Band To Watch

Band To Watch: SXSW Edition – Liam Finn

This week we’re revisiting and reflecting upon the original write-ups for some of our favorite Bands To Watch playing SXSW ’08…

We’re writing this from our day party during Liam Finn’s set, making the shaggy New Zealander a Band To Watch and reflect upon in more ways than one. He’s doing a great job. Letterman liked him, too.

Originally Published 9/27/07
We like to wait ’til we’ve got a full record to play with before whipping out the BTW brand, but one listen of the masterful pop composition “Second Chance” sealed 23-year-old Liam Finn’s fate with no need for second chances, or guesses. On his debut LP, the Kiwi takes all the writing credits and most of the musical ones, too, a one-man band approach apparently he recreates during his heralded live gigs, jumping from bass and guitar loops to the drums and back to the mic. Didn’t realize it at the time, but we saw him at Coachella, on stage with Crowded House. Nice gig, but there was a bit of nepotism to Liam’s securing that slot (note the last name). Royal rock pedigree, but more than just the name Liam got his pop Neil’s songcrafting genes.

The all-analog debut I’ll Be Lightning boasts 14 tracks, but like we said, all you’ll need is one pass at “Second Chance.” Lyrically haunted by demons and honest amnesia, Finn supplants the song’s mellow, wistful head for a jittery pop-noir shuffle suiting his tempo-driving drum fills. The track…

Liam Finn – “Second Chance” (MP3)

And a chance to watch him switch from guit to kit…

The CMJ bound have two chances to get a glance of Liam live, at Yep Roc’s proper showcase 10/18 or their party the following day. It’ll be awhile longer to get a copy of the full-length; I’ll Be Lightning is out in the States 1/22/08 on Yep Roc. Hear more at MySpace.

SXSW Schedule
3/14 @ The Ale House (Yep Rock Showcase)
3/15 @ SESAC Day Stage Cafe Austin Convention Center

Tags: Liam Finn