Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning

Following in the recent tradition of New Zealand artists, it's Liam Finn's turn to shine. The Kiwi comes from a rock pedigree thanks to his father Neil who is a member of Crowded House and therefore, at age 23, is further along in his musical career than most can say at the same age. In his home country, he is most known for being the frontman of Bectchadupa, but his debut solo album I'll Be Lightning came out there this summer. The U.S. won't see it released on Yep Roc till 1/22/08, but thankfully there are ways and means around that seeming snafu. He graced the stage at Coachella this year with his father and Crowded House without much fanfare. This would have certainly been different had the masses heard this debut release.

I'll Be Lightning is a spur of the moment album that was recorded and produced entirely by Mr. Finn over the course of two months at his father's recording studio named Roundhead Studios in Auckland. After gathering and cultivating musical ideas over a period of time Mr. Finn thought it was time to get everything recorded and out of his brain. On his website he says he took the entire project upon himself because he "didn't want to compromise or collaborate." This is totally fair considering his artistic vision as he explains, "I wanted to record these songs the way I heard them in my head. And I had a very clear idea of how I wanted them recorded." Usually this could spell trouble without any experience, but with his pedigree Mr. Finn was clearly up to the task. In addition, he wanted the songs to sound a bit more raw and authentic so he recorded entirely on old fashioned analog gear. This choice was made since, "It's like the difference between digital video and film...there's just something you can't capture on computers." This album is definitely a breath of fresh air, and unlike most solo albums currently out there. Some elements are familiar and others are not which makes for an interesting and unique listening experience. Every instrument track is played by Liam, which is impressive in and of itself. During his live shows he accomplishes this through guitar loops and lots of quick movements back and forth between guitar and drums, which can be seen here. Otherwise, enjoy the track below entitled "Wise Man".

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