Courtesy of Finn Goodwin-Bain
Local singer-songwriter Finn Goodwin-Bain, who grew up in New Zealand, started writing songs at an early age.
“I started writing and recording songs when I was 7 on my dad’s work laptop, using whatever gear I could find,” he says in a recent phone interview.
His new album, Lifeblood
, comes out on Saturday.
He moved to Cleveland at age 11 and started taking music more seriously at that point.
“I started working on larger bodies of music with other people,” he says. “When I started to listening to Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, they changed the way that I looked at writing a song. For me, the music comes first, but writing lyrics is an art of its own. That’s especially true on the new record.”
Goodwin-Bain has been particularly prolific during the past couple of years. In 2018, he released his debut EP, All Things Considered
, and he put out a ten-song album last year.
explores themes about “living authentically in the digital age” as well as “overcoming lost love and turning towards healthy independence.”
“I went to college and started reading a lot of books, which was a new experience for me,” says Goodwin-Bain. “I started reading Henry David Thoreau, and that inspired a lot of the album. It’s such a simple thing but it’s so easy to get caught up in the digital world. Thoreau is all about stepping away and finding joy and happiness in pure things like relationships with people and the outside world. That was where I drew the thematic inspiration.”
A catchy pop number that recalls singer-songwriters such as Glen Hansard and David Gray, the first single, “When You’re Down,” came out last month.
“That song was a complete nostalgia trip for me,” says Goodwin-Bain. “I was thinking about old experiences and old friends, and that song is about how nostalgia and old memories will hit you at the worst times and completely engulf you. Another theme is staying true to the people who love you.”
Other songs such as "January," a beautiful duet, and "Heart on the Run," a mid-tempo song with a Paul Simon feel to it, show off Goodwin-Bain's sharp songwriting skills.
Goodwin-Bain recorded half of the album at Belmont University in Nashville, where he goes to school. He recorded the other half at his Northeast Ohio home.
Because of the pandemic, he couldn’t record with people in person, but he still wanted to collaborate with local musicians, so he sent tracks to local musicians such as Danny Mavis, Patrick McCafferty, Emilio Jarufe and Joey Stewart. He met most of them through the Cleveland School of Rock, which he attended for two years.
“After we met, we kept on playing in different bands,” Goodwin-Bain says, adding that he played in local singer-songwriter Collin Miller’s band for a time. “We keep in contact — once you have a friend in music, that’s not going to go away. It’s so easy to work with them.”
Because of COVID concerns, Goodwin-Bain doesn't have a release party planned but says he'll be playing live on Instagram
in the coming weeks.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.