‘Half Heard’ by Rob Finlay - sensitive, engrossing narrative songs(October 20, 2016)
There must be little more devastating for a musician than hearing loss. That’s the experience of singer songwriter Rob Finlay. The title of his latest EP, ‘Half Heard’ makes a blackly humourous and somewhat wry stab at the fact that he has lost the hearing in his right ear. Disability aside, ‘Half Heard’ although clearly inspired in part by his condition, is no maudlin wallow in pity. ‘Half Heard’ is a short but impressive collection of sensitive, engrossing narrative songs that look at the human condition ... reflections of love, experiences of pain, loss and finding.
He possesses the finely judged delivery of the troubadour, which with voice and guitar allows Finlay to deliver powerful messages for his audience ... it’s easy to ‘live’ within his songs and experience the intense lyrics as they touch you. There’s an eclectic mix to this album, acoustic folk clearly born from these islands laced with an Americana tinge, there’s also those storylines that pull the listener into the tales. The inward look of ‘All the Words’ is followed by the harrowing ‘Emily’ ... a tale of abuse, murder and retribution ... there’s the tender narrative of ‘Close Your Eyes’ before Finlay powerfully relates the story of a tragic heroine through ‘Joan’.
Rob states that playing live and rehearsing confront him with difficulties, that's hardly surprising, however ‘Half Heard’ reflects a man sometimes confined by his hearing loss not defined by it. As with every EP that hits the spot, this one leaves you wanting more.
Joining Rob Finlay (guitars, vocals) on ‘Half Heard’ are Dan Earley (percussion) Jo Silverston (cello) and Anna Jenkins (violin).
Review: Tim Carroll