Welling up from the dark bars and clubs of London's thriving indie music scene, rock n' roll prodigy Liam Finn has bounded onto the international music scene with the force and presence of an...
Welling up from the dark bars and clubs of London's thriving indie music scene, rock n' roll prodigy Liam Finn has bounded onto the international music scene with the force and presence of an artist twice his age. The twenty-three-year-old New Zealand native writes, produces and engineers his own music, adhering to a strict DIY creative process - even shooting his own publicity photos and album artwork. In addition to meticulously overseeing the recording of his debut album I'll Be Lightning, Finn plays nearly every instrument on the album, a responsibility he doesn't relinquish during his now mythic live gigs.
During his raucous yet intimate performances Liam utilizes effects pedals to create, sample and loop bass, guitar, drums and vocals to layer with his live vocals and guitar. Pre-programmed flourishes, also keyed live by Finn, gurgle under his sharp, addictive melodies to produce experimental pop music that is simultaneously ghostly and direct in its atmospherics and emotionalism. Being responsible for all the sound flowing from the stage is inevitably risky, but it's a risk in which the youngster relishes. "I think the fact of doing this looping, one-man-band sort of thing really keeps you on your toes and keeps it fresh. The more you mess up, the more you're forced to turn it into a good mess and people seem to respond more. I find it really stimulating. I just love the danger of it, really." As one might assume, a Liam Finn show is by no means the seated, shh-inducing coffee house affair many solo singer-songwriter performances can be. It's actually the antithesis. Finn drops fuzzed out guitar riffs, bellows bass lines and thunders on his drum kit like a punk rock caveman. When asked the philosophy behind this approach Liam remarks, "Whenever I walk in and see just a guy and a guitar, I think 'Here we go again.' I want to give people something different."
Finn's melodies feel as if they were snatched from the ether, faintly familiar like the musical stowaways of a dream. His lyrics sit latent, only making their meaning known when you stop trying to interpret them. His innovative future-vintage approach to his craft and his strict hands-on creative philosophy are two reasons he remains one of the most authentic and talented independent artists on today's musical landscape. While his groundbreaking one-man live shows and stirringly addictive songwriting have had him on the lips of tastemakers for some time, the release of I'll Be Lightning is sure to secure his place as one of the brightest and most meaningful creative forces in music today.