Follow Us on Twitter

Fink - Distance & Time

Fink, Distance & Time

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

COULD Distance & Time be the album to finally make a household name of Fink? If there’s any justice, then yes.

Having toured extensively over the past year, including support slots with Bonobo and Zero 7, he has also teamed up with Lamb’s Andy Barlow to create a fuller sound for the new album, his second for the Ninja Tune label.

The result is an utterly brilliant listen – one that combines the low-key acoustic brilliance of artists like Jose Gonzalez with moments of pent-up aggression that provide a couple of thrilling highs.

Explains Fink: “There are no samples, and we’ve kept the electronic trickery to a minimum. I think that the songs have enough gravitas and emotional punch to get through without all of that, and I was very conscious of not being a touchy-feely photocopy of someone from the 70s or whatever.

“Our experience on the road has been that most Fink fans aren’t the same people who are into James Morrison or Paulo Nutini. Maybe that’s a Ninja Tune thing, or it’s in the songs – but it seems I’m the guitar-based artist you’re allowed to like even if you don’t like most of the other stuff out there!”

Confidence or arrogance? Maybe, but it’s deserved. Fink’s past ability to collaborate with artists such as Bonobo and Zero 7 certainly lends him a cooler vibe than the radio friendly likes of Nutini or Morrison.

And this is backed up by his solo music, which somehow feels grittier and more vital.

Album opener Trouble’s What You’re In weaves an intricate acoustic guitar riff through a dusky set of vocals and a distinct drum beat as Fink warns of testing times to come.

This Is The Thing offers honest reflections on the dying embers of a failing relationship that resonates deeply with anyone who’s ever fought a lost cause. The guitar work is once again perfectly suited to the tone.

If Only is stripped back and painfully regretful but just when you think the album needs a little winding up, along comes one of its very best tracks – Blueberry Pancakes.

By Fink’s own admission, it’s evidence of him being angry and there’s nothing for it but to introduce an electric guitar into the mix.

The song boasts a thrilling rhythm section that hammers out the cut along with some excellent lyrics that reflect another distant relationship (“sitting at the table where it all began for us”).

Another highlight is actually an interpretation of his collaboration with Bonobo on his Days To Come LP – the brooding Make It Good (a variation of And If You Stayed Over). It begins very low-key and stripped back but slow-builds into a richly layered song complete with piano and rhythm section to create an atmospheric gem.

Under The Same Stars and So Many Roads, meanwhile, underline the greater ambition in Fink’s sound and place him at the forefront of the new acoustic movement.

Distance & Time is an excellent album and, like Fink himself suggests, a singer-songwriter guitar-based offering that, for once, is cool to like!

Download picks: This Is The Thing, Blueberry Pancakes, Under The Same Stars, Make It Good, So Many Roads

Track listing:

  1. Trouble’s What You’re In
  2. This Is The Thing
  3. If Only
  4. Blueberry Pancakes
  5. Get Your Share
  6. Under The Same Stars
  7. So Many Roads
  8. Make It Good
  9. Little Blue Mailbox