27 Nov 2022

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Finn Johansson - Single Review: You Look Down At Me

08 Nov 2022 // A review by Jack Grabham

I am SO having a golden run with these reviews! Yet another that has sent me to that place I like to go.

Finn Johansson is a very interesting guy. I like unorthodox. In his own words, he's fully immersed himself in Finn Johansson’s Nine To Five, a wild crowdfunding operation where he pumps out music during live-streamed consecutive 40 hour work weeks. This latest track, You Look Down At Me, is part of the 9-5 season 1 mixtape, launching on November 18th, and is the first release from this project.

Listening to the lyrics, Finn is musing as to where our minds take us while we carry out the banalities of life's day-to-day grind. Me likie already. Then we look at the recording process.

He recorded it in several locations. His van (!), his room, his friend Dick Whyte's room, and laid down the percussion in the home studio of Wellington's Earth Tongue members Gussie and Ezra. Finn engineered, then the aforementioned Dick Whyte mixed and mastered under the professional pseudonym DYKT in what I am surprised to discover is his debut work. Why? Because if you're an Indie fan, this is what you need to pay attention to.

The composition, mix and master run really smooth while retaining that essential organic vibe that makes Indie something not fake or try-hard. The orchestration is really groovy. A bass-laden intro that put me in mind of early Fur Patrol, a wildly likeable vocal performance that got me in mind of the Pixies and the Wannadies. A tracking that made me feel I was at a James show. A tune. An actual tune.

Yes, I refer to a number of Indie legends, but I'm not intending to suggest this is contrived, or some sort of over-influenced record. This makes me think of how cool it was to have been able to play live myself back in the day, and to create in one's own way. I'm saying it's true Indie - in that it inspires feelings of self, creativity, belonging yet being YOU.

Dick Whyte - DYKT - provided the synth bells. Albi & The Wolves member Pascal Roggen played the electric and acoustic violin parts. All other instruments were performed by the intriguing lead man himself.

Speaking of the violin. That part, when it comes in, feels very unencumbered by rigid form. Very loose. This enhances though, instead of detracting. It sounds like it's about to lose cohesion at any moment - but that doesn't happen. It's beautifully delivered and a sweet melody that sits really well with the mood.

Overall, I am smiling hugely. Fabulous song, well rounded and dripping professionalism.

Doin' time on the Wild Side.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Finn Johansson

Finn Johansson has been ebbing and flowing around the Wellington and European music scenes for a little while now, & after numerous band tours and bands Johnsonville City Nights, The Boxcar Rattle and Tommy and the Fallen Horses, radio/TV appearances and session work has released his debut album.

'Two Thousand And Fourteen' is the product of the titular year spent in Europe, and was written and recorded with Johansson's portable studio while he travelled, living on boats, farms and couches, and playing to living rooms, bars and theaters. He ran into a few hidden geniuses on the way, and they're on the record.

If you like handmade, electrical music and you like to laugh while feeling sad, then this is the ticket.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Finn Johansson


Two Thousand And Fourteen
Year: 2015
Type: Album

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