Finneas O’Connell — the singer-songwriter and producer who records as FINNEAS — has been practically everywhere in 2019, joining his sister Billie Eilish on tour in New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., and, currently, the U.S. and Canada. Amid the extensive globetrotting, he’s somehow found time to continue releasing music, and his latest offering is a heaven-sent love song that’s as timeless as it is majestic.
The new song is called, appropriately, “Angel.” Much like some of the music he’s produced for his sister, it opens with soft ambient noises; you hear birds chirping, then delicate piano chords, then FINNEAS’s honeyed voice: “Congratulations, you’ve been / Pretending to be human so well.” The lovestruck lyrics continue into the chorus, where his falsetto takes flight as he sings, “I know we’re not the same / You’re an angel / In disguise / You’re an angel / In my eyes.” And just when you’ve pegged “Angel” as a standard piano ballad, FINNEAS keeps the surprises coming, adding more harmonies and textures to what ends up being a true epic.
After premiering “Angel” on Beats 1 on Tuesday morning (June 11), FINNEAS explained that he wrote the song in Arizona last year, and finished it in between Coachella performances with Billie earlier this spring. “It’s got this kind of retro, synthy, drum delay vibe that reminded me of Beach House and Mac DeMarco,” he said of the new tune. “It was a feeling in a recording that I had never gotten to explore and I was just really excited to go there.”
The 21-year-old added on Instagram that the new song is a tribute to his girlfriend, Claudia Sulewski: “To Claudia for being the best thing that’s ever happened to me and without whom this song and this image would not exist in any way,” he wrote. She gushed in her own post, “My favorite song in the world is out today. Honored I can inspire you in any capacity but this, my heart can’t even take! I love you. Go listen to angel by @Finneas and cry with me!!”
“Angel” is the third new song FINNEAS has released this year, following “Claudia” and “I Lost a Friend.” He said on Beats 1 that he plans to release more singles in the coming months, and teased a music video for “Angel” that will be coming “really soon.” In the meantime, check out FINNEAS’s illuminating track-by-track breakdown of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.