‘Affectations’ is an incredible return from Melbourne mainstays, The Finks

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‘Affectations’ is an incredible return from Melbourne mainstays, The Finks

Words by James Robertson

Certainly worthy of a spin.

Milk! Records mainstays The Finks have spent this decade pushing out numerous EPs and albums of soft, whispering songwriting. Affectations offers something a bit different, with group leader Oliver Mestitz creating a mixtape comprising originals and choice cover versions.

Strung together by their usual charming piano lines and contemplative instrumental arrangements, the album moves at an exquisitely measured pace. Opening track, ‘No one else’, shines with simple but enriching lyrics and includes a tranquil clarinet solo from Lehmann B Smith. The record’s first instrumental track, ‘The uneventful garden’, features poignant guitar licks that are reminiscent of John Martyn’s sparser moments.

One of the crowning jewels is a cover of Randy Newman’s ‘Marie’. Deceptively simple at the outset, the song’s endearing lyrics and Mestitz’s restrained delivery make it one of the best encapsulations of love The Finks have put down to tape.

There’s a warm, homely approach taken to the production, with the tracklist fashioned to sound like it were recorded straight onto an old cassette. The guitar work on ‘Down Along the Dixie Line’ – originally performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – peacefully shines through the background hiss, transporting the listener back to a simpler time.

Affectations is another insight into the enthralling thought-processes of Mestitz, with a handful of covers thrown in to highlight the band’s velvety versatility.