slothtrop's artists

Marty Finkel

Sunny Side Sound

Singer-songwriter Marty Finkel has an alter ego, and his name is Marty Finkel. You may have encountered one of the Marty Finkels on his studio albums. Chock-full of pensive Americana, Finkel’s top-notch songwriting is always front and center. FolkWorld has praised this Marty Finkel for being “capable of: not only rollicking alt-country numbers, but also quintessential pop tunes.” But there’s another Marty Finkel, and somewhere in America, he’s taking the stage with a roar. His songs may have been written by the first Marty Finkel, but the live performance is much more unleashed. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, feeding off the synergy of the band, screaming himself hoarse, this Marty Finkel is a power pop tour de force. Fortunately, sometimes spacetime allows for the two Marty Finkels to meet, which happens on Finkel’s new release, Golden Age.

On Golden Age, Finkel seeks to distill the essence of his live show experience into a studio album. Golden Age features the same deft songwriting that’s characterized Finkel’s music in the past. This time, he’s taking those skills into an edgier, louder direction. “I drew inspiration from an angstier side of me, rather than the melancholy,” says Finkel. “In the past I have written and recorded for the studio and then adapted them for the live shows.  This time I wrote songs that were meant to be played live.  The bulk of the recording was done live to capture that energy.  The result is faster, louder, and bouncier.  This album is the best representation of my full band live shows that I have released thus far,” says Finkel. He is proud of how the album stayed true to his vision from start to finish. “Golden Age captures a side of me that hasn't been put to tape before.  The songs all turned out much as I'd imagined when writing/arranging them.  They're poppy songs that make it hard to sit still while you're listening to them.”

The new set of songs is fast and imbued with a sound that’s perfectly rougher around the edges. The drums sound bigger, the guitars more accessible, and Finkel’s voice soars with the quickened pace. Finkel has clearly taken the advice he dispenses on album opener “Wild:” “I wrote this song on my birthday when I was feeling particularly introspective/frustrated with where I was in life.  The choruses are me trying to convince myself to just cut loose and not worry about things.  It's also where the album title came from ‘I don't know where I'm going/I don't know if I'm lost/This age should be golden/Let's take off these cuffs/And let's go wild.’"

Without the cuffs, Finkel still writes witty songs about the human experience that deliver sucker punches when least expected. “How I’d Miss You” is an infinitely bittersweet song about the impossibility of finding a perfect balance with an old flame. “This song was inspired by looking in my rear view mirror and seeing an ex-girlfriend in the car behind me.  By the time I had pulled around the corner I was already singing ‘I’m tired of looking over my shoulder.’  It evolved into a story of wanting somebody out of your life so you can move on but struggling with missing them.  "I'd like to say/That the ghost of you can't stay/But how I'd miss you.”

This flip side to a song like “How I’d Miss You” is the insanely catchy “Walkin’ Out that Door.” Propulsive drums and fast guitars drive the song forward as Finkel sings “I’m not falling into any more of your scripted lines.” There’s no looking over anyone’s shoulder here, just pure escape velocity and a kiss-off that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

Despite Finkel’s gift for writing the dark places we encounter in our romantic lives, he can still turn out a up-tempo, tender love song like “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me.” Originally penned as a Christmas present for Finkel’s girlfriend, the song, which opens with a meditation on her eyes, shows Finkel at his romantic best. Writing this song helped Finkel quit overthinking and tap into the rhythm and the heart that make it so compelling.

Whether Finkel is in love, leaving love, or reckoning with a past love, he knows how to make savvy music about it. And if you think he can only do tender Americana, welcome to the Golden Age, where the cuffs are off and the beautifully angsty volume is turned up.

marty finkel's releases