By now, you’ve likely heard of Billie Eilish. But what about her brother, Finneas O’Connell?
Finneas is Eilish’s 22-year-old brother, and he’s played a big role in his lil’ sis skyrocketing to fame. Finneas appeared in Fox’s hit show Glee, and he’s also penned a number of popular songs that you’ve probably heard on the radio.
But that’s not where his talent stops. And now he’s stepping directly into the spotlight in his own right with the single “I Lost A Friend,” a track from his first EP, Blood Harmony.
Layered with piano and synthesizer sounds, “I Lost A Friend” is a deeply personal song about Finneas losing touch with a childhood friend. And even though we hear a few uses of “h—,” along the way, the song otherwise expresses deep emotions in the wake of personal loss.
Finneas gets straight to the point: a young man’s friend is gone. Gone, “like keys in a sofa/Like a wallet in the backseat/Like ice in the summer heat/Like sleep on a red-eye/Like money on a bad bet/Like time worrying about/Every bad thing that hasn’t happened yet.”
This loss is something that keeps Finneas awake “counting all the mistakes I’ve made/Replaying fights.” He’s grieving something personal, even though some might assume he’s too wealthy to bet that sad about this lost friendship: “I lost my mind, and nobody believes me/Say, ‘I know that he don’t need me/’Cause I make a little too much money to be 20 and sad.’”
Finneas says he’d apologize if he thought that would matter. Then again, he realizes nothing can fix what’s been broken (“I’d apologize if I thought it might make a difference/Or make you listen/… But life is different”).
So, instead he’s focused on moving forward, however hard it may be (“I’m on the mend/Like I’m icing a new sprain/Like I’m walking on a new cane”).
It isn’t often that you hear songs about broken friendships. Broken hearts? Sure. But tunes focusing on shattered friendships are definitely uncommon. Finneas spoke to this anomaly in an interview with Rolling Stone:
“It was a point at my life in the beginning of the summer last year where a close, long-term friend of mine and I sort of had a falling out and stopped talking. … I wanted to be really careful with writing this song. I think it’s really easy to be the altruistic hero of your own narrative and story. I wanted to be really careful to not do that in this song.”
This track reflects much of what we all do when something heartbreaking happens. We replay the events leading up to the relational rupture, over and over in our minds. We hope that retracing our steps will give us new understanding, new ways to patch the open wounds. Sometimes it works. Other times, it doesn’t.
While that reality might sound bleak, Finneas has dealt with it realistically here in this song that feels quite human. And minus that repeated mild profanity, this track will likely connect with the hearts of listeners who’ve likewise endured the loss of a close friendship. As for the video illustrating this song, it feature Finneas stumbling through a field of tall grass at twilight, not as if he’s drunk, but more like someone who’s completely disoriented by what’s happened. As the song continues, others emerge from the grass as well, wearing what appear to be jumpsuits, and similarly stumbling along, just as Finneas has been doing.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).