I Might Start Smoking, the latest album from Vancouver-based duo Fionn, may just make you forego the surgeon general’s warning and pick up a pack of Marlboros.
Kidding, of course. Smoking is bad for you. But it's music to blast with the car windows rolled all the way down, recalling a time when you might've snuck ciggies with your friends while cutting class to cruise to the mall. The combination of fuzzed-out guitar, beautifully-crafted pop anthems, and in-your-face lyrics is seriously addictive, and makes for another satisfying addition to twin sisters Alanna and Brianne Finn-Morris’ dynamic catalogue.
Since releasing their self-titled debut in 2018, Fionn has steadily developed their sonic palette, building on their Celtic-inspired folk roots. The group’s last full-length, 2021’s Candid Constellations, brimmed with dazzling electronic pop that retained a fun retro edge.
Now, on I Might Start Smoking, which is out today via 604 Records, Fionn strips back any high-tech frills to bring raw musicianship, songwriting acumen, and a heavy dose of teen angst to the forefront—reinforcing just why they’ve received high praise from outlets including Billboard, Exclaim!, and RANGE, have 1.7 million and counting streams on Spotify, and are tapped to play NXNE in Toronto this month.
“I Might Start Smoking sums up our second coming of age,” the band explained in a press release. “We’ve found our early adulthood comparable to a brand-new form of childhood dizzying us with fresh experiences and chaotic emotions.”
Fionn started work on the record over a year ago, figuring out ways to fuse their formative influences with the pop rock songs they were writing, and recalling the alternative spirit that materialized on their 2020 EP, Everyone’s a Critic.
You can hear it in the pop punk-tinged “18,” which references Y2K teen queens Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift, and the confessional lines of “TAKE ME OUT!,” with a stream-of-consciousness chorus taken word-for-word from a diary entry written after a date that went well: “You told me that you cared about the songs I liked/I saw a future in my head/It seemed alright/So won’t you take me out tonight?”
“We definitely went in a more organic direction with these songs,” the band added. “We wanted to return to that very raw, very real place where we started.”