Sunday, October 24, 2021

FINNEAS Will Leave You Feeling Much More Than Optimistic

FINNEAS has already given us more than we could ever deserve. It’s no secret that he is one of the most talented artists, producers and musicians of the past couple of years; he already has a collection of Grammys and produced his sister Billie Eilish’s album of the year, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ back in 2019.

FINNEAS himself also gave us a deluxe version of his own ep ‘Blood Harmony’ in 2020. For his new album, ‘Optimist’, he explains via iTunes “I was writing a very introspective album. And I think that’s what a year of sitting home and thinking will do to you.” 

Optimist’ is an invitation into his world, each track a place to travel through during your visit. This is an artistic journey through music and soundscapes with lyrics that have a message. Lockdown was a difficult time for everyone and optimism is something that people held onto during that time; the hope that better days would come. Considering FINNEAS was able to create an album as meaningful as this one during this time, perhaps we can trust that optimism played an important role in the EP’s construction. It is a grand project that has moments of groove and magic as well as nostalgic piano ballads; there is a song for every feeling and emotion that can build when diving deep into introspection.

FINNEAS is real and raw on ‘Optimist’. He talks about the things that he is passionate about and uses his voice to do that. Songs such as ‘The Kids Are All Dying’ and ‘Medieval’ talk on society and politics, in a fun, playful tone. Lyrics like “do you have a dollar / would you like to fund a war / what’s your carbon footprint and could you be doing more / I tried saving the world but then I got bored” show how some real problems, such as climate change, are being overlooked as a trend and a phase rather than something we need to work on together to remedy. ‘Medieval’ mentions “I could tell you what happens to the new king when he goes out of fashion.” This refers to the cancel culture that has become part of online platforms. This track has a darker sound and an unnerving beat to it that, along with the lyrics, speaks on the darker side of a culture that posts everything online. Whilst the internet is an amazing tool that can keep us connected with people across the world, does it pose a threat to what makes us human? The internet has led us to believe that anything is a click away, but the truth remains that instant gratification can’t come with everything. 

Some tracks really touch a part of the heart that only music can reach. ‘Only a Lifetime’ and ‘Peaches Etude’ are examples of this. ‘Only a Lifetime’, is both lyrically and musically heartfelt. It almost sounds like a lullaby to life, gently reminding us of how precious time is. “Don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass / it’s only a lifetime that’s not long enough / you’re not gonna like it without any love.” Then, ‘Peaches Etude’, an instrumental piano piece. The classical piano proves that sometimes there aren’t any words needed, especially when pondering on things as this album seems to do. It is with pieces like this, that FINNEAS’ artistry and personality really shine through; just as lyrics aren’t needed to tell a story in this track, words can’t quite describe how touching the track truly is. 

If I had to describe this album in one word it would be hope. Ending with ‘How It Ends’ sums up the entire feel of the album with both a message and a realisation. Nothing is set in stone, “this isn’t how it ends / this isn’t where we put down our pens / go tell the business men / this isn’t how it ends.” The finale of the album feels like the beginning of the rest of everything else from that point and it is nobody else’s but yours; a powerful message only an artist like FINNEAS could offer.

Edana Graham


Image: 'Optimist' Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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