For identical twin sisters, Alanna and Brianne, their goal, even as children, has always been to pursue music. The pair started choir as kids, they moved on to busking at age twelve, and on their 19th birthday, they signed a record and management deal with 604 Records. The twins adopted a new stage name, Fionn, and have spent the last few years working on their debut album. Their sound is a blend of folk and pop with beautiful vocal harmonies and smart lyrics. We caught up with Alanna to talk about Fionn’s debut album and the inspiration behind “Magazine Face.”
Fionn is starting to take off! What have the last two years been like for you?
They’ve been the two funnest years of my life! We, kind of, are finally living the dream. Right after we got out of high school, we graduated in 2016, we got in contact with Jonathan, and he said he wanted to sign us. We’ve been 100 per cent focused on writing and recording the album for two years.
Now, we’re waiting for it to be released. We went on our first tour as well. So many new experiences. It’s been great. We’ve learned a lot, and I feel like we’ve grown as people. I feel like that happens when you make an album. You really get to know yourself and your own brain.
Can you tell me about your new album?
The album is finished! It’s been finished for a couple of months, but we aren’t going to release it until the fall. We don’t have a date yet, but I think we’ll be touring. I’m super stoked. We’re releasing singles right now.
I wrote these songs when I was seventeen. I was, kind of, awakening. I feel when you’re seventeen, you’re not a little girl anymore. I was experiencing life from, I know it sounds cheesy, the eyes of a woman. I finally started to notice how women are objectified, and part of the album is about that. Brianne and I also had our first romantic experiences while we were writing the album, so there are a few romantic songs.
“Magazine Face” is a great song. The lyrics feel personal, and it’s descriptive and smart. What inspired you to write this song?
Thank you! Growing up, I was told, through the media, that you have to be beautiful to be successful and happy. Not only beautiful on the inside, but beautiful on the outside. As a little girl, I used to have buck teeth and a mushroom haircut. I would be like, ‘I can’t wait until I’m older and beautiful.’ I was looking forward to growing up and being like the stars I watched on TV. Looking back, it really bothers me. That’s not the kind of message young girls should be given.
Is this a reflection of your writing style? Can we expect more smart social commentary on the album?
Thank you! Yes, but my sister’s songs are a little more poetic. Brianne wrote ‘A Pagan’s Prayer,’ and if you read the lyrics, it’s almost like a poem. Mine are a little more to the point.
Does song writing come easy for you?
Ninety-nine per cent of the time, I have to work really hard for a song. Occasionally, a song will just flow out, and that’s the best feeling. I usually start with a title and idea that revolves around something in my personal life. I work from there. It takes many edits.
‘Magazine Face’ is actually one of the few songs that came out in one go, but most of my other songs are a bit of a process. It feels worth it in the end. I’m always happy with the final product.
You recently went on your first tour. What was that experience like?
Before we left, we were both working at coffee shops. It was amazing to be playing music every single night in these beautiful venues. It finally felt real.
Fionn is also featured on Fake Shark’s new single, “Wake up.” How did that come about?
That was really fun. We didn’t know Kevvy too well, but he messaged us on Twitter. Since the song, we’ve gotten to know Fake Shark a lot better. They’re all so nice, and we’ve had some cool experiences together. We filmed the music video, and when they were performing in Toronto, they invited us onstage. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve really enjoyed working with them.
There’s benefits and drawbacks to working with family, but I imagine that navigating the music industry with your twin sister has been pretty special.
It’s been nice, but we’ve never known any different. If we’re nervous or concerned, we can always talk to each other. We’re very close. We’ll always have each other’s backs, and we definitely have the twin bond. If I was a solo artist, it would be kind of lonely.
What’s next for the band?
We’re releasing another single really soon, and we’re making a video.