Finian McKean
Gig Seeker Pro

Finian McKean

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Finian McKean"

There’s a certain freakish quality about the male singer/songwriter genre these days. Most of the guys who fit into this category go on stage looking like their mother just dressed them for church. They then proceed to croon and gently strum their way through batches of lonely hearts tunes in a ho-hum manner.

And then, there is Finian McKean. He’s the type of singer/songwriter, who would walk through James Blunt’s video shoot and look the damp-eyed kid as he’s stripping off in the freezing weather and say – “What the hell are you doing? Get it together, man!”

McKean first hit the indie rock scene in the 1990s as part of the Push Kings and he’s still retained some of the raw angst of those days. There’s something sensitive about the man and his music, but not in a pretty boy way. It’s rough enough to be interesting to those who keep the indie flame burning bright. There’s also a slightly dark edge that will probably keep desperate housewives at bay, so you will never have to face the horror of finding out that your mom borrowed your Finian McKean CD.

The night I caught McKean and his drummer’s (he of the correctly named Wild Palms) show, they got what is usually the kiss of death spot on the bill – early on a Monday night. As usual for that time of the evening, about 5 people were in attendance when the fist chords were strummed. This can freak a lot of artists out. I’ve seen it happen, but the lanky rocker took it in stride by telling us early birds, “Don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s gonna be fun!”

He was right! McKean is a charismatic performer who is able to intro songs by saying things like “While we’re in this emotional place . . .” without losing any rock and roll street cred. The evening was mostly about showing off the new tunes on his latest release Shades are Drawn (And Each For Only Recordings), but a sprinkling of newer than new songs that didn’t make the album were also on hand. The best of the hot off the presses tracks was a quirky song called “Running Out of Medicine”.

The indie singer capped off the evening with “Shades Are Drawn” the title track from his new album. It’s a great song from a genre we don’t hear too much anymore as we’re stuck in the current garage art rock scene, but Finian McKean specializes in it. I’ll call it – haunting rock. It moves you, but it has an edge so you never forget it’s rock and roll and, that pretty much sums up the man behind the music as well… - Loose Record

"Shades Are Drawn"

Lo-fi urban folkie Finian McKean's new CD is a collection of fashionably gloomy but original-sounding songs. Like J. J. Cale he records his resigned vocals deep in the mix so you have to lean forward to listen. Beatle-esque melodies tickle the ear; sixties-style guitar rock energy ("black hole," "small request") leavens the sadness; and quirky writing ("little beggar," "where no one wants me," and an unnamed extra song at the end) helps make the whole claustrophobic enterprise fun. You can just imagine him holed up in Red Hook grousing about how no one comes to visit him because there's no subway in the area, while mixing his rock, country and folk sounds into a gritty, citified stew. This forty-minute Brooklyn howl should put McKean and his musical neighborhood on the hipster map, if not the MTA's. -

"Finian McKean @ Southpaw"

Finian McKean was one half of the late-90s indie rock band the Push Kings, but now he's running at full capacity to create solo work that's emotional and eerie, but still accessible. His latest album, Shades are Drawn, expresses Finian's city-fueled anxieties and his yearnings for something more natural. His music, for now, is what keeps him from running into the woods, and will provide you, too, with some satisfying four-minute escapes. - Blackbook

"Never trust the postal service"

Remember those salsa commercials where the cowboy questions that it's made in New York City? Well Finian McKean is from Brooklyn but despite the urban locale his music sounds like it is hundreds of miles away. He says he is "Tired of the city, yearning for the deep woods." That sentiment shines through his music and is perhaps one reason why I am drawn into it. I too want nothing more than a peaceful escape.

All that aside, Finian McKean is one helluva talented singer/songwriter and musician. His songs sound like tapestries that are woven from litte pieces of the fabric of America. His latest album Shades Are Drawn is a genre-spanning affair in the same way that many Brendan Benson records are. He touches on everything from Devendra-esque folk to sixties psych-pop to blusey backwoods stomps that remind me of my fondness for Red Red Meat. Ranging from uptempo rock songs to fragile piano ballds, all of Finian's songs are shards of raw-indie pop splashed with classic melodies that are comforting while never sounding contrived. He is a fresh new voice in a musical landscape so often flooded with mediocrity.

His advice is simple: "Play it loud." My advice is to follow his. And if you are in NYC on January 9th, go see him live with Tapes n' Tapes at The Mercury Lounge. Should be a great show. - Can You See the Sunset from the Southside

"On the Download"

Back when he was with the Boston indie-rock group Push Kings, on former Dambuilders’ guitarist Eric Masunaga’s label, Finian McKean went by the name Finn Moore Gerety. Now he’s moved to Brooklyn, where he’s crafting sad, spare, Heartbreaker-grade indie-folk ballads alone at the piano. His recent disc Shades Are Drawn has inspired a blogroll's worth of praise, and he returns to PA's Lounge this Saturday night for a homecoming of sorts. Above: our favorite song from the record, the kind you could imagine Emmylou Harris having a go at. Which is not bad work for an ex-Boston Irishman if you can get it.

- The Boston Phoenix

"Blog buzz"

"Shades Are Drawn" has gotten write-ups from these great music blogs (to name a few):
Gorilla Vs. Bear
My Old Kentucky Blog
Muzzle of Bees
Hello Gina
Indie Don't Dance
Yeti Don't Dance
Perm & Skullet
Indie For Dummies
Audio For Drinking
One Louder
Each Note Secure
Bows + Arrows
Call Me Mickey
Each Note Secure
Indoor Fireworks
Berkeley Place
i ((heart)) music
lost on purpose
A Boy & his Blog
Middle Distance Runner
Funtime OK - various

"Finian McKean "Shades Are Drawn""

Finian Mckean, the wayward life passenger at a junction stop, waiting for the next train of life to come pick him up. On Shades Are Drawn, folk impulses meet pop context, broadcast from Finian's den of iniquity in Brooklyn.

Its got a classical new england/Irish folk backbone with footstomping rythyms. There's bursts of Hindu mysticism. There's pop contagiousness in some of these songs. There's also lonely despair.

Stuck somewhere between the pop metropolitan complex and the pastoral leanings of the folk side of his music, Finian creates an interesting hybrid of sounds that seem like they wouldn't actually go together well, but do. His lyrics make him sound like he's somewhere between desolation and validation. Stuck between making a change and staying where he is.

What's interesting about Finian's story right now is that he's out promoting himself. Here's a great artist that climbed to a level of noteriety in the Push Kings, and now he's trying to use that to help promote his PPK (post Push Kings) project. He's out swimming in the internet waters, dispatching the word from his Red Hook, Brooklyn den of iniquity. And doing a good job of it.

Shades Are Drawn
The album's opening track seems to be the strongest. It's got this great echoey wah wah guitar layer over the top that comes off sounding like a sitar. It adds a cool psychedelicious Hindu sound to the song, a nice touch. Perhaps the most insightful of all of Finian's meloncholy songs on the album, as it seems to sum up where he's at this point lyrically, spiritually, musically. This is a convergence of everything good that Finian's got going in his writing style these days.

Black Hole
This is where a strong pop background comes into play and rears its head. There's a great sense of verse chorus verse trade off here that play off the black hole vibe, i.e. i'm in a black hole and I need help getting out. The music itself is lively and upbeat, which is juxtapositioned against dark lyrics of helplessness and darkness. Bright music, dark subject matter. "I'm holding out my hand, take it... if you don't I won't make it..."

RATING: ***** 4 out of 5 stars

- Spacelab


You may recall Finian McKean as Finn Moore Gerety, half of the brains behind late '90s indie-rock band the Push Kings. McKean's solo stuff retains that alt-pop bombast (in a good way!), and he's celebrating a new record, Shades Are Drawn, on his own And Each For Only Recordings... - Time Out NY


"Shades Are Drawn" CD, released April 2006.
>>#17 CMJ most-added records the week of April 4
>>Internet radio airplay on: Radio Indie Pop, SomaFM, Spacelab, M3,etc.


Feeling a bit camera shy


In the months after Boston band Push Kings crashed and burned in Los Angeles, singer/guitarist/songwriter Finian McKean had a pop music hangover. Having led the Push Kings (along with brother Carrick) in a three album sunshine assault on the dour indie rock and crappy nu metal of the late ‘90s, McKean (pronounced ‘muh-cane’) was sick of sleazy managers, major label showcases, and the whole Silverlake scene; he was eager for new adventures, aching to rediscover the passion that drew him to rock n roll in the first place.
He packed up, moved back east and holed up in a 1901 brick tenement in Red Hook, the bleak and beautiful Siberia of Brooklyn (no subway service!!). It’s here he found his hangover cure...

Cut off from the rest of the city, Finian let his hair grow, drew the curtains and recorded a new batch of songs alone in a room with tin ceilings and a green marble fireplace. He played every instrument and turned every knob himself, intent on exploring feelings so dark & private they could only be brought to life in this sensory-deprived isolation. The music that emerged is Shades Are Drawn, an audio document of depression and urban anxiety in the shattered style of legendary shut-ins like Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, with the understated intensity of Neil Young and JJ Cale.

Early demo versions of Shades Are Drawn have unleashed waves of blog buzz and the word is out that Finian’s world-weary melodies transport the listener on what Blackbook magazine calls “emotional and eerie...four-minute escapes.”
It’s true that a longing to escape to nature pervades McKean’s eleven songs on this album. But just as pervasive is the quicksand tug of the terrible and hypnotizing New York around him, in particular the streets of Red Hook, a windy peninsula of ancient mariners, hookers, real estate sharks, crackheads, and artists, with a few decent hard-working people thrown in.

the city’s quiet/ no sirens blow /
i never thought that I’d find peace here/ but there you go...
‘Been Gone So Long’

We’re happy to report that, as of press time, Finian has started to feel more at home, even as gritty Red Hook morphs around him into one of NYC’s ‘hottest’ neighborhoods. He’s been playing a monthly gig at a magical bohemian salty-dog bar called Sunny’s and tearing up stages all over NYC with his explosive live band, the Wild Palms .