Ears Wide Open: Finneas

Finneas (Photo by Luke Fenstemaker)
Finneas (Photo by Luke Fenstemaker)

Twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter Finneas O’Connell — aka FINNEAS for his solo music — has gained a lot of attention for being breakout teenager Billie Eilish’s big brother and bandmate, not to mention the co-writer and producer on many of her tracks. Less well-known is the fact that O’Connell was a teenage phenom himself, portraying Alistair on “Glee” and for a time fronting the talented teenage rock quartet the Slightlys (you’ll have to take our word for it, since much of their music has vanished into the internet ether).

Of his solo work, he says: “Any song I’m going to put out under my own name has to really feel like it’s 100 percent authentic to who I am as a human being and what I’ve been through in my own life. [Making music] is my favorite form of therapy. If other people relate, that’s icing.”

He got off to an exceptional start with the 2016 single “New Girl” and has hit his stride this year, releasing six singles. They show substantial range, whether he is carving out heady space in electro pop-soul (the latest single “College”), leaning on nifty production (“Landmine”) or simply baring his soul in ballads (“Break My Heart Again” and “Life Moves On”). File under: mature songs about young heartache.

||| Stream: “College,” “Landmine,” “Hollywood Forever” and “New Girl”