One Piece At A Time is the first solo release from Finn Andrews, frontman of indie rockers The Veils. Musically, its ten tracks are a long way from the often dark and atmospheric sounds of his band’s work. Instead, much of this album is slow and piano based, and very emotional with an almost theatrical vibe.
Recorded in New Zealand, where Andrews spent much of his childhood, the songwriting is far more personal than anything in The Veils’ catalogue. The album was written immediately after a relationship breakdown, which perhaps explains the downbeat tone, although the listener is ultimately left with a sense of someone who is moving on.
The opening track and first single is Love, What Can I Do? The raw and stark arrangement backs vocals recorded in a single take. The song is powerful and the strings that come in midway add to the dramatic feel. It’s one to be sung late at night in a smoky bar with the lights low. Hollywood Forever has perhaps the best melody on the album, a complex piano piece with lyrics full of varied imagery.
A Shot Through The Heart (Then Down In Flames) is another track with shifting melodies and a complex arrangement that works well, while One By The Venom stands out as different to the rest of the album. A darkly chilling list song, it details more than forty ways to die over a fine string arrangement. The closing track Don’t Close Your Eyes brings the album to an end on an uplifting note, the hope that comes from working through sorrow and towards a new beginning made clear.
Fans of The Veils will perhaps be surprised with the direction that Finn Andrews’ first solo release has taken. But the quality of the songwriting raises what could be a rather depressing set of songs into an album that is both sensitive and emotionally charged. One Piece At A Time is well worth a listen.
Release date: 15 March 2019