Release Date: June 9, 2023
Genre: Indie Pop, Pop Rock, Folk-Pop Label: 604 Records Vancouver-based twin sister duo Fionn's third studio album, I Might Start Smoking, showcases the Canadian twin sister folk-pop duo's evolution into a more pop-rock sound while retaining their signature harmonies and captivating songwriting. The record was released on June 9, 2023, through 604 Records. The album presents a collection of twelve tracks co-produced by Max Cunningham (Ludic), Jared Manierka (Carly Rae Jepsen), and Kevvy Mental (Ivan Decker, Sophie Buddle), recorded at both Cunningham's home studio and 604 Studios. The album opens with the title track, "I Might Start Smoking," a guitar-driven, summery pop rock tune that sets the tone for the entire record. The catchy melody and infectious energy make it an excellent choice for an opener. "Caught Up" follows with a powerful rock sound enhanced by a vocoder and a pulsating bass line. The track's throbbing rhythm and intense snare drum create an electrifying atmosphere that grabs the listener's attention immediately.
"Goldfish" shines as the album's third track, immediately captivating with its infectious melody, clap track, and the twins' sultry harmonized vocals. The song builds in intensity, showcasing the duo's ability to balance soft-spoken verses with powerful vocal deliveries. "Leo" stands out as an earworm with its dreamy pop gaze and nostalgic undertones. The track blends elements of Olivia Rodrigo's songwriting with the charm of twentieth-century pop, creating an instant standout among the twelve tracks.
"18" demonstrates the twins' unpredictable songwriting as they combine pop rock and pop punk influences into an explosive and emotive track. The simple, fast-strummed guitar sets the foundation for a passionate exploration of nostalgia and youthful experiences. Following "18" is the experiential track "2014." Brianne and Alanna take an experimental approach, weaving various eras of pop music together. The song transitions between pop rock, synth-pop, and bubblegum pop, showcasing the twins' versatility and willingness to push boundaries. "TAKE ME OUT!" continues the pop-rock energy, featuring breathy spoken verses that give way to soaring harmonies in the chorus. The track's punchy bass line and angsty lyrics create a captivating contrast. "4 Leaf Clovers" takes a different turn with its indie pop daydream vibe. The guitar-driven tune highlights the twins' harmonies and delivers another infectious melody that will linger in your mind for days.
"Runaway" follows suit, fusing indie pop and indie rock elements into a captivating sonic journey. The twins' seamless vocal harmonies and the song's dynamic instrumentation create an engaging listening experience. Whereas "Please Don't Leave" slows down the tempo, showcasing the sisters' emotional depth. Driven by a striking bass line, the track conveys heartfelt emotions while maintaining a sense of authenticity.
Closing the album is "I'll Meet You in the Next Life," a massively emotive and heartfelt tune. The stripped-down nature of the song, with subtle guitar accompaniment in the first half, allows the twins' vocal ranges and harmonies to shine. The addition of bass and drums in the second half adds a layer of depth to the overall sonic structure, leaving a lasting impression. Fionn deliberately takes a more organic approach with I Might Start Smoking, returning to their raw, Celtic-inspired folk roots while infusing pop rock sensibilities. The album showcases the duo's musicianship, authenticity, and songwriting acumen, relying on these elements rather than transient high-tech tools to create memorable hooks.
With their deft strokes and dynamic compositions, Fionn demonstrates their years of experience and creative prowess. I Might Start Smoking is a catchy, introspective album that marks a significant milestone in the sisters' musical journey.