Since signing a record deal at the tender age of 16, Finn Andrews and his band The Veils have released 5 albums together, appeared in David Lynch's reboot of Twin Peaks, as well as on soundtracks by luminary film directors Tim Burton and Paolo Sorrentino, and was also recently been commissioned by the Belgian government to write a 20-minute orchestral piece to commemorate the antipodean dead of World War I. It was while writing 2016's Total Depravity that the New Zealand-raised musician realized a different streak was beginning to emerge. Fueled by the end of a relationship, Andrews took some time out from London and from The Veils, and returned to New Zealand to begin work on his first solo album, One Piece At A Time.
The resulting album is one of Andrews' most profound and intimate pieces of work. Recorded entirely live at The Lab in Auckland, and engineered and co-produced by Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins), the band includes Andrews on vocals, piano, and guitar; Cass Basil on electric and upright bass; Alex Freer on drums; Healy on guitar; Reb Fountain and Nina Siegler on backing vocals; with sprawling string arrangements by Victoria Kelly.
The songs here are more personal and self-exploratory than anything Andrews has previously attempted, an effort he says that wasn't necessarily deliberate but more a result of circumstance. ''It's a lot more autobiographical than I intended.'' In addition to the songs' subject matter exposing more of his life than before, Andrews also admits that their arrangements allowed for less to hide behind, showcasing him in a different way. Dominated by Andrews' voice, the ten tunes here place him firmly front and center. ''I felt a lot more exposed this time, as the instrumentation was certainly a lot sparser,'' he says.
With him throughout the entirety of the album is the piano; an instrument that while not his first was certainly in his blood. A guitar player since age 10, Andrews only started to learn the piano at the end of his teenage years when his father, the legendary XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews, taught him some chords
1. Love, What Can I Do?
2. Stairs to the Roof
3. The Spirit in the Flame
4. One by the Venom
5. A Shot Through the Heart (Then Down in Flames)
6. What Strange Things Lovers Do
7. Al Pacino/Rise and Fall
8. Hollywood Forever
9. One Piece at a Time
10. Don't Close Your Eyes