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Neil Finn and His History-Making New Online Studio Album

Neil Finn is recording his next solo album in full-frontal view of the online world, offering an inside look at how one songwriter is making his music in the digital age.

In 1981, a 23-year-old Neil Finn wrote and sang ‘History Never Repeats’ while sharing frontman duties with big brother Tim in Split Enz. Now 59, the younger Finn is known to many for the musical legacy that is Crowded House. The 30-year-6-album career of Crowded House, that is. He’s also dabbled in occasional soundtrack work on films like The Hobbit, offered up three solo efforts (including 2014’s Dizzy Heights), released two Finn Brothers records with the aforementioned Tim and been involved in collaborative efforts backed by members of Wilco, Radiohead and The Smiths. Let’s not forget the ongoing live stage-sharing with admirers like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

The guy likes to stay busy, okay?

The internet window into Neil Finn’s studio life

Repeating history is not something Finn seems interested in at all right now. Instead, he is focusing on the rehearsing and recording of new material for an upcoming album scheduled for release on September 1. Other acts on the international music scene might seem content riding the wave of the current embracing of 80s nostalgia, but not Finn. Instead, he is looking to the internet to help showcase his latest songs along with the process in which they are constructed from the bass drum up.

For three Fridays in the month of August (4, 11, 18) Finn is live streaming interactive full-band rehearsals for his forthcoming album, Out Of Silence. These sessions will all have a small live audience on-hand. However, the final broadcast on August 25th will be a musicians-only recording of the entire album. All of the sessions will take place in Finn’s own, heavy-on-the-analog-gear home base, Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand.

A look to the past to help plan the future

In 2016 Crowded House live streamed a rehearsal leading up to their Sydney Opera House encore shows.

Live streaming is not something new to Finn. He began dabbling with webcasting back in 2001. In this time, computers had to be huge to be good and dial-up was the norm for most. In 2016, Crowded House live streamed a rehearsal from Roundhead in preparation for their 4-show reunion at the Sydney Opera House.

Practicing already written and recorded material is one thing. Taking the basic outline of a tune and shaping it into something sonically palatable with an internet audience peering over your shoulder? That’s something else entirely. Finn is attempting what many consider to be the first studio album recorded while being live streamed over the internet.

Don’t stream it’s over, okay?

The studio finale will allow viewers to see each track on the album performed twice by Finn and company. This includes the dozen vocalists who make up what Finn simply calls his ‘singing group.’ The songs will then be prepped for the album’s release on September 1, although a sampler of what to expect has just been released: the Bob Ludwig-mastered More Than One of You, recorded during the August 4th rehearsal.

Stream the rehearsals and recording of Out Of Silence live on the official Neil Finn Facebook page. It will also tell you when to plunk yourself in front of your device of choice to catch Finn ensure musical history doesn’t repeat.   

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