Album Review: FINNEAS Shines from the Shadows on Blood Harmony
Emerging from the shadow of his sister Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell finds himself within the notes of his new EP Blood Harmony. His raw vulnerability and reflection on love, sorrow, and longing prove he is the next big thing.
Written by Maride Espada
Having written top chart songs such as “bad guy,” “ocean eyes,” and “when the party’s over,” the talent that Finneas O’Connell holds can’t go unnoticed. Stylistically known as FINNEAS with his solo work, a large portion of the musician’s songwriting is handed to his sister, Billie Eilish, who has made a name for herself through her melodic and unique voice. However, Finneas has finally grown into his own act by creating a universal album centered on life and the various emotions within it.
Unlike the dark and unsettling tunes of when we all fall asleeep, where do we go, Billie’s most recent album, Blood Harmony, has a soulful sadness that tears at the heart. With songs such as “I Lost a Friend,” Finneas makes a raw cry for lost friendships. In the line “'Cause he made a little too much money to be 20 and sad,” he reflects on the idea that simply having material items doesn’t make a person feel any less sorrow. Life goes on, friends come and go, and Finneas iterates a pain that most people can relate to. Finneas finds ways to portray real emotions through the slow, bass notes that call out to his regret within the lyrics.
Alongside the ideal of regret, Finneas perpetuates various emotional whirlwinds that could resonate with his audience — emotions that everyone has felt, but may not always express into the vulnerability of words. With themes ranging from hopelessness and denial to love, infatuation, and confusion, he recalls the moments in which these feelings occurred and expresses them to the world. He gives this album a storytelling quality and, in turn, a deeper comprehension as to why he feels this way.
The last track on Blood Harmony, “Die Alone,” seems to be the spiritual counterpart to Billie Eilish’s “ilomilo.” Both tracks, written by Finneas, call out to loneliness and the fear of separation. “ilomilo” is a cry out to love, stating that being alone is an ideal that cannot be fathomed. This track pays homage to the videogame Ilomilo, which is won by keeping the two characters together — the sentiment is metaphorically portrayed through the song. However, in “Die Alone,” Finneas pleads to his lover to stay with him no matter what hardships occur, even if the world were to end, which is reflected in the lyrics “I know there's nothin' I'll ever find better / I think I'd rather die alone, together.”
The raspy, raw, unique range of Finneas’ voice adds to the beautiful progression of catchy tunes within each song. As Finneas stated in an interview with NME Magazine, “the most common use of the term ‘Blood Harmony’ is an English expression for what it sounds like when siblings sing together, that biological chemistry,” expressing the deep connection that he has with Billie. However, this EP shines a light on him as a solo act, and the fantastic music that is made while doing so.
Throughout this project Finneas focuses on the hidden emotional aspects of his life and the empowering way that vulnerability can shape music. Each lyric tugs at the heart and creates a depth that Finneas has a true talent in creating. With Blood Harmony, a new age of music is seen on the horizon: one full of beauty, wonder, and pain. The strength of his songs gives Finneas the spotlight and gives listeners new talent to watch out for in upcoming years.