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hey my featured artist - finbarr

what is a 'finbarr'? we had talked over email about a few things, but it occurred to me that i wasn't sure if finbarr was his name and forgot to ask. or if there was any hidden meaning but it? rather than find out, i thought i would try and figure it out. my first assumption was that it was a last name. like 'daughtry' but less shiny. after some googling and seeing that there were a few people of different levels of fame with the first name finbarr, i thought it was probably his first name or probably based on someone who is named finbarr. or maybe it was like 'bon iver'; a mystical name that is a band. i remember being convinced that bon iver was some guy from the forests of norway. so, rather than submit to lazy writing and just ask finbarr if his name was finbarr, i decided to focus on the important questions that were already asked:  
here is his top 5 list of 'the best australian bands that people outside of australia have probably never heard of' (bonus points awarded as i can say i've never heard of any and i live outside of australia)

finbarr was kind enough to provide explanation and insight into his picks, completely unprovoked: "Grand Salvo and The Middle East are kind of debatable as to whether they are known outside of Australia or not. Grand Salvo (or Paddy Mann, the man behind it all) is doing quite well but i think very unknown and completely underrated, it is easily ( and i say with confidence ) my biggest influence. The Middle East are actually a band full of all my closest friends and old house mates who are on their way to being something quite big, they have only really just begun to start looking outside Australia. The man behind Dragging Pianos was another housemate of mine that lived in the very same house, i think that Sam writes better songs than allot of my favorite bands, he is easily a huge influence and is touring with The Middle East in the next few upcoming months. The Forest was a hardcore band that has now ended and rankly...they were simply just awesome. hahahaha ahh The Marf...where do i even begin. The Marf is Nathan Roche, it is the result of, one chord songs, binge drinking, chain smoking, living in poverty, hopelessness, mumbling and a head full of way too many ideas. i actually played bass for one of Nathans albums, he has now moved to Sydney and has already recorded another album (his third in 2 years...keeping in mind they are all at least 10 tracks long) and is now working on a new record, he has also released a book of short stories and is planning on writing more. i think all up he has had 4 releases (he'll tell you that theres only two as he has completely banished the cassette tape and the first album) before he left this man was probably the only thing running our underground scene in town, art shows, gigs, he even had his own monthly(debatable) magazine full of interviews, his own art, album reviews and poems. in short, Nathan writes some songs that absolute ooze with pop only to be smeared around by the lo-fi recordings, odd instruments and poetic lyrics, i don't think i've ever met a more productive or artist man."

i don't remember how our paths crossed, but at first listen i was fan of finbarr's music. at first, i was originally drawn to 'kaleidoscope'. the first few seconds of the verse i thought that it sounded a bit like bright eyes' 'lua' but as the song evolved into something quite its own, i was impressed with its loveliness. after further listens to his myspace player, i think 'little brother' has been that all important 'grower' song for me. that one that you first overlook in favor of another and then realize what a gem it is. finbarr is working on an album, but a release date is still a bit in the fog, as inspiration is fueling a bit of a creative streak. which is always important to grab hold onto when it hits. "i originally wanted it to be an EP but im up to about 6 tracks now. Every time i finish recording a song, another seems to jump in my head, im guessing i'll just keep recording until i don't have anything left in me and then choose whats actually worth releasing".

his sound is very much of the 'lo-fi' variety, but not in the way that the lovely melodies and lyrics are covered in fuzz, or is so bad that its good. its just good. he uses a variety of different recording devices and techniques, including a "cassette tape recorder and a microphone (he) found on this old house boat that (he) used to live on"; several different instruments, random sounds and layers to create really great atmospheric bedroom music. "in nearly all the tracks you can hear birds in the background (they never shut up) in one track you can even hear my mother talking in the room next door, but i feel like that just adds that personal touch, it takes the listener to your room, gives them a short insight on your life and how you live it.". "my writing process is...well i guess i don't really have one, it's funny but i usually find myself staring into the microphone yet again with no idea what's about to take place. i'll come up with a riff, or something compeletly skeletal, like half a chord progression, usually with no words, or any idea how its going to start or end. and then as soon as i press record its like i kinda just know what to do, as soon as i get that first track down i immediately know what i want in the song, what instruments etc. i find i write the best lyrics when i am put on the spot like that as well."

finbarr just turned 19. he is from australia. if you put a gun to his head and made him pick only one song that he could have to listen to for the rest of his existence, he "could live with nothing more than Needles by Grand Salvo" (and yes, it is important to consider being in this position yourself). in a brief sidebar about accents that sound good on girls, he confided that "if there was one accent that was going to do it for me, itd probably be the french". new zealand a close second?.

now, do yourself a favor and check out his myspace page, by clicking on the painting below. and yes, the paintings are done by him as well. i left no stones unturned in my interview with finbarr.


finbarr myspace page

I dig for gold
Home and Other Places I'd Like to Visit
Music for Sleeping Lovers and for Those Who Wake Up Alone
I got the pox, the pox is what I got
Old Happiness
Great Speculation
Not I EP
Running Of The Bulls
Come Outside EP
Mammoth Moon
Little Notes
I Dig For Gold

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