As a member of S.F. Bay Area psychedelic soul band the Monophonics since around the turn of the decade, Kelly Finnigan has made a name for himself as a wonderfully emotive, honest and eclectic songwriter. That band has released a string of superb, genre- bending albums, and Finnigan has played a key role in their creation.
But there comes a time in an artist’s career when he has to step out of his comfort zone and try something new. That’s the basic story behind Finnigan’s new solo album Tales People Tell, released via Coalmine Records.
“It’s a different kind of approach,” Finnigan says. “Also, there’s somewhat of a conscious wanting to do it different. The last thing I want to do is––as big of a piece as I am to the Monophonics puzzle––I definitely don’t want to do a record the same. The first question was like, “Did you use the Monophonics as your band?” Why would I? It doesn’t make any sense. I need to step outside of that and just do this. Which is just doing me. Instead of thinking of it as a ‘we,’ it’s ‘I.’”
The singer-songwriter admits that the process is slightly scary, a little anxiety-building, as he doesn’t have his band members to fall back on. But ultimately, he’s finding the solo route rewarding. The sound is noticeably different, too. The Monophonics blend soul and rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and 60s' pop.
“With this, I wanted to make a traditional R&B record steeped in soul, with doo-wop and gospel influences sprinkled in,” he says. “From the get- go we made a decision that we love the Sharon Joneses of the world, but we don’t want to try to go in that direction, whereas me being a solo artist I would definitely say it’s more in that straight-up R&B soul thing.”
He’s certainly made a deeply personal record, highlighted by the fact that his dad makes an appearance on it. Meanwhile, he says that Coalmine Records is the perfect home for it.
“Funny enough, I met Terry pretty close to the beginning of his journey,” Finnigan says. “Right when I was joining Monophonics, I happened to stumble across the Eat The Bay Shakedown that he had put out. I did a bit more digging around and stumbled across a Myspace or something like that. I contacted him and said that I’m out in California and I just joined a live band from the Bay Area called Monophonics. He was open and cool. It was pretty early on and he’s been an ally. He’s always been hugely supportive of Monophonics, and he’s an important part of this community because he truly is a heart and soul dude.”
Date Signed: January 2018
Label: Colemine Records
Type of Music: Soul
Management: Terry Cole - Colemine Records
Booking: Jake Lankheit - Intrepid Artists
Legal: Vivek Sridharan - Counsel LLP
Publicity: Matt Hanks and Ally Norton, [email protected]