Sixpence None the Richer, often known as just “Sixpence”, is a pop/rock band with roots in New Braunfels, Texas, United States, eventually settling in Nashville, Tennessee. Named after a passage in C. S. Lewis’ theological book Mere Christianity, the group is best known for their critically acclaimed 1999 self-titled album, with ‘Sixpence None the Richer’ showing their strong influence from both melodic christian rock and 60s british invasion music. Key members Matt Slocum, a guitarist and songwriter, first met Leigh Nash, a budding vocalist, at a church retreat in the early 90s.
They recorded a demo (which now circulates as ‘The Original Demos’) and eventually an album, ‘The Fatherless and the Widow’ for R.E.X. Records in 1993. The record featured Chris Dodds (of Slocum’s band Love Coma) on drums. Shortly after the release of the album, Slocum left Love Coma to pursue Sixpence full time. The band added Tess Wiley (guitar), J.J. Plasencio (bass) and Dale Baker (drums) for 1995’s ‘This Beautiful Mess’. Both albums, with featured the group’s early explicit Christian contemporary music sound, were produced by Armand John Petri.
Named in honor of a passage from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, the Texas-based CCM band Sixpence None the Richer began taking shape in the early '90s, when guitarist Matt Slocum first met vocalist Leigh Nash (formerly Lee Bingham) at a church retreat. Initially a trio rounded out by bassist T.J. Behling, the group recorded a demo before signing with R.E.X. Records, a label that previously specialized in Christian metal. Their debut LP, The Fatherless & the Widow, appeared in 1993. With the addition of rhythm guitarist Tess Wiley, new bassist J.J. Plasencio, and drummer Dale Baker, Sixpence None the Richer toured before returning to the studio to record their sophomore effort, 1995's This Beautiful Mess. The album won a Dove Award and was followed by the Tickets for a Prayer Wheel EP. Both Wiley and Plasencio exited prior to the group's next LP, an eponymously titled effort that turned the band into a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated act.
Although issued in 1997, Sixpence None the Richer didn't take off until 1999, when the dreamy track "Kiss Me" was released as a single. The song was featured on the third season of Dawson's Creek and catapulted Sixpence None the Richer's star power into the mainstream, earning airplay in more than ten different countries. Accolades continued as the band's rendition of the La's' "There She Goes" also became a major hit, thanks in part to its inclusion in the Nickolodeon film Snow Day. The new millennium looked bright as the band weathered the departure of founding drummer Dale Baker (replaced in 2001 by Rob Mitchell) and inked a new record deal with Reprise. In fall 2002, Sixpence None the Richer returned to form with the lushly beautiful Divine Discontent. The band's cover of the Crowded House classic "Don't Dream It's Over" pushed Sixpence None the Richer's name back into the charts in early 2003, and the song's inclusion on the soundtrack to the WB's Smallville was a major hit among the teen audience. Nevertheless, the group disbanded in 2004, with Matt Slocum launching his own group soon after the split and Leigh Nash pursuing a solo career. The breakup turned out to be little more than a hiatus, however, as Sixpence None the Richer reunited in 2007 and released the My Dear Machine EP. Cross-Atlantic tour dates followed, and a Christmas-themed effort titled The Dawn of Grace arrived just before the holiday season in late 2008. In 2009 the band announced they had signed with Credential Recordings and an album titled Strange Conversation was scheduled for the next year. Label problems and other issues delayed the album's release until 2012 when appeared under its new title, Lost in Transition.
Leigh Nash described the origin of the band's name on the Late Show with David Letterman:
It comes from a book by C. S. Lewis called Mere Christianity. A little boy asks his father if he can get a sixpence—a very small amount of English currency—to go and get a gift for his father. The father gladly accepts the gift and he's really happy with it, but he also realizes that he's not any richer for the transaction. C.S. Lewis was comparing that to his belief that God has given him, and us, the gifts that we possess, and to serve Him the way we should, we should do it humbly—realizing how we got the gifts in the first place.
The term "Sixpence" comes from a UK coin.
This group was formed in the UK.
They are also a pop band.
Leigh Nash is the lead singer.
Sixpence None the Richer is a Christian music group.
The song "Radio" from the album debuted on Perez Hilton's site on May 15, 2012. In an interview with American Songwriter Matt Slocum describes the song: “While driving and listening to the radio, an old favorite song inspires a man to reminisce about an old relationship born from a road trip." The album was finally released on August 7, 2012, nearly two years since the initially announced release date.