Album Reviews: Finneas and PinkPantheress.
What a strange situation Finneas O’Connor is in. Better known as Finneas, the brother and producer of Billie Eilish released a sadly mellow debut album that ironically bears the name Optimist: It is clear that he still has gasoline in the tank for his own work.
Most of the songs here are about some kind of disappointment or a pessimistic view of the future. Some are relatable, such as “A Concert 6 Months From Now”, where he wonders if it will create a new relationship, and some less, like in the Hollywood-sounding “Medieval” about the fleetingness of fame.
It is mainly written for piano, but too often sentimental and brooding. Occasionally it shines a little brighter, as in “The Kids Are All Dying”, which combines chord pounding in the style of “Bennie and the Jets” with hopefully tongue-in-cheek texts about the state of the world.
To be honest, it’s a bit of a downer.
Stream: Around my neck, happy now what they’re going to say about us
To hell with that is a stunning debut from the mysterious PinkPantheress, named after the TikTok account that made this British singer and producer famous a few months ago.
If you have teenagers at home, you might recognize Break It Off, which combines fast garage beats with Pantheress’ sweet voice, a catchy tune who has ruled the algorithms all summer.
There are also nine other unmistakable hits that skilfully interpolate the 90s hit “Flowers” from Sweet Female Attitude on “Pain” and the house classic “Gypsy Woman” on “I Must Apologise”.
These portions of nostalgic sampling paired with shimmering hyperpop production form a perfect glittering base. Pantheress has an ear for hooks, and their top lines dance overhead – just like you, should you be lucky enough to hear one of these tracks in one evening. A record that shines with a brilliance that others who hope for TikTok can only dream of.
Stream: Pain, just for me, break it off