Tucker Finn - The Cup and The Lip
Record Label: Jane Wayne Records
Release Date: Oct. 26, 2010
Tucker Finn is a singer-songwriter from Canada. She was co-creator of the alt-country crooners The Jane Waynes, which received ample praise for their high-energy live sets and engaged musicianship. The Cup and the Lip is her debut solo album on her own label, Jane Wayne Records. Finn is a former feature film set designer (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet) and graphic novelist (Can of Worms). The album's title references an old English proverb, "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip." The disc is formatted as a two-act play, with the first five songs serving as the first act, and the second five serving as the last and final act.
How is it?
It makes sense that the cover to this debut LP features a scared male taking a lie detector test. In all 10 of her tracks, Finn embraces a sense of naked honesty and candid confessionals that make every minute of this disc worth celebrating. Though the tempo dawdles and is prone to moments of prolonged languor, Finn's straight-forward, no-nonsense style is as refreshing and vivid as any singer-songwriter disc released this year. Marrying Beck's plain-spoken vocals with fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards' rustic charm, The Cup and The Lip is a dusty, spartan and darn-near perfect disc.
"Vertical Road Trip," serves as the disc's centerpiece and also a perfect introduction to Finn's music. Opening with rousing strings, the song immediately segues into a spartan landscape of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, twinkling piano and glockenspiel. Finn's no-nonsense lyrical style gets to the point almost immediately, "Buckled in and got in gear, gave the steering wheel a good grip and tore along the white air strip. I just want to disappear into another stratosphere, give the whole damn world the slip."
But vaulting a car high into the air is just one of many cinematic and dramatic moments on this 10-song collection. In "I've Been Doing OK" and "Totally Headed for Nowhere," she tackles self-doubt and despondence, while the bluesy, autobiographical cut "Orphan Routine" draws on her turbulent childhood. The lounge jazz of "Great Work of Fiction," features a lilting trumpet, a dusty acoustic guitar, lilting piano and the lyrics, "I'm chewing on who I could be, cause a future is a great work of fiction, entirely written by me." On the strings-laden confession "Cold Paper Heart," she recounts not crying when old people die and building up walls to keep people out, while "The Intermission," draws again on timeless strings and glockenspiel to compose a near-perfect illustration of how her ho-hum life feels oddly akin to the intermission of a play.
Finn's true gift are her lyrics which unfurl like novellas and inhabit characters that are eerily familiar and easy to root for. Guided by intricate and nuanced song craft, The Cup and the Lip is deeply resonant and indelibly ruminative. In the end, while there might be better CD's released this year, there aren't any protagonists more worth celebrating than the 10 found on here. That in and of itself is why Tucker Finn is worth your time.
I'm sure this is a tremendous album, but her name is so close to mine it's depressing, now if I ever have a chance at being famous it's shot. If anyone googles my actual name it will correct them to say Did you mean Tucker Finn? and then they will wonder if they actually meant that and therefore will never find me. ._.