PRESENTED BY
Chantal Anderson—The New York Times/Redux
September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

What I love most about Finneas is that he’s concerned with the songs first. And then what those songs sound like, and then where they fit, and then, culturally, how they function. As demonstrated by his debut solo album, Optimist, he’s not afraid to jump genre, and he makes up the rules as he goes. It’s very natural and incredibly punk rock and incredibly confident.

He’s a homegrown talent. The music industry always likes to have this air of “discovering” people and controlling the environment. And then every so often people like Finneas and his sister Billie Eilish come along, where they’re not connected to any scene, they’re not connected to any genre. They’re just themselves, and the result is paradigm-­shifting and powerful.

Hansard is an Oscar-winning musician

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