prospect of an impending tour is "really nice"; and attributes the quality of the new songs to her band of "really, really great players."

Sixpence None the Richer, or at least its core of Slocum and Nash, has been together for nearly a decade, producing two albums prior to its late-blooming breakthrough release and making frequent visits to Kansas City's New Earth Coffeehouse ("really, really nice people," Nash says). However, the best time to hear selections from these solid records, such as the Nash-penned "Easy to Ignore" and the touching "Sister, Mother," most likely has passed.

"We'll probably just play all the new songs and make everybody mad," Nash says with an endearing half-sigh, half-giggle. "Actually, we'll still do 'Kiss Me' and 'There She Goes' (a standalone La's cover that became a hit and was added to later printings of the album), but after all of this time playing the same songs, doing any other old ones would be torture."

The group has given the all-new setlist a test run in front of a tough, bronco-busting crowd, and Nash says Sixpence was able to rope in the fans. "We played a rodeo in Austin about a month ago," she explains. "It was a weeklong event, and we were the only rock band that played. We played all the new songs, and the people really loved them, which was encouraging."

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