Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
If we were to take a certain selection of Liam Finn songs as the basis for our fundamental context for trusting others, we'd be horrendously hesitant to let anyone too close. We'd keep the chain bolted on our door as we cracked it to view whichever caller came knocking. We'd be trying to visually undress every sentence another person said. We'd read between the lines and we'd be constantly trying to see through people, positive that they were either hiding something from us or taking us to the cleaners, bilking us out of our precious safety. We hear Finn, the son of the legendary pop songwriter Neil Finn (of Split Endz and Crowded House), and Eliza Jane Barnes sing, "You're a cheat and a liar, with an honest face," on the song "Honest Face," from the 2009 EP, "Champagne In Seashells," and yet, it's not a one-time sentiment, but one that floats through the currents of that album as well as Finn's previous full-length offering, "I'll Be Lightning."
It's a sensation offered where we're to consider that everyone has a motive that might or might not be entirely just or responsible for feel-good endings. We feel as if we must keep an eye split for all of the characters that wander in and out of Finn's songs, as if they cannot be held responsible for their own inappropriateness. They could be great now, sweet and kind, but they are bound to disappoint you. Finn delivers his songs - especially those in which he duos with Barnes - with a pretty ring, making them sound like they should be sweeter than they actually are. They share some characteristics with old Simon & Garfunkel songs, with just as much drama and even more skepticism, as if most people within them shouldn't be trusted further than they can be thrown. We find the meaning to these people in the kindling that they lie at the base of their targets, at the feet of their presumed loved ones and then listen and watch as we see them cracking matches at the times that they feel are opportune for them.