Finneas O’Connell: Though the name might sound unfamiliar to the average person, Finneas O’Connell, or simply FINNEAS, is the mastermind writer and producer behind the success of his sister, Billie Eilish.
Lately, however, he has been busy developing a unique sound of his own.
FINNEAS’ debut EP, “Blood Harmony,” is raw and unabashedly poignant, exploring emotions that range from desperation and fear to acceptance and hope.
Ever the master storyteller, FINNEAS in “Blood Harmony” spins the tale of a young man falling in, out of and eventually back into love. From radio-pop hits that call to mind the Jonas Brothers or Carrie Underwood to stripped-down acoustic ballads, FINNEAS explores the less-discussed aspects of human emotion.
Track by track, he takes the listener on a journey down memory lane‒a voyage that already has audiences across the globe in tears.
1. “I Lost a Friend”
The EP begins with a story of recovery, describing healing from the conclusion of a treasured friendship. In this tender piano ballad, the speaker lies awake as he questions his own ill decisions. FINNEAS concludes the chorus with “How the hell did I lose a friend I never had?” This song is especially moving, as the emotions expressed in this song mirror universally experienced feelings towards losing a friend.
While “I Lost a Friend” is a slow, plaintive melody, “Shelter” contrasts, providing a unique sound that is melancholy yet upbeat. In this song, FINNEAS experiences what seems on the surface to be love, but clearly has undertones of insecurity and desperation. He sings, “‘Cause the way you love me // I could drink a river dry and still die of thirst,” alluding to the fact that his lover’s affection will never be enough and what FINNEAS really needs is to feel secure himself. Ultimately, this song is about desperately wanting to be loved rather than love itself.
3. “Lost My Mind”
The third installment in the EP, “Lost My Mind,” follows FINNEAS as he falls in love for real. As he sings “Please forgive me I can’t sleep at night // At least not alone, not anymore // Not since I found what I never went looking for,” we see FINNEAS falling in love. Juxtaposing against the desperate call for affection in “Shelter,” this frank confession is the climax to the story. Since he has fallen in love, FINNEAS’ wishes are fulfilled.
4. “I Don’t Miss You at All”
Supplemented by minimal electronic beats and echoes, this song finds FINNEAS sarcastically denying his affection for his now-former lover. As he tries to prove that he doesn’t miss her, FINNEAS ends up listing all of the things he loves about her: her eyes, smile, scent and sense of humor. This song in particular is an example of his witty metaphoric language that never fails to astound. “A shade of green that if he’d seen would make F. Scott Fitzgerald cry” is one example, alluding to the famed “Great Gatsby” author who also wrote about love lost. This song’s acidic jests make this the best “Blood Harmony” song.
5. “Partners in Crime”
The fifth “Blood Harmony” song finds FINNEAS in a unique bond with his ex-lover, one he describes as being “partners in crime.” The limbo between romantic and platonic affection is explored in this song, as FINNEAS asks, “Did we look like lovers or partners in crime?” The minimalist guitar melody is evocative and quietly mournful, as FINNEAS reminisces to find the reason his relationship ended.
6. “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night”
The EP’s penultimate song is one of FINNEAS’ hit singles from late last year. If “Blood Harmony” asks the question “What is love,” “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” answers the question with “temporary.” This more upbeat song takes a cynical, prideful approach to human emotion, as FINNEAS croons, “I know better than to call you mine.”
7. “Die Alone”
As a proclamation of FINNEAS’ never-ending love for his partner, “Die Alone” finishes up the emotional voyage. Starting out leisurely and transitioning into a chorus with the most intense vocals in the EP, this song proclaims loyalty, crooning “I’d rather try to hold onto you forever.” As opposed to “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” where FINNEAS describes love as temporary, “Die Alone” finds him humbled and ready to stay by his lover’s side until death. This powerful piano ballad perfectly wraps up the album.
Ultimately, “Blood Harmony” is not a celebration, not a denouncement, but a sincere depiction of love and all the emotions that come with it. Its humility and sincerity make it feel like FINNEAS is not some musician on a pedestal looking down at the rest of the lowly human world, but a friend sharing a campfire conversation.
FINNEAS is not just Billie Eilish’s brother. He’s the big brother we all need.