Hard Believer by Fink on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Not everyone is gonna dig it,” Fink wrote about his new release, Hard Believer. It's difficult to figure out whom he may have been talking about. The English artist (a former electronic DJ turned guitar-based singer/songwriter) has put out a string of records in his newish persona since 2006, and with Hard Believer, Fink (Fin Greenall) should be putting any doubts to rest. From the opening title track—with its stealthy, spare beat and Fink’s dusky vocals threading in and out of a bluesy tableaux—to the thrumming and slightly hopeful tune “Keep Falling,” a number of admirable touchstones come to mind: Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Elliott Smith. (The fantastic “Looking Too Closely” somehow conjures all three.) But Fink has his own sound, which is especially effective in the moments when he layers electronic atmospherics over or under the songs. See “White Flag,” with its hints of dub and squalling electronics, or the huge “Shakespeare,” which goes for the jugular just for the heck of it, leaving listeners both elated and spent. (And, indeed, “Why do they teach Shakespeare/When you’re only 16/No idea what it all means”?)

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Not everyone is gonna dig it,” Fink wrote about his new release, Hard Believer. It's difficult to figure out whom he may have been talking about. The English artist (a former electronic DJ turned guitar-based singer/songwriter) has put out a string of records in his newish persona since 2006, and with Hard Believer, Fink (Fin Greenall) should be putting any doubts to rest. From the opening title track—with its stealthy, spare beat and Fink’s dusky vocals threading in and out of a bluesy tableaux—to the thrumming and slightly hopeful tune “Keep Falling,” a number of admirable touchstones come to mind: Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Elliott Smith. (The fantastic “Looking Too Closely” somehow conjures all three.) But Fink has his own sound, which is especially effective in the moments when he layers electronic atmospherics over or under the songs. See “White Flag,” with its hints of dub and squalling electronics, or the huge “Shakespeare,” which goes for the jugular just for the heck of it, leaving listeners both elated and spent. (And, indeed, “Why do they teach Shakespeare/When you’re only 16/No idea what it all means”?)

TITLE TIME
5:25
6:05
5:03
7:02
5:40
6:18
5:04
5:10
4:15
4:29

About Fink

Fink is the recording moniker of Fin Greenall, who started out as a DJ/producer before progressing to making guitar-based folk/blues/indie music. Originally from Bristol, England, Greenall made his first steps in music by recording an ambient/downtempo album with Lee Jones (aka Hefner) that was eventually released under the name EVA by Kickin' Records in 1995. Billing himself as Fink, Greenall signed to Ninja Tune's Ntone imprint and released a pair of EPs, 1997's jungle-influenced Fink Funk and 1998's significantly more relaxed Front Side Blunt Side. These preceeded Fink's 2000 debut full-length, Fresh Produce, which continued in the chilled-out trip-hop direction of Front Side.

Greenall continued releasing electronic music as Sideshow, picking up the tempo a bit and leaning toward deep, dubby minimal techno. He released two Sideshow EPs on Will Saul's Simple Records before Saul and Greenall started the highly successful Aus Music label in 2006. By this point, his work as Fink had undertaken a stylistic change, largely abandoning electronics and focusing on acoustic-based blues and folk songwriting. With the addition of Tim Thornton on drums and Guy Whittaker on bass, Fink became a band, and released Biscuits for Breakfast on Ninja Tune in 2006. Distance and Time followed in 2007, with production work from Lamb's Andy Barlow. The album included the single "This Is the Thing," which was featured in the film Dear John.

In 2009, Fink released Sort of Revolution, which furthered and refined his songwriting and featured a collaboration with John Legend on "Maker." Perfect Darkness, from 2011, was produced by Billy Bush (Beck, Garbage) and garnered enough attention for Fink to be invited to perform with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. This concert was subsequently released as a live album in late 2013, and the studio album Hard Believer was released in July 2014, courtesy of Fink's Ninja Tune sublabel R'COUP'D. A collection of dubs from the album titled Horizontalism was released in May of 2015. Two Fink full-lengths appeared in 2017: Sunday Night Blues Club, Vol. 1 and Resurgam. ~ Steve Leggett & James Pearce

  • ORIGIN
    Bristol, Avon, England
  • FORMED
    1995

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