Billie Eilish's brother, producer and co-writer moves away from his theatrical solo signature sound to combine earnestness and modern pop production
As producer, co-writer and live instrumentalist for his sister Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell has become one of the best and most forward-thinking new talents on the planet. Alongside this chart-topping desk wizardry, he’s managed to team being part of the buzziest double-act in the world with a slew of solo singles.
Starting in 2016 with the theatrical ‘New Girl’, which perhaps drew on his experience as a child actor in Glee and Modern Family among others, he’s steadily put out new material over the last few years, and has built a profile as an earnest, crooning singer-songwriter.
It’s on debut EP ‘Blood Harmony’, though, that the two worlds of Finneas begin to make sense and melt together. While there’s nothing nearly as abrasive as the gloopy, hyper-modern beats of ‘Bad Guy’ or ‘Bury A Friend’ here, his production work does shine through more. Where ‘New Girl’ and early singles were angled straight for Broadway, the songs on ‘Blood Harmony’ keep the exquisite songwriting, but update the formula with fresh, modern production tweaks.
Recent single ‘I Lost A Friend’ starts as a run-of-the-mill, earnest singer-songwriter tune, but soars towards the end of stabs of distorted bass that feel distinctly related to those on ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’. Elsewhere, ‘Shelter’ is a vibrant, shuffling pop song whose production saves its average lyrics, while ‘I Don’t Miss You All’ circles around a simple, catchy synth line. As much as ‘Blood Harmony’ shows off Finneas’ production prowess, it knows when to not overdo things too.
His vocal range is best shown off on single ‘Let’s Fall In Love For The Night’, which sees him flitting between falsetto flutters and something approaching a rap, with decent results on both ends.
“The most common use of the term ‘Blood Harmony’ is an English expression for what it sounds like when siblings sing together, that biologic chemistry,” Finneas has said of the EP’s title. “I think that speaks for itself.” Though he’s less renowned than his world-famous sister, ‘Blood Harmony’ is a step towards Finneas carving out his own space.
Release date: October 4