Finneas Says He Took a 'Romantic but Doomed' Approach to Songwriting on New Album 'Optimist'

Optimist, Finneas O'Connell's debut album is out Oct. 15

finneas for V magazine
Finneas. Photo: Courtesy of V Magazine

Finneas O'Connell writes from experience.

In a cover story interview with V Man's digital edition, O'Connell, 24, opened up about the inspiration behind his debut album Optimist, set to release on Friday — and said he took a "romantic but doomed" approach for songwriting.

"Maybe if over the past year I was going through a tumultuous divorce, then I'd have written songs about a tumultuous divorce, but I wasn't," he told the outlet about his girlfriend of three years, Claudia Sulewski.

"I was in a happy, loving relationship, and I was just reading the news, like everybody else, going to the protests like everybody else, and I was writing about that," he continued.

finneas for V magazine
Finneas. Courtesy of V Magazine

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The Grammy winner and older brother to Billie Eilish also described the album as an "introspective body of work" that reflects his life experience.

"It's an album about my world experience, my life experience — it's an introspective body of work. [It's about] the things that I was scared of as a kid, and the things I'm scared of as an adult, and how they're connected," O'Connell said.

The singer-songwriter also revealed that his career aspirations and dreams were always far more modest than what he's achieved thus far.

"My dreams of success within the music industry were always really small," he said. "There's a venue in L.A. called The Fonda Theatre, and my dream was to open for a band there, it's a 1,200 capacity room — that would have been pretty huge."

finneas for V magazine
Finneas. Courtesy of V Magazine

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O'Connell released the first song from his album in August titled "A Concert Six Months From Now," and performed it at the 2021 iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas in September. He also performed "Let's Fall in Love for the Night," another track on the album.

The "Till Forever Falls Apart" singer performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival over the weekend and played 15 songs, three of which are from his forthcoming album.

He also recently attended the September premiere for the new James Bond film No Time to Die with his sister and girlfriend in London, as he and Eilish were responsible for writing the title track together titled "No Time to Die."

O'Connell is set to head on his Finneas: Optimist Tour starting Oct. 25 in San Diego, and will end on Nov. 21 in Toronto.

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