Review: Charm of Finches @ The Wardrobe Theatre

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By Susie Long, First Year Classical Studies

Stepping into the Old Market’s Wardrobe Theatre to see Charm of Finches felt like walking into a storybook - an atmosphere that the Australian duo and their support act Jausmė created and upheld to perfection.

If anyone had tried to tell me that morning that by the day’s end I’d be an active fan of Lithuanian harp music, I’d not even have known what they were referring to. Jausmė instantly captivated us as an audience, creating a collective sense that we might have been placed under some kind of beautiful trance. Granted, harp music isn’t my usual taste, but Jausmė’s storytelling capabilities through song proved, in her own words, that music has the ability to transcend the language barrier in an amazing way. I really recommend giving her a listen - I guarantee once you forget the fact that it’s - for the vast majority of us at least - a foreign musical genre, it really is quite a special listening experience.

As for Charm of Finches themselves, well, they are the sorts of young people that make you question why you’ve not achieved more at nineteen. They brought a refreshing, youthful quality to their indie-folk set promoting their album Wonderful Oblivion, combining the conventions of traditional folk music with bright, contemporary and definitively Aussie charm. The sisters, singing about love, loss, jealousy and asking the ever-important question of Where Do the Ducks Go?, blended harmonies in such a seamless way that it sounded as if one voice had simply been split in two. It was lovely to watch them sing about emotion in such an authentic way, listening to their songs almost felt like having a conversation with the pair.

Having sat through their gig, I am amazed that I hadn’t come across Charm of Finches before this point. For anyone who listens to Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Billie Marten, etc., etc., this band is well worth adding to your rotation. The girls have a brilliant way of capturing and depicting the ordinary in a strikingly beautiful way - it seemed as if by the end of their set I had heard songs about a million different aspects of my own life as well as of theirs. And between their beautiful songs, the sister duo came across as perhaps the friendliest people you could imagine - you can’t help but love them. Their stories, witty remarks and audience interaction made the evening feel like a well-rounded experience: something that I highly recommend seeing live if you can.

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Suffice to say, I think Charm of Finches encapsulate everything that makes the genre of Indie Folk what it is. The emotional vulnerability, the melodic and harmonic formation, the instrumentation, the storytelling - I could go on and on! Wonderful Oblivion is certainly one of my personal favourite album discoveries of recent months, and one that I would definitely suggest checking out for yourself.

Featured image: Susie Long


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