width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>
story / Catherine Santino
If I had closed my eyes during Fionn’s intimate performance at The Standard, East Village in New York City this past summer, I would never have known they’re just 20 years old. Their sound is timeless: transcendent harmonies, soul-stirring melodies, and haunting lyrics take the listener out of the current moment and into another realm.
At the same time, they write songs about boys and heartbreak. The result is a breath of fresh air; soulful tracks with a youthful energy that you can’t get enough of.
The duo, comprised of twin sisters Brianne and Alanna Finn-Morris, grew up with musical parents; their mother owns a music school and their father emigrated to the U.S. in an Irish show band.
Their powerful new video for their song “Castles”, premiering exclusively on LADYGUNN today, showcases not only their immense talent but the exciting direction that their music is taking. Check out the video as well as our conversation with them below and be on the lookout for their debut album Fionn coming out on October 26th.
What musicians have influenced you? You’re both so young but have a very classic, soulful sound. Where does that come from?
Thank you so much! We’re influenced by a lot of different artists for different reasons. Hozier was a big influence on us; his lyrics and melodies are perfection to our ears. We also love Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Alanis Morrisette, Sinead O’Connor, Mitski, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, the list goes on.
Our parents were also big influences on us. Between playing us their favorite Elton John tracks, or dad playing the Bothy Band and Planxty over speakers on a Saturday morning, music was always being listened to and we were always absorbing it.
At your live show at The Standard, it seemed that each song was written by one of you or the other. Do you prefer to write songs this way, independently?
We prefer to write separately. We’ve always worked this way; we do most everything else together, so songwriting is a way of expressing ourselves individually. Once we have each completed a few songs, we’ll come together and edit the ones we feel good about, adding harmonies and maybe making slight changes.
Brianne: My writing process is internal and still pretty mysterious to me. Sometimes I start with some guitar noodling, and sometimes I write a stream of consciousness (maybe gibberish) in my songbook. There will usually be a vague image in my head, a sort of feeling or color I want the song to portray.
Alanna: Everyday when I’m out experiencing life, I come up with lines and general concepts for songs to write in notes on my phone. Then when I sit to write, I cherry pick my way through the ideas and write about one that speaks to me depending on my mood. When I can’t listen to a song objectively, I get my sister to listen to it. Since we are twins, I trust her opinion and trust that she will be completely honest (because sometimes siblings are a little TOO honest with each other).
What’s it like being creative partners with your sister?
It is very rewarding; this business could be pretty lonely for a solo act. We are lucky that we can keep each other grounded. We constantly inspire each other, which drives us to be better. As for challenges, our greatest challenge thus far would have to be when we decided to share one big suitcase on a month-long tour across the country. We are very close but maybe should’ve known that would be recipe for disaster…
Have you ever felt intimidated or taken advantage of as young women in the entertainment industry? How do you handle that?
We are very lucky to be surrounded by a great team at our label and have avoided any negative encounters so far. It is well known within the music industry that it is notorious for this kind of behavior, which is unacceptable. The only thing that comes to mind for us is a memory from when we were in Nashville as fresh-faced 14-year-olds. We can remember going to a songwriting meeting with a man who basically told us that we had a ten-year window to “make it” in this industry and that our “window” as women was a lot smaller than a man would be. Once the looks go, everything goes. We remember nodding and smiling at this concept at the time, but we wouldn’t be so quick to smile and nod anymore.
What upcoming music/projects are you working on that you can tell us about?
Our debut self-titled album is coming out October 26th! We’re very excited about it, as we started writing some of the songs for it when we were 17 and have been working on the recordings since we graduated high school in 2016. We’re always writing and working on new material, so more music is always on the horizon!
CONNECT WITH FIONN: