Alan Finan on “The Drive” & permanence of tragedy


Up-and-coming musician, Alan Finan, is back – and his new single “The Drive” is packed with more than just a punch. After being deeply affected by a car accident on a visit to rural Ireland, the track questions how one fateful incident can destroy the lives of so many. Tranquil, accomplished and stunningly simple, the single forces its listener to question the morality of life with an eerily serene backdrop – typical of Finan’s folk-inspired sound.

But for Alan, his journey has only just begun. “The Drive” forebodes a string of singles set to be released in 2020 – and despite the hurdles a global pandemic poses, he’s not planning on slamming the brakes on anytime soon. Ahead of the next leg of his musical voyage, Student Pages caught up with the Irish songwriter to find out where the road’s headed next.
Beginnings of a journey
Growing up in Ballyshannon – a town famous for its musical heritage – Alan soon found himself passing through the stages of traditional Irish Music Folk; an inspiration that’s ever present in his music to date. But more than that, music is a part of Finan as much as he’s a part of his hometown. Instilled with dreams of exploring each musical note from a very young age, you could say his future as musician was mapped out for him.
“Growing up, music encompassed our area,” he tells Student Pages. “Early on, I knew it was something I wanted to explore. Being naïve about the industry, it just happened organically – small steps with releases under different monikers.”
“The Drive”
An exercise in simplicity, Alan Finan’s latest track develops and evolves over a repeated guitar lick that lies on top of a four to the floor drum pattern. Its complexity, instead, comes from the themes it tackles lyrically. Chronicling the idea of tragedy within a community, Finan asks his listener to confront the concept of morality head on: making us question, do we knowingly move ourselves towards ruin?
“The Drive was a turning point,” he tells us. “It felt as if I was beginning to find direction, becoming open to production I previously shied away from, learning to let a song go before confining to genre.”
But most of all, it was its lyrical poignancy that drove itself, he tells us. Discovering the permanence of tragedy on a visit to an Irish town, Finan returned home changed and armed with the drive to create new material that bestows its listener with a revelrous, contemplative feeling. The result? His string of latest tracks set to be released throughout 2020. Stay tuned.
The road ahead
Driven by the success of the contemporary greats Nick Mulvey, Ben Howard and Bon Iver, it’s clear to see where Finan takes musical inspiration from – and even more evident his reflective-folk sound will take him as far as his predecessors.
For those wanting to follow in his footsteps, the talented musician urges you to invest in one thing: perseverance. “Be confident in your own ability,” he says, “and invest in that ability.” From there? Creativity without restraint is not just possible – but definite.
That said, what’s next for Finan? Well, aside from his string of singles set to be released throughout the year, the rising star is turning his hand to poetry. Keep your eyes peeled for a pamphlet set to be published before the year’s up, and check out his latest single “The Drive” on Spotify now.
Gabriella Wieland
Author: Gabriella Wieland

Gabriella Wieland is a writer and English Literature graduate. She spends most of her time trying to keep her mini-poppadom obsession at bay and finding adventures of the ‘free’ variety. Residing in Manchester, she also spends much of her time liaising with scientists to find a geographical cure for eternally-grey skies and Vitamin D deficiency.