The O’Connell household in Los Angeles is home to one of the biggest musical duos of the year. Inside the cramped bungalow is a studio belonging to the children of the family—Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas. The former has become a household name, but the latter is slightly less known, clinging to his producer title rather than the face on the cover of the hit album.
But when stripped away from the duo, the pared–back sound of FINNEAS (his stage name) is definitely a deviation from his production on his sister's WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?. The dentist visit samples and horror movie imagery found on that album are gone, replaced by raw revelations and heartfelt ballads. FINNEAS' recently–released EP, Blood Harmony, features seven tracks that all follow the thread of failed love.
The EP comes to his audience after a sporadic stream of singles throughout his solo musical career. He writes his music mainly on the road, given that he performs with Eilish on her tours. However, his music–writing career stems far back, as he was the spearhead of the alt–pop band The Slightly's, based in Los Angeles. Blood Harmony, being his first major solo project, has been highly anticipated by his fans who have not felt satiated by his handful of music videos and tracks.
Since he's associated with the dark quirkiness that permeates Billie Eilish's music, it's surprising to listen to the consistently flat nature of Blood Harmony, both lyrically and sonically. It offers the details of a heartsick boy's confessions, but doesn't do it in a fresh or innovative manner. The opener, “I Lost A Friend,” is four minutes of FINNEAS aching over exactly what the title suggests, through a variety of similes. “I lost a friend / Like keys in a sofa / Like a wallet in the backseat” he sings, and the song doesn't progress from there.
“Shelter,” sounds like it could fit perfectly on the tracklist of Ed Sheeran’s 2014 album x, as its booming chorus and snappy verses are paired with an emotional singing style. Once again, FINNEAS lacks lyrical depth as he uses figurative language to convey his romantic turmoil and desire. He is pleading for his loved one to take him as their own, so he can feel complete.
Where the broken–hearted theme of the EP works strongest, however, is in “I Don’t Miss You At All." Here, FINNEAS wallows in his own sadness over a lost lover, but makes it witty, putting up the pretense that he doesn’t dream about them often or recall the scent of their pheromones. The production on it is relaxed and silly as well, mirroring the humor in the lyrics and coming closer to easy listening than anything else.
Overall, Blood Harmony is exactly what you might expect from a rising artist. It isn't groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it does not have to be. FINNEAS has proven his talent through the monumental success of his production—now, he's beginning to gain traction on his own. This work offers little more than a longing to be loved, but its a start, which is valuable nonetheless.