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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Indie




"Review – FINN"

FINN might be one of Winnipeg’s youngest bands, having only formed in September of last year, but they’re already starting to make a dent with a couple of singles from their upcoming debut EP. Brothers Daniel, John and Matthew Baron grew up on traditional folk and that influence is all over their self-titled release, modernized with the addition of members Darren Hebner and Cody Iwasiuk.

FINN is filled with solemn numbers that range from indie folk to stylized country, hitting the melancholic notes in between. The music sways dreamily and the beat languidly moves along, filling each note with weight and accentuating every peak and break. There are touches of their influences, Half Moon Run, Local Natives and Band of Horses, but it’s traditional folk, with its sense of struggle and stripped-down simplicity, is what stands out most from this debut effort.

“I know I’ll find my love here, I know I’ll find my fear,” is the opening line of single “River Shore” and kicks off the album. It’s that kind of darkness-meets-light that sets the tone for all five tracks—romanticism matched with anxiety that builds to a flurry in the opening minutes of the EP.

“Father’s Chair” builds off of that, filled with regret and crying out “death follows me.” But it’s “Shadow Of A Doubt” that fully embraces those themes with a mesmerizing solemnity that plays up the brother’s traditional influences. It’s imagery of surrender and battle tap into classic folk roots and emphasize the sense of nostalgia woven through the album. As a harmonica bridges the verses, it’s impossible not to want to get lost in the song and just let the sense of loss wash over.

“Man and Beast,” which features singer/songwriter Sierra Noble’s gentle voice, brings some levity but only briefly, and “Cold Comfort” offers up just that—a final, slow number that lets the world “home” reverberate with all the longing it could possible have attached to it.

FINN’s debut might sound like it’s full of sadness, but through the careful crafting of the music the deep, plaintive vocals don’t feel as troubled—the regrets aren’t as close and the preoccupation with loss doesn’t feel as devastating. Instead, the album’s longing and dark dreams are built into something captivating and—maybe oddly—soothing. It’s dreamers’ music, perfectly timed.

Top Track: “Shadow Of A Doubt”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) - Grayowl Point

"Adventures of FINN"

It is a chilly Tuesday night when I arrive at Cousins Deli & Lounge to meet with Winnipeg band, FINN. The guys seem to decide unanimously on dark beer, and we hole up in the quietest corner we can find.

Right away it’s obvious – they are ready to release their EP. In the short year since they have begun to play shows around the city’s venues, have gathered a considerable fan base and are gearing up for tour in the spring of 2015.

It seems that FINN has, as they say, skipped the part where they have to open for other bands. How exactly did they manage that? It would appear to be a combination of first, being seriously talented, and second, born into a family of musicians. Although it is safe to say that Darren Hebner and Cody Iwasiukaren’t related to brothers Daniel,John, and Matthew Baron, that is merely a technicality at this point.

“Siblings aren’t always good friends, but in this case, we are,” said Matthew.

FINN will release their EP on Dec. 5 at the Good Will Social Club, one of Winnipeg’s newest music venues. The bar has already seen an impressive roster of acts, including John K. Samson. But the real reason it is perfect for the guys?

“There’s pizza,” said Matthew.

It is easy to think that FINN may have stumbled onto their success through luck, but all of the members have been in bands that did not make it past the community centre phase, and they are putting what they have learned into making this one stick.

“We’ve all done the grunt work [ . . . ] we’ve all played in bands in high school, we’ve played those awful shows that make you want to quit music,” said Hebner. “We know what we need to do to get to the next stage, so we’re not letting ourselves make a lot of the mistakes that brand-new bands do.”

Another thing about working with family and good friends is that you can be honest about things you dislike.

“We get the most done because we’re not married to an idea [ . . . ] we’re open to criticism, and it’s okay if the other person doesn’t like it. If it’s not working, alright, it’s not working,” said John.

The songs on the EP showcase the intricate harmonies and chord progressions that the group is capable of. FINN’s track, “Cold Comfort,” nods to Band of Horses with its sleepy guitar and affecting vocals, while “River’s Shore” begins to experiment with tempos and riffs.

The production on the tracks is a testament to the group’s attention to detail.

“We went into the studio and recorded in three weeks,” said Daniel. “The hardest part was the post-production – we were being picky about how everything was mixed and mastered and how it came out in the wash.” - The Manitoban

"FINN - Self-Titled EP"

Stemming from a collaboration between brothers and a chance meeting of musical minds at Brandon University, FINN jumped onto the Winnipeg scene in 2013. Blending their bluegrass roots with their eclectic modern folk tastes, the five-piece has been sparking up the local scene with their fresh take on the traditional. On the cusp of releasing their self-titled debut EP, members, John & Daniel Baron and Darren Hebner, take us through their song writing process, recording in a storage facility, and working with one of Canada’s biggest acts.

Their debut self-titled EP is set to be released December 5th, at The Good Will. Show starts at;9 pm and features Adam Hanney & Co. and Okay Mann.- Winnipeg, MB

JA: How did FINN come together?
JB: Daniel (guitar/vocals) and I (bass/vocals) are brothers. There are three of us, the youngest, Matthew [Baron], he’s our keyboard player. We grew up playing music together. We grew up in a musical family. I left for music school at Brandon University and that’s where I met Darren (guitar) and Cody [Iwasiuk] (drummer).

Daniel had written a bunch of songs on his own and he sent them to me. I was super into them and they reminded me of how much I really missed making music with him. I showed them to Darren and Cody. I was really good friends with them out there, and when they both moved [to Winnipeg] we decided to make this a project.

JA: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
DB: We’ve had a few people comment on the way our songs are written. They’re old but they’re modern, so for a while in our biography we had this whole thing about being inspired by Winnipeg’s industrial past. Then somebody asked us what that meant and I had the worst time coming up with an answer. I started doing research on Winnipeg’s industrial past and found it was a cultural center for a bunch of acting and stuff. I thought that was pretty cool, but I don’t know why I would have said “industrial past.” We were just trying to word the way the music sounds. It’s not easy.

JA: A lot of bands have trouble pinpointing the words to describe their sound.
DB: Yeah, unless you play rock. (Laughs)
JB: I think that’s a sign that you’re doing something unique, that you’re onto something and not just for the sake of being different. It kind of happened naturally.

JA: Is bluegrass and folk what you guys grew up listening to?
JB: I think that’s more what we’ve been recently into, and not so much what we grew up with.
DB: We grew up listening to a lot of bluegrass and traditional Ukrainian polka music, because that was our family background. Yeah, we’re inspired by it in the sense that there are tight harmonies. I’m inspired by that.
DH: I think our more traditional inspirations are blending with more modern sounds. Bands like Local Natives and Royal Canoe are all experimenting with new sounds, different rhythms, and different ideas of how to put a song together.
JB: It’s interesting because the EP shows us transitioning a little bit. A lot of the stuff Daniel wrote on his own, we rewrote in a more traditional sense with a more modern twist to it. Once we all moved to Winnipeg it became more of a collective project and that’s spawning a whole new influence of sounds. We’re approaching things a little differently. It’s less traditional chords and more playing smaller parts that are really intricate, and they come together to create something grand.

You’ll notice that when you listen to our first track, “River’s Shore.” That’s the one track that stuck the most for us. Out of all of them, we enjoy it the most so far.
DH: “River’s Shore” definitely shows the new direction that we’re going in. It’s one of the newer songs on the EP and the stuff that we’ve been writing since we recorded is more along the lines of that song.

JA: Where did you record?
DB: We have a friend who has a studio in the most bizarre and random place. It was at a top secret storage place and it’s his personal studio. You don’t expect it to be there and you go in and it’s this fully-functional recording studio.
DH: Cody, our drummer, engineered and mixed the whole thing.
DB: Yeah, we spent two weeks locked up in a storage building.

JA: What was it like working with Sierra Noble (on “Man and Beast” and how did that whole thing come about?
DB: Matthew used to sing in Those Guys, the a cappella group. He did a relief show for the Philippines with Sierra, and Matt started hanging out with her. We were kicking around the idea of doing a duet for “Man and Beast.” It was always my vision to have a female voice on that song and we thought ‘oh Sierra, of course!’ We got her to come down to the studio. She thought it was awesome. She sang her parts and it was great.
JB: She’s just like a good vibe person. We’ve developed a friendship with her. We sang on her new album.

JA: How has moving to Winnipeg, which has a really vibrant music scene, helped shape you guys as musicians?
JB: The music scene in Brandon is really small, but it’s really tight. There’s a tight knit group of people there and it’s great. Coming to Winnipeg, it’s hard to say.
DB: We’ve never had a bad show (laughs). We’ve never played to like 2 people, which kind of says something about Winnipeg. John and I have done our time playing for small crowds but I think it also speaks to what kind of music we’re playing now. It’s more accessible and people just generally like it so there has always been a decent amount of people at our shows. It’s given us an opportunity to experiment with what we like, what we don’t like and the performance side to things.
JB: The music community in Winnipeg is really open, friendly and supportive. It’s not all about competition. I’d say it’s a pretty welcoming, large and healthy music scene. We’re just happy to be a part of it. - Sound, Phrase & Fury

"FINN - Blowing Minds Three Chords at a Time"

Finn is releasing their debut EP on Friday December 5th at the Goodwill Social Club. The band is made up of Daniel Baron on vocals and guitar, John Baron on bass and backing vocals, Matthew Baron on keyboard and backing vocals, Darren Hebner on guitar and Cody Iwasiuk on Drums. Stylus sat down with Darren Hebner, John and Daniel Baron to talk about the debut album and the band’s beginnings.

Four of the band’s members met at Brandon University’s music school, John and Daniel Baron are brothers from the ‘Peg who grew up jamming together. Daniel left to study music in Brandon, and Daniel started sending him music he’d written. That’s when they both realized they had a strong musical connection.

“I was hearing what he was putting out and I missed creating music with my brother,” John Baron says. “When I left, initially I didn’t realize I missed playing so much. Growing up, Daniel always wanted to jam and I’d be like “Man I don’t wanna jam right now’. He’d always pressure me into it.”

Darren Hebner, says the band started slowly forming sometime around 2009, and that they’re more than ready to release their EP.

“It feels like we’ve been a band for forever, but we haven’t actually released something and to have something to show people,” he says.

The EP release will make it easier for Finn to book shows as well, Hebner adds. “It’s difficult to book shows without music, like telling them ‘We’re really good, I swear’,” Hebner says.

Some of the songs on the EP are two years old, written by Daniel when John, Darren and Cody were in Brandon. “I wrote all of the songs when John, Darren and Cody were all in Brandon, a year before we actually got the band together,” Daniel Baron told Stylus.

They recorded the EP themselves and Iwasiuk engineered the album. One of the tracks on the album, Man and Beast, features Sierra Noble and Cold Comfort has two members of the Dirty Catfish Brass Band playing parts. Matthew Baron, who plays keyboard and is on vocals in the band had met Noble at a show, when he was performing with Those Guys Acapella group, Jon Baron explains. “He had met Sierra Noble a few weeks before we started recording and they did a performance together for Those Guys. Matt was the beatboxer there.”

The band knew they always wanted guest vocal on “Man and Beast” so they asked Noble if she’d be interested, and she was, Baron explains.

Their latest music has taken a turn in a new direction. The sound is heavily influenced by indie rock band Local Natives, and Winnipeg’s own local natives Royal Canoe. Hebner says their newest stuff is a spin-off of the tracks on their EP “River’s Shore”

“’River’s Shore’ explores different rhythms and sounds versus the three-chord folk song.” While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional three-chord folk song, Hebner says, it’s definitely more influenced by what Local Natives and Royal Canoe are doing. “They’re not really just settling on a simple progression but expanding on what they can do with each instrument.”

John Baron agrees, “The way I see it, it’s a lot of small parts, when played by themselves don’t make sense and are kind of boring, but as a whole, it’s mindblowing.”

Finn will be releasing their EP on December 5th at the Goodwill Social Club with Adam Hanney and Co. and Okay Mann. Tickets are 10$, doors open at 9pm. - Stylus

"Comfortably Numb"

“I got back from Cuba this past week,” says Daniel Baron, frontman, guitarist and eldest member of Winnipeg’s Industrial Revolution-inspired folk band FINN. He says the frigidity of this prairie locale satisfies his sense of home.

“I did escape for a little bit, but I found there was comfort in coming back to this city. I was kind of craving a cold burst of wind in my face… It’s too hot and sticky there. There’s no place like home.”

Speaking of such, FINN records in a cold, unfinished basement belonging to members of Royal Canoe.

Baron is one of three regal FINN members, the other Barons being his younger brothers Matthew (keyboards) and John (bass). The siblings are joined in FINN by drummer Cody Iwasiuk and guitarist Darren Hebner.

All the members, except Baron, are classically trained musicians, composers, vocalists and producers, but that hasn’t prevented the frontman from amazing his colleagues. In fact, he wrote all the parts of FINN’s first five songs.

“Dan writes stuff easily, and we don’t always get it,” says Matt, who is currently studying music at the Canadian Mennonite University.

“You’ll [Daniel] end up writing something and for you, that felt really natural in that spot and then we try to play it and we’re like ‘Whoa! That’s so hard! How did you just come up with that?’” says Iwasiuk, who studied music at the University of Brandon with John and Hebner.

Songwriting is now done by the entire group, with lyrics by the Barons. The brothers agree there is a strong storytelling component to their lyrical style.

Asked about their name, the band gets silent as everyone looks to Daniel for a response.

“It’s a classic Irish name,” says the history buff. “There were lots of Irish immigrants that came to Canada during the Industrial Revolution escaping the potato famine.

“Also, it is the last name of one of my favourite literary characters, Huckleberry Finn.”

So why is FINN spelled in all capital letters?

“That just happened. I have no idea why that happened,” says Daniel, inciting laughter.

“And Darren likes to make puns,” adds John.

The rest of the group chimes in.

“That was a lot of FINN. FINNtastic.” - The Uniter


FINN'S SINGLE "Godsend" - January 2016

FINN EP - December 5, 2014



There’s something to be said for keeping it in the family.  

Three brothers, Dan, John and Matt Baron together with friends Cody Iwasiuk and Micah Visser form one of Winnipeg’s most impassioned bands, FINN. Since releasing their EP in December 2014, the group has pushed forward to develop a sound that is driven by emotive vocals, thought provoking lyrics and distinctly unique instrumentals. 

Dan, John and Matt have long shared a passion for music and songwriting. Growing up with the same musical influences explains why the band sounds ahead of its local counterparts—they have a synchronicity that takes other groups years to reach. At the same time, each member brings a distinct vibe, resulting in dynamic sound. FINN can be compared to Alt-J, Hey Rosetta and Foals, but are developing a unique sound all their own. Drawing inspiration from the Tune-Yards, Tinariwen and the Knife, FINN is quickly becoming one of the most prolific in Winnipeg’s energetic alternative rock scene. 

The group got its start by being featured in The Uniter, one of Winnipeg’s most circulated down-town journals. Since then, they’ve gone on to work with Canadian musician Sierra Noble. In the winter of 2015, FINN was asked to play for Winnipeg’s Festival Du Voyager and also became a regular fixture at the Park Theatre’s show series, Locals Only, a set that promotes homegrown tunes. But FINN is unlikely to stay put—at home or in any one genre. In 2015, they were asked to play at Toronto’s Canadian Music week and two shows at Dauphin’s Country Fest, crossing over from their foundation of rock and folk. 

“It’s dreamers’ music, perfectly timed.” – Grayowl Point

"A competent, shimmering debut." - Make a Little Noise

Band Members