Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

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Fink: Truth Begins
Fink: Hardbeliever (Ninja Tunes)

The first and only time Fink (known as Fin Greenall to his family) has appeared at Elsewhere was with his debut album Biscuits for Breakfast and although his career gone extremely well for this Britsh DJ, singer-songwriter and producer, he still sounds glum'n'moody.

Which is no bad thing as he brings an intensity that is convincing, and he can back it all up with memorable melodies.

Here the song Shakespeare (why teach the Bard, you read all about love but learn nothing when it hits or departs) is an acoustic ballad (with discreet electronics) which swells to big Coldplay-shaped pop around its midpoint before going back to basics.

Fink -- who co-wrote Half Time with Amy Winehouse -- which appeared on her posthumous Lioness album -- has said of Hardbeliever "We wanted to go deeper this time and be more ambitious with the music" and it is certainly both of those.

The funereally slow White Flag here has a powerful sense of foreboding as it echoes dub-like and increases in intensity as the piano chords pound, and Pilgrim drives along like a Feelies track gone folksy before repeating with oppressive menace "from small beginnings come big endings".

True in this case.

Somewhere between folk and electronica (he's the first singer-songwriter signed to Ninja Tune), this time out Fink could have as much appeal to Ben Harper and David Gray fans as he does to the NTune followers.  

He bring those DJ sensibilities to his material (beats but from a real kit, quasi-ambient settings, sometimes surroundsound production, electronica) which lift the spare songs into a wider realm.

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