Album Reviews

Fink – Beauty In Your Wake

(Rcoupd) UK release date: 5 July 2024


Fin Greenall demonstrates his capacity to produce moments of quiet, unobtrusive beauty with songs that feel like a soundtrack for rebirth and renewal

Fink - Beauty In Your Wake About 18 years ago, Justin Vernon drove to a remote hunting cabin and recorded his debut album as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, in solitude. If there was ever a prime example of environment dictating mood, this was it – you could almost feel the pine trees gently blowing around Vernon as you listened to the album.

Although the circumstances are different for Fin Greenall’s eighth album, it’s a parallel worth drawing. Having been based in Berlin, Greenall relocated back to his home county of Cornwall, and took up residence in a newly built studio in Zennor, a tiny hamlet with a population of under 200 people.

While Greenall wasn’t on his own – Fink are actually a trio, with Tim Thornton and Guy Whittaker – it’s impossible not to think of Bon Iver when you hear Beauty In Your Wake. This is an album of music of a particularly windswept beauty, of a quiet intensity that could only be gained when perched on the edge of the country, facing out onto the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Opening track What Would You Call Yourself sets the tone nicely – simply a strummed acoustic guitar with Greenall singing about self-identity and childhood imaginations. There’s a steady momentum to the song as it goes on, almost threatening to explode in a joyous noise, but always staying slightly restrained.

As well as Bon Iver, there are definitely nods to fellow acoustic troubadour José González throughout the album. Follow You Down begins almost like a carbon copy of González’s cover of The Knife‘s Heartbeats before developing into its own, very different song. The delicate. hypnotic finger-picking of Be Forever Like A Curse is another highlight, its tale of immigration and forced migration lending the song a deliberately eerie air.

Things aren’t always so downbeat though. There’s a lovely little swing to the almost country lilt of It’s Like You Ain’t Mine No More, in which the trio (and producer Sam Okell) really play off each other – you can feel the chemistry between the musicians pouring though the speakers. There’s also an anthemic quality to The Only Thing That Matters, which begins as a stripped down ballad, before incorporating some subtle fiddle and mandolin, while the bluesy Don’t Forget To Leave is possibly the most arrestingly minimal track on the record.

The only issue that a more casual listener may have with Beauty In Your Wake is that its sometimes a bit too quiet and unobtrusive – and, on the first few listens, it feels a bit of a slog, as all the tracks seem to bleed into each other. By the time yet another acoustic piano ballad, So We Find Ourselves In Love With You (an ode to Greenall’s baby daughter), comes around, the gentle lull of the record may leave you yearning for something a bit more meaty to get your teeth into.

It’s probably the sort of album that you need to be in the right frame of mind to listen to, but Beauty In Your Wake shows that Fin Greenall and company can still produce moments of quiet, unobtrusive beauty – there are times that these songs feel like a soundtrack for rebirth and renewal.


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More on Fink
Fink – Beauty In Your Wake
This Music Made Me: Fink
Fink – Hard Believer
Fink – Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet
Interview: Fink