Fink || Hard Believer

Dragostea la prima ascultare este cand auzi un cantec si stii imediat ca va deveni obsesia ta pentru urmatoarele cateva zile, sau saptamani, sau, in cazuri extreme, luni. Aceasta dragoste la prima ascultare este destul de rara, asa ca atunci cand apare trebuie imbratisata si mentinuta cat mai mult posibil.


Ultima mea mare dragoste la prima ascultare a fost Looking Too closely. Am auzit-o pe eclecticfm, am ciulit instant urechea, am intrat pe pagina sa vad cine canta si am vazut ca e vorba de ilustrul necunoscut, pentru mine, Fink. In necunostinta mea, m-am gandit: „Ce bine suna baiatul asta nou. De unde o fi aparut?” Apoi am inceput loop-ul obisnuit al amorului muzical abia descoperit, fara sa-mi mai bat capul cu detalii. L-am intrerupt pentru ca venea Summer Well-ul si trebuia sa-mi iau portia de The National de dinainte de concert. Cand a trecut suficient timp cat sa-mi revin din euforia live-ului am reluat de unde am lasat, cu intensitatea caracteristica pasiunii neterminate. De data asta am purces si la o cautare aprofundata si am aflat, cu maxima uimire, ca „baiatul asta nou” nu e tocmai nou, ca face muzica de prin 1997, a fost o vreme DJ, a scos un album singurel si apoi a mai cooptat niste oameni si a scos inca patru albume cu ei. Adica este de ceva vreme in bransa, stie ce face si asta se aude. Am mai aflat ca Looking Too Closely e doar o piesa de pe albumul cu numarul cinci, lansat in iulie si intitulat Hard Believer. Asa ca am luat la ascultat. Si am dat peste niste muzica faina. Nu sunt eu extrem de priceputa si docta intr-ale muzicii, dar as indrazni sa spun ca atunci cand asculti piesa dupa piesa, in prima auditie, si toate iti suna bine, artistul a facut ceva cum trebuie acolo.

Sunt 10 piese in total si reusesc sa compuna un ansamblu unitar si sa fie diferite, in acelasi timp, ceea ce nu cred ca e tocmai usor. Looking Too Closely ramane parca, pentru mine, cea mai sonora si complexa. Probabil si pentru ca a fost prima si s-a imprimat altfel. Imi place ca incepe usor, creste treptat, iti ofera un respiro si apoi porneste iar, si mai intens. Iar la final se linisteste brusc. E genul de piesa pe care la un concert initial te legeni usor, apoi te agiti frenetic si apoi te opresti abrupt. Ca pe acelasi tipar al calmului cu valuri merg si Pilgrim, Shakespeare si Too Late. Registrul este schimbat usor pentru Two Days Later, Green And The Blue, Keep Falling si Truth Begins, care sunt mai linistite, relaxate si constante. La White Flag stiu ca mi-am spus „asta e altceva” cand am ascultat-o prima data. E sigura piesa care face o usoara nota discordanta. E minimalista si ciclica, fara prea multe versuri, si ma gandesc ca e influentata de stilul de inceput adoptat de Fink si de anii in care a fost DJ. Cat despre Hard Believer, care da si numele albumului, primele acorduri m-au dus cu gandul la Rodriguez. Totul tine de chitara.

Din punctul meu de vedere, tinand cont ca abia l-am descoperit pe Fink si fara a ma putea raporta la ce a facut in trecut, Hard Believer e un album fain. Si numai bun de toamna, pentru ca e cald si linistit pe alocuri, si rascolit de furtuni din cand in cand, genul de melancolie dulce-amaruie, de ascultat cand cad frunzele.

Love at first listen is when you hear a song and immediately realize that it will become your obsession for the next couple of days, or weeks, or, in extreme cases, months. This love at first listen is pretty rare, so, when it occurs it must be embraced and maintained for as long as possible.

My latest great love at first listen was Looking Too Closely. I heard it on eclectifm, I pricked my ears up, checked out the page to see who’s playing and saw that it was the illustrious unknown, to me, Fink. In my ignorance, I thought: “Man, this new guy sounds great. I wonder where he came from.” Then I proceeded with the usual newly found musical romance loop, without bothering with the details. Then came the summer vacation and other things occupied my mind and I put it aside for a while. Around the start of the autumn season, I stumbled upon it again, picking up where I left off, with the intensity characteristic to the unfinished passion. This time I did a deeper investigation and found out, with grand amazement that “the new guy” wasn’t quite that new, that he’s been making music since 1997, that he was a DJ for a while, did an album on his own and then got together with some other people and released four more albums alongside them. That is to say he’s been in the business for a long time, he knows what he’s doing and you can hear that in his music. I also found out that Looking Too Closely is just one of the songs on album number 5, launched in July and called Hard Believer. So I gave a listen to the whole thing and I discovered some really awesome stuff. I’m not extremely savvy and competent when it comes to music, but I dare say that when you listen to song after song, for the first time, and every single one sounds good, the artist must have done something right.

There are 10 tunes all together and they manage to compose a seamless ensemble and be different, at the same time, which is not exactly easy. Looking Too Closely I think remains, to me, the most resonant and complex one. Probably because it was the first one I listened to and it’s imprinted on my memory in a different way. I like it because it starts slowly, it grows gradually, it lets you breath for a moment and then it starts again, with even more intensity. And in the end it calms down suddenly. Pretty much the same patter, of wavy calm, works for Pilgrim, Shakespeare and Too Late. The registry is slightly changed for Two Days Later, Green And The Blue, Keep Falling and Truth Begins, that are calmer, more relaxed and constant. For White Flag I recall thinking „this is something else”, when I heard it for the first time. It’s the only song that is somewhat inconsistent with the general sound of the album. It’s minimal and cyclical, with no lyrics, and I’m thinking it’s influenced by Fink’s early style and his DJ years. As for Hard Believer, that gives the title of the album, the first notes made me think of Rodriguez. It’s all about the guitar.

As far as I’m concerned, and considering I’ve only just discovered Fink and I cannot refer to his past work, Hard Believer is a great album. And it is perfect for this autumn, because it is warm and calm here and there, and ruffled by storms from time to time, the kind of bitter-sweet melancholy, to be listened to as the leaves fall down.