Describing their music as “Folk-pop with occasional Celtic twists,” twin sister duo, Fionn, have established success through their one-of-a-kind sound and relatable heartfelt lyrics. Having been raised within a musically driven family, 20-year-old’s Alanna and Brianne Finn-Morris seem to have been destined into the life of singer-songwriters.
Learning both piano and guitar at a young age, Fionn took to busking streets at the tender age of 12 showcasing their raw talent and undeniable drive. Equipped with this growing musical gift and unmistakable resilience, Fionn is presently preparing to release their self-titled debut album on October 26th via 604 Records.
We recently communicated with Fionn to discuss their many female influences, how being twins impacts their music, and from where they conjure their sincere lyrical content.
At what age did you both begin to play music/sing? What was it that inspired you to do so?
We’ve been music lovers since day one! Both of our parents are classically trained piano players; our mom owns a music school in our hometown, and our dad emigrated from Ireland to Canada in an Irish show-band. They met teaching at the same music school downtown. Always big music fans of every genre you could think of, we remember spending a lot of time with them as young kids at the giant HMV in downtown Vancouver. Music always seemed to be the most important thing in our lives; the reason our dad came to Canada, the reason our parents met, and what our mother did for a living. We started playing piano when we were five, but always knew we wanted to sing and play guitar, even making all of our stuffed animals into a family band that traveled the world.
How do you feel being twins has impacted the music you create and the path in which your career has taken?
A twin bond is like no other relationship, you have a built-in soul mate. This kind of connection is a big asset when it comes to creating and playing music. We are able to feed off of each other’s energy and can always anticipate each other’s actions. We think this just comes from knowing somebody in a way you will never know anyone else. We also keep each other very motivated, especially when it comes to songwriting. We would say there is a bit of healthy competition that goes on between us, but we are always really honest with each other if we think a song needs work. The common goal is to have good material, and we are always working to get better and give each other unbiased opinions.
What female musicians motivate and influence your sound?
Among many, we love Lorde, Florence and the Machine, Sinead O’Connor, Sza, and Jessie Reyez. Our super cool producer, Louise Burns, has also been a huge inspiration to us. We appreciate strong and thoughtful lyrics, and all of these women are able to tell amazing stories through their songs. Strong, successful women in the music industry are very inspirational; it can be an unforgiving world and women who put themselves out there will always be picked apart at by the media, no matter who they are. It takes an enormous amount of bravery and love for yourself to share your passion without letting people’s negative opinions affect you.
During the early days of your career busking streets, what did you learn about being an artist and did that impact the approach you each had towards your career?
We learned at the age 12 to be able to get up in any situation and entertain without stage fright. We will always be very grateful for that experience as it was essential for our growth and development, not only as a musical act but as people. You come across every kind of person when you are busking and get to watch how music affects people on a very human and intimate level. We were just two awkward 12-year-olds with funny haircuts, but busking gave us the confidence we’ve needed so far in this industry.
To someone who may have never heard Fionn before, how would you describe your sound?
Folk-pop with occasional Celtic twists!
Here at Guitar Girl Magazine, we love seeing girls killing it on guitar! Do you have a favorite brand and what would you say to other girls striving to learn the instrument?
Brianne: I have a Taylor Guitar that is my baby, but there are so many good brands out there, I’m not completely stuck on just one. Guitar is a bit of a learning curve at the beginning, but the more you play and the more you put yourself out there, the easier and more rewarding it will be. It is one of the greatest joys in my life and my biggest songwriting tool. Feeling one with my guitar on a stage is a spiritual experience, almost like having an extra limb. There is nothing cooler than a good female guitar player; so just keep playing, you are only going to get better with time!
Your debut album is coming out October 26th, very exciting! What was your goal behind producing this album?
Our goal was to make an album that would express the precious but confusing time of life that we experienced being in our late teens, new to the real world.
Could you tell us a bit about your writing process? When/where you each prefer to write and what inspires you to do so?
Brianne: My writing process is very internal and still a mystery to me. I almost have to get myself in a meditative state, sometimes starting with excessive guitar noodling, and sometimes writing a stream of consciousness in my songbook. There will usually be a vague image in my head, a sort of feeling I want the song to portray. I like to be by myself in a safe place, usually my room, with my essential oil diffuser on. Listening to music inspires me and just the people and events in my everyday life.
Alanna: I usually like to write in the late afternoon or evening in my bedroom. I find that I need to have my own personal space in order for my creativity to flow, and I like to start late since I’m not much of a morning person. I usually start by opening up my notes on my phone, where I write ideas and song titles that come to me throughout the day. From there, I pick a title, a concept, and give my best shot! I’ll usually write a couple of half songs (just the first verse and chorus) then a couple of hours later I will decide which one is the best and continue working on it. I’m not always inspired, but I still try to write almost every day in hopes that a wave of creativity will hit me. Even now, I still never know when one will.
“Magazine Face” is a song with an incredibly important message. Could you tell our readers why this song’s message is so significant and what provoked you to write it?
Alanna: I wrote “Magazine Face” when I was 17 years old and feeling angry about the toxic ideas that the media had fed me since I was a child. I remember being eight years old watching my favorite pop stars, looking forward to growing up just so I could be beautiful and desirable. When I finally got to the point where my physical appearance was at its peak, I realized that looking beautiful didn’t change how I felt about myself and that it didn’t give me the satisfaction that I thought it would. Modern society trains us to put most of our self-worth into our appearances and in this generation it’s hard to ignore. With social media constantly throwing pictures of “perfect” people in our faces, it’s easy to give into a ”Magazine Face” mentality and to prioritize looks over everything else.
Do you each have a favorite track or one that you feel most proud to have written?
Brianne: I am most proud of the song “Castles.” It is a therapeutic song for me, I wrote it at a time in my life where I was dealing with a lot of change and fear, wondering if my brain could ever handle all the pain attached to life. It was written from a dark place, but it ends with an outlook of hope for the future.
Alanna: I am most proud of “Magazine Face.” I’ve always loved listening to songs with integrity and important messages, so that fact that I was able to write a song that others think carries an important message warms my heart!
What do you hope listeners take away from experiencing your upcoming album?
We hope that listeners can relate to our experiences and help them feel less alone in their ideas!