Matt Finney is a poet. A Southern storyteller. Granting voice of the downtrodden, the dispossessed, and the lost. The Alabama native speaks of those thoughts and feelings we hold deep inside. Those painful emotions that we might be too afraid to acknowledge, to listen to, or to ever vocalise. So, Finney does. As much as for his own benefit as on our behalf. His words tell of bleak times and the myriad hurdles we face time and time again, and in articulating the rawest betrayals, regrets, and losses Finney provides a sense of our shared turmoil and suffering, and perhaps, through that, a shared sense of catharsis too.
Of course, what affects one might be brushed aside by another. But Finney is there, with his bloodied and battered heart in hand, offering deeply emotive and honest declarations that powerfully communicate what we all know to be true; life is fucking hard.
I first heard Finney on his collaborations with Ukrainian multi-instrumentalist and composer Heinali. There, Finney’s world-weary and melancholic voice was set amongst downtempo, drone, and ambient guitar and electronic suites. Heinali and Finney’s work together immediately found a lot of fans from across the metal and experimental music spectrum due to the heavy ambience and mix of grim and celestial atmospherics. Originally, most of the duo’s collaborations were to be found on Bandcamp, and some recordings still reside there, but Heinali and Finney’s very best work is found in their Ain’t No Right and Conjoined releases, which were taken off Bandcamp when re-released by boutique UK label, Paradigms Recordings.
Ain’t No Right and Conjoined were released back in 2011 to much applause. But then, everything went quiet. However, Finney returned in July this year, not with Heinali beside him, but with another experimental artist, Maurice de Jong (founder of projects such as Gnaw Their Tongues, Aderlating, De Magia Veterum, Seirom, and Cloak of Altering). With Finney, de Jong has chosen to record under a new banner, It Only Gets Worse, and much like Finney’s work with Heinali, It Only Gets Worse also mixes hazy cinematic suites and electronic washes to bring a sensation of introspective doom that will appeal to the very same crossover crowd of fans as before.
Certainly, the three tracks on It Only Gets Worse’s debut, Creation Myths, are dark and haunting, and de Jong is an artists well versed in crafting ominous soundscapes. “Dropped”, “Indian Summer”, and Creation Myths’ title track, float across what is often beautiful minimalist terrain, with Finney’s spoken-word appearances adding the crucial somber shadows. Creation Myths is less metallic in tone than Finney’s work with Heinali, but his performance on the release is no less stirring.
Of course, with only three tracks here, the major problem with Creation Myths is that it’s all a tantalizing tease – which isn’t, of course, really a problem at all. We can only hope that there’s more recordings to come from It Only Gets Worse because voices like Finney’s aren’t just needed because they enrich our lives and understandings of the complexity of the human condition, they also give us something to hang on to, when we might otherwise feel like letting go.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]