Editors’ Notes Finn Askew grew up in a house where his dad’s extensive record collection provided a constant soundtrack. As an infant, Askew would dance on the table during breakfast to The Smiths one day, Nirvana the next, and The Kooks after that. That was when the music bug first bit for the singer-songwriter, who grew up in rural Somerset and whose songs similarly place a six-string at their center. Askew wanted the guitar—what he calls his “signature thing”—to be the instrument around which the sonic landscape could shape-shift on this, his debut EP. Over six tracks, his sound takes in soulful Frank Ocean-style laments, rattling indie rock, and warped, lounge-y ballads that bring to mind another modern-pop auteur, Rex Orange County. “I never wanted to be in one box,” Askew tells Apple Music. “As an artist, I’ve always said, ‘I’m not just one thing.’ I love R&B, I love heavy rock, I love rap. Every song on the EP is just a completely different vibe.” With its themes of young love and the exhilaration of first falling for someone, Peach offers a snapshot of a songwriter whose brilliance is only just beginning to unfurl. Askew talks us through it, track by track.

Roses
“I wrote this when I was 16. I don’t actually remember writing it because I was writing a song a day at that point, not thinking about it. People ask me, ‘Oh, where did you get the name “Roses” from?’ It’s because the beat was called ‘Roses’ on YouTube. I just thought, ‘Fuck it, it sounds quite good.’ I feel like it made sense for it to be the opener. Sonically, it's such a good way to introduce it all, and the birds chirping and everything. And because it's kind of to do with me: I'm from the countryside, so I feel like the opening of it is quite dreamy and idyllic. It paints a picture of what's about to come.”

Peach
“I did this one with [London producer] Earl Saga. I was on the train on the way to the studio, and I'd held on to this title for a couple of months. 'Peach' was one of those words that painted this vivid image in my head of a peach sunset and a beautiful sort of beach girl with the blonde hair. And it just really felt youthful. By the time I'd got to the place, I'd already wrote basically all the lyrics. It was more like I'd written this long poem. I'd had that riff for three years and always knew it was so sick. But it's so easy and so obvious, I was thinking, ‘Someone has to have used this. How has someone not?’ I started playing it in the studio and two and two came together and ‘Peach’ was born.”

Egotism
“This is probably the most recent song I wrote for the EP, maybe four months before release. It's one of the songs that really isn't that deep, I was just in a kind of vibe. I wanted it to be a bit more mainstream, more radio—which is a bit of a shit term, I know. I feel like you've got to have one of them sort of songs. It's like that worldwide sort of thing everyone vibes with. It's just a sick little earworm, a proper ‘Oh shit, it's stuck in my head, annoyingly stuck in my head.’”

Same Old Love
“I did this with Earl Saga too. I had a few days with him, writing, and it all came together with this song. We gave it to [Atlanta producer] Rob Milton and he just gave it a whole new life. It sounded like a completely different song. That's why I feel like all my songs sound a bit mad, because it's not just me doing it. It's always got to be a collaborative process.”

Nicotine
“I wrote this with Earl again. It was the first time I ever met him. I went to his yard and we hit it off instantly. This was the first thing that I probably wrote for this EP. I love the vibe of it. The lyrical content is a lot cooler and shows a different side to me. When it comes to the end, everyone's like, ‘What the fuck? This is like some heavy-metal rock shit.’ It's that kind of track which people are going to listen and go, ‘Oh, I wasn't expecting that.’”

Buttercup
“I did this when I was in LA in October last year with two producer brothers called Two Fresh. It’s a long story, but we got to the studio at 2 am, got real high, and then wrote that song in two hours. Just banged it out, vocals, everything. It's a two-hour song. I didn't really think anything of it, but then we were playing some live shows and we were playing it and then the reaction we got made us think, ‘Oh shit, that should probably be on the EP.’ It's the perfect ending. It's quite experimental; it's got weird sounds coming in. But it's more chill—me and my guitar, a very jazzy Daniel Caesar sort of vibe. Which is sick.”

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