Finneas O’Connell is quite young to have already spent nine weeks at the summit of Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts. At just 22 years old, he has accomplished this, won a ASCAP Vanguard Award and undeniably changed the direction of pop music in 2019.
He is best known as Billie Eilish’s partner in crime. As her older brother, he was the co-writer and producer on her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?”
But Finneas has a music career of his own. He’s released a steady stream of singles under his first name since 2018. He also frequently performs as one of Eilish’s opening acts.
Finneas released his debut EP “Blood Harmony” Oct. 4. The project is a stunning assertion of his own abilities — all seven tracks are written and produced by Finneas — and an honest evaluation of his life on the road for the past 18 months.
“At the beginning of 2019 I decided I wanted to make a collection of songs that encapsulated exactly what my life had felt like for the last 18 months … Almost every song was written and recorded in a hotel room, or a tour bus, or on an airplane, or in a dressing room while I was on tour with my sister. We’d walk off stage and I’d run straight into my dressing room and throw my headphones on and get back to work,” Finneas said in a press release about the project.
“Blood Harmony” is a mix of new and old songs. The oldest song on the project is a fan favorite, “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night.” Released last October, it is the standout among his early singles. It has effective lyrical story-telling and great melodies. It is a perfect combination of pop and singer-songwriter sensibilities. It also established his style as markedly different from his sister’s. While she pulled from dark moods and electronic synths, his music focused on brighter palettes and acoustic guitar.
“I Lost a Friend” opens “Blood Harmony.” The lyrics tell the relatable story of losing someone and trying to figure out what is to blame for the relationship falling apart. Finneas’ vocals carry the emotional weight of the lyrics and really give this song the extra edge. This slower ballad is immediately contrasted with the track “Shelter,” which is a riotous anthem reminiscent of early OneRepublic and Avicii tracks. It’s the most upbeat song on the project for sure.
“I Don’t Miss You At All” is one of the strongest tracks on the EP, both in terms of lyrics and production. The lyrics are carefully constructed lies that flip to reveal the truth. They are so detailed that it feels like it has to have been a lived experience, but Finneas has revealed that it is in fact completely made up. This display of imagination is a strength that both him and Billie share and is part of what makes their music so innovative. The production matches this creativity, transforming throughout the track, constantly adding new layers and refusing to be stagnant.
All of the tracks on “Blood Harmony” demonstrate how talented Finneas truly is. As a young voice in the industry, it will be interesting to see how his influence starts to permeate into other artists’ work. He has begun to co-write and produce for other artists, including Ashe, Rosalia and Camila Cabello. This is just the beginning for Finneas, and he’s already light years ahead of most.