Hard Believer

Hard Believer

“Not everyone is gonna dig it,” Fink wrote about his new release, Hard Believer. It's difficult to figure out whom he may have been talking about. The English artist (a former electronic DJ turned guitar-based singer/songwriter) has put out a string of records in his newish persona since 2006, and with Hard Believer, Fink (Fin Greenall) should be putting any doubts to rest. From the opening title track—with its stealthy, spare beat and Fink’s dusky vocals threading in and out of a bluesy tableaux—to the thrumming and slightly hopeful tune “Keep Falling,” a number of admirable touchstones come to mind: Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Elliott Smith. (The fantastic “Looking Too Closely” somehow conjures all three.) But Fink has his own sound, which is especially effective in the moments when he layers electronic atmospherics over or under the songs. See “White Flag,” with its hints of dub and squalling electronics, or the huge “Shakespeare,” which goes for the jugular just for the heck of it, leaving listeners both elated and spent. (And, indeed, “Why do they teach Shakespeare/When you’re only 16/No idea what it all means”?)

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