Sound:

Singer songwriter and filmmaker Rob Finlay offers a heady mix of dreamy elegant folk and classic rock with an edgy acoustic twist. Poetic song writing and soaring vocals create an epic and atmospheric backdrop for lyrical themes to which everyone can relate. All this wrapped up tight in a dynamic and melodic delivery.

Reviews:

“Robʼs single Stone Dead and Rising proved popular with readers of my Fresh On The Net Blog and among listeners of our BBC Introducing Mixtape where I featured it the following week… Call Rob a songwriter or call him a singer – both of which he patently is – but not a singer-songwriter. He’s so much better than that”.
Tom Robinson – BBC 6 Music

“Technically, Rob is from London, not Ireland, but his songs conjure similar images of desolate, rain-soaked fields of green hills, trees poking through the mist, time standing still in an endless embrace of the somber.  Lead off single “Stone Dead & Rising” is a prime example of the skill Rob weaves through is tales.  Moody to the point of heartbreaking, Rob’s voice soars and undulates around the mournful melody.  Lavish production fleshes this song out, and after hearing it, I’d be convinced it’s an ageless classic from the misty northlands of England.  But all 10 songs are just as strong, a mix of the gentle acoustic tenderness of “She’s Give Up on Today,” and the more rousing “Hero.” Start to finish, it’s an album of uncompromising vision and beauty.  My new theme for the pensive moods”.
Todd Severin – http://ripplemusic.blogspot.co.uk/

Background:

Singer Songwriter and Filmmaker Rob Finlay has an unusual story. His passion for music certainly came from his parents; even before he was born his Mum was beaming Bob Dylan directly into his brain via headphones on her tummy. Rob grew up in Hertfordshire, U.K. and as a child his parents took him to festivals, in particular the London Feis, where he first saw Dylan and ‘Van the Man’ aged seven.  These formative experiences shaped his desire to listen to and eventually write music himself. He started Spanish guitar lessons around the same time, and wrote his first song Distant Youth at the tender age of 13, a title that seems ironic to him now.

Rob’s teens brought him closer to the excitement of live music as he discovered artists outside of his parents’ record collections. A friend’s mum worked on Top of the Pops and he would often go backstage; meeting REM was the first time he would recall being “star struck”. Rob’s Dad worked in the British Film Industry as a painter, and over the years Rob met a lot of film faces, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Roger Moore and Matt Damon to mention a few.  These influences led him to develop parallel interests in film and music.

Rob formed his first band Captain Davenport aged 17.  They gigged around London at the Bull and Gate, Horn Re-Born, Covent Garden Rock Garden and local pubs.  On Millennium New Year’s Eve they were paid to perform for BBC staff in the Top of the Pops Green Room, playing originals and covers. Then at Bristol University as Vice President of Churchill Hall, he ran a Drum & Bass Night and FIN’s Acoustic Café, a popular showcase for student talent.

After graduating Rob wrote and directed a short film called The Telephone staring British-American actor Philip Winchester, known for his roles in The Patriot, Thunderbirds, CSI: Miami, King Lear, Flyboys and Fringe.  The film featured Rob’s music compositions and was screened at the Curzon in Soho.

Rob established a film and animation company called Previsualisation Ltd.  He won the Creative East Awards Best Non-Broadcast Production 2007 for an educational DVD read by Sir Tony Robinson. Around the same time he made a music video for Jamaican reggae legend Dawn Penn for her track ”Never Hustle the Music”.

Since 2005 Rob has worked from Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.  Big music acts rehearse for tours there, and for Rob it’s an inspiration to know that Radiohead, Iron Maiden, Muse, Foo Fighters or Pink Floyd are sometimes just meters away. In 2006 Rob met Peter Waterman and Simon Cowell at Elstree when they gave Simon a plaque to commemorate his achievements in the music industry.

In 2011 Rob decided it was time to really focus on songwriting and performing so he formed a band to record and release his début album, “These Words Aren’t Meant For Me” (under the name FIN), through his label Written Records Ltd. and thanks to his film experience he also creates his own music videos.

In 2012 / 2013 Rob embarked on a tour around the USA, performing in cities including New York, San Francisco, LA, and Las Vegas.  His music video for Your Last Line is comprised of footage from this trip, and can be seen on YouTube and Vimeo. Rob is attending SXSW 2014.

Awards:

- Vibe FM competition winner, selected to play Cassiobury Park to an audience of 40,000 (Nov 2012)
- Shortlisted for Best Folk Act, Exposure Music Awards (2012)
- Shortlisted for Best Live Act, Exposure Music Awards (2012)
- Selected to perform live at Cargo Exposure Music Awards (Oct 2012)
- Regional Finalist, Open Mic UK (2012)
- Semi Finalist, Surface Festival, O2 Islington & 229 The Venue (2012)

Influences…

Tori Amos, Goo Goo Dolls, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Rush & Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Eagles, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers, Nick Drake, Bob Mould, Neil Young, Soundgarden, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot and traditional music played raw in the pubs of Ireland.

Rob’s Thoughts…

“I’m often at odds with the intention of writing a song.  It’s impossible to hold up a mirror to the world and expect everyone to see the same thing. To me words, like dreams, flow in strange, vivid, and sometimes elusive ways. I try to write and sing what I feel when I look into the mirror, different though it may be each time.  It’s been said that my songs convey a feeling of the epic but actually they are more about the small moments, the cracks in time around big events, a look from a lover, the feeling of an empty room.  A lot of it boils down to what I feel personally is the strongest emotion of all  – nostalgia. In its various forms it can hold lives to ransom, or offer hope that can push you on.  Life is full of so many bitter sweet freeze frames, snap shots in time that should be savoured whether they hurt or heal” Rob