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coverpic flag New Zealand - Full Moon 204 - 04/25/13

Liam Finn
"I"
Yep Roc Records

"I" is a new song from Liam Finn; a demo from his forthcoming record. A note from Liam about "I" goes: '.."I" is one of those demos that I find myself chasing throughout the recording process. Music that is made without self consciousness that anyone will ever hear it often captures an atmosphere impossible to re-capture later down the track. I thought why not just put the demo out there, involve you in my plight and then once the record comes out you can tell me how much you prefer the demo... But you won't... You'll say you prefer the live version.'

I was pretty struck (by lightning..?) when hearing Finn's amazing debut album I'll Be Lightning. His second platter, entitled FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out?) was a bit different, and not as good as the debut. Yet, it wasn't bad either; it was a fairly good record. It'll be interesting to see where Finn goes with his third album proper, and "I" could be an indication of the direction.

"I" (or maybe 'I am'?) is a demo, which means something unfinished, a work in progress, only some pieces (one third? the half of it? less? more?) of a puzzle. The track holds a loose drum beat, some floating, swaying organ/keyboard as loose as the drums, and some loose and careful picking/tapping on the guitar. On top of this there's a hard to get, foggy line of lyrics (I... I... I... Some...day...). I'm not quite how to take this song, where to place it, or what to say about it. It's for sure a demo, a sketch, and I'm not capable of outlining Finn's next album by hearing "I". Liam Finn says further: 'This is one of those demos that just had the "vibe" y'know... It's hard chasing it when you're making a studio record...' He also says: 'As we say in my family before playing a demo "All the usual excuses." Which means all or some of these things: This is a demo, it's rough. The lyrics might change. There are no lyrics... I fixed that bit. I know there's too much reverb. There are bung notes. Yep, I heard that bung note. I know the vocal is drenched in reverb... I'm going to orchestrate that part with the sound of howling dogs.' Well, maybe some things should be kept in the family. Hearing a demo sometimes feels like trespassing, like you've crossed the border of some private property. Or interfered with some private/personal matters. "I" doesn't actually give me this feeling, but I'm not quite comfortable within its circle - sort of being a stranger. I don't quite get it, or catch it.

PS! Finn's final 'liner notes' goes: 'Thanks to Tchad Blake for beefing it up for me. What a legend.' Blake (who quite often partners with Mitchell Froom) is one of the hard working, and indeed one of the more successful men in the record producing business. He's worked with a loooong list of artists and musicians including: Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Pearl Jam, Tom Waits, Richard Thompson, Sheryl Crow, T-Bone Burnett, Travis, Crowded House (here's a link to Liam), Finn Brothers (here's another link), The Pretenders, Los Lobos, Suzanne Vega, The Bangles, Stina Nordenstam, Phish, Bonnie Raitt, Lisa Germano, Al Green, Tracy Chapman, Gomez, The Dandy Warhols, American Music Club, Blitzen Trapper, The Black Keys, and on and on... also including Liam Finn. It's for sure a long, long line of entertainers from a variety of genres.

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Liam Finn articles/reviews: FOMO, I'll Be Lightning, The Nihilist.

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