Fin Greenall is an enthusiast. Rather more so than you might expect, in fact, from someone with more than ten albums under their belt. Whether he’s talking about his new re-recorded acoustic retrospective collection IIUII (“it isn’t until it is”) with accompanying book of music and life memories, about his childhood in the English West Country, or everything in between – and this is someone who’s lived a life and a half of hard graft and hard gigging in electronic, acoustic and even pop music already – that enthusiasm bubbles like someone half his age discovering the buzz of musical and cultural engagement for the first time.
Both the acoustic album and the book are a document of the first ten years of Fink Mark Two, 2006-16 – “that whole arc, from my bedroom to having a proper hit, playing the big festival stages with big production, and all the rest.” In 2019, after heavy band touring for three years, Fin did a solo acoustic tour which took him full circle back to the simplicity of those early days – and making an album that reflected this seemed a beautiful way to tie the whole story together.
IIUII, then, is a retrospective, but it’s just as much about the here and now. To rerecord those songs with the maturity that Fin and his band members have achieved is about viewing the past through the lessons it has taught, not just remastering and repeating it. This was a chance to listen back through all the records, appreciate them for what they are, separate from the usual demands of which songs work on stage – and then give each song the treatment it deserves. Thus the spare early tracks “Pills in my Pocket” and “Biscuits” twinkle with exquisite detail, and leave wide open spaces for Fin’s unflinching self-analysis to be heard. And the textural qualities of later tunes like 2011’s Berlin Sunrise or 2014’s Shakespeare are reimagined so they flow elegantly into your unconscious and stay there…
So here it is, and here he is – having taken the road less travelled and proved it worked. “I don’t know if the industry could do that now,” he says: “let someone work their way from nothing through album after album until it works. But Ninja stood by me, and that’s what I did, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to have got here by the difficult road.”