The Finn family has never failed to bring musical joy to my world. The configuration could be Neil and brother Tim in Split Enz, Crowded House or The Finn Brothers; Neil masterminding Crowded House, 7 Worlds Collide or solo work; Tim's solo and soundtrack contributions (The Coca Cola Kid); Liam Finn's wonderful, hit-the-ground-running, canon of music or the inclusion of Sharon and Elroy Finn (Neil's wife and son) with Pajama Club and 2014's Dizzy Heights record.
The guarantee that accompanies these projects is hours of melody rich, harmony filled, sweet and sour twists and turns within an indie pop/rock framework. Neil and Liam have previously worked together on a song or two and the simpatico was obvious. They share similar voice traits, but as songwriters, they travel confidently in different directions. Blended together, the listener is treated to lush musical gems that are supported equally by orchestral string arrangements and off-kilter, wonky samples and synths. It puts me in mind of Blur, the Verve and side two of Abbey Road. To quote Neil from his Enz days... "I Got You." Indeed.
In a world of throw away ep ventures, Sam Beam—aka Iron & Wine—has a reputation for producing some of his best work within those parameters. Look no further than "Woman King" or "In The Reins," an extended play release he made with Calexico. The story goes that 2017's "Beast Epic" contained a plethora of left over songs that though not quite up to blooming, contained strong seeds.
Much to the surprise of his record company and music reps, Sam assembled new players and found the beauty under the surface. "Milkweed" and "Talking to Fog," graced with simple acoustic guitar and cello, are among his most lilting and poignant.