Having someone reading a story to us is a profoundly enjoyable experience. While it is crucial that the story is a good story, the way the story is read is just as important. The same applies to cover versions in music – what matters in the end is the interpretation.
Hamburg-based singer-songwriter Patrick Siegfried Zimmer, better known as finn., has entertained us for the last ten years mostly with his own songs – fragile and sensitive pieces of music, which the listener has no trouble feeling close to. With his new record, finn. enters new territories by covering 13 songs, which – despite all novelty – seems very coherent a move: just like bedtime stories addressed to no-one but ourselves, the songs bring up memories long lost. finn. sings to us while we curl up in the duvet of collective memory.
The choice of songs on I Wish I Was Someone Else isn’t a fan’s choice – knowing this will probably save us raised eyebrows and some serious doubts about the artist’s music taste. Much of the magic of this record lies in its ability to find the enchanting element in songs that cannot exactly be considered jewels of music history. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Ultravox) and Tina Turner’s Private Dancer are just two examples of songs that Patrick Zimmer’s tender hands turn into gems. finn, strips the songs down to their very skeleton and lays their essence bare, sometimes drawing our attention away from the musical entanglements of the composition to the pointed and ever so relevant lyrics, like in Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff.
The album’s highlight is probably the version of Crying In The Rain, performed with Dirk von Lotzow from the band Tocotronic. Expect two wonderfully quixotic artists and a quirky melody, which a-ha already delighted us with back in the Eighties. A music video will follow the release of the single.
I Wish I Was Someone Else is finn.´s seventh release and at the same time his sixth album released on the Sunday Service label. Also, it will be his last album to use the pseudonym finn.. The series of portrait drawings figuring on the album covers have been a by-product of the last ten years, and have seen finn. slipping into a variety of roles: wearing a moustache, a crown or puff sleeves, or even posing as a vampire, as Audrey Hepburn or Elton John. On the cover of the current record all we can see is an erased face. May a new start under a new name await for finn. – for now, let us enjoy this majestic effacement!
words by Andi Schoon
photographed by Torsten Lange & Johannes Assig