when tucker finn isn’t making music, she likes to pull names from a hat. growing up in the suburbs of toronto she answered to the name of catherine doherty. which is the name on the transcripts for her degree in architecture and the name you’ll see on the art department credits when she worked as a set designer on feature films such as baz luhrmann’s romeo and juliet. down at the registry office however, tucker finn comes up as sharon ann meunier. that's the name on her original birth certificate- the name her teenage single mom gave her the same day she gave her up for adoption. it’s hardly surprising then that her music and recently released album ‘the cup & the lip’ (which she made after a car crashed into her home) is awash with a hard won wisdom.
her blend of alternative-folk-pop will leave you musing upon frittering your talents away, the perilous joy of heading nowhere, getting your hank williams returned to you scratched and having a pillar obstruct your view at the theatre! if she wasn't tucker finn? she could be aimee mann. poxymash had the good fortune to exchange words with the thoughtful tucker finn and her enquiring mind…
on getting unstuck…before choosing the songs for the record, i realized I had about a half dozen that involved characters who were either stuck or trapped between things so i went with that theme. it's an emotional landscape where the smallest insight or forward motion becomes epic and there is absolutely nothing to hold onto. it sounds grim but I don't mean it that way.
on preparing a face to meet the faces that we meet… i'm drawn toward anything that feels authentic. typically, if i come across what seems like a eureka sort of goose-bump truth then i figure it will be true for others as well. it's mainly that connection with others that i'm after. i'm drawn to sad songs because i think lots of people are sad but do such a good smoke-and-mirror job on themselves that they zone out into a kind of pretend happiness. you see it everywhere and it's just heartbreaking. i like taking the lid off of sad.
on musicians that make you marvel…there are lots but a handful of them are tom waits, leonard cohen, john prine, john k samson, conor oberst, aimee mann, isaac brock, jeff tweedy and elliot smith.
on lyrics that leave you longing…the first lyric that comes to mind is conor oberst's "i tried to pass for nothing but my dreams gave me away." that just gets me for its seeming simplicity but real wisdom and compassion.
on wishful thinking….that we could trade panic and despair for living happily amidst the uncertainty of it all. i'd also like toronto maple leaf season tickets but i think the first wish has better odds.
on sound advice….invest in real estate.
on the lives of others…i like to have the odd meal with a total stranger. it's a small window into another person's world and i know that when the meal is over we'll wish each other well and go our separate ways. that's what makes it exciting for me. it's short lived so the details in it are very alive.
on awe and innocence…i remember being a kid and ordering that special ten album deal from columbia house records and waiting for them to arrive. it was insanely exciting. i was shy and had no real opinions about music yet. i wasn't even sure what records to order. but one of the records was the eagles' hotel california and i loved that record. i thought don henley was the greatest.
on a peaceful interlude…I was walking through a busy park in the Toronto beaches and a woman in a skirt and blouse was laying on her back under a tree taking a nap. I suddenly noticed that beside her, attached by a leash, was a dog on its side. They both just lay there like two lumps. Perfectly asleep.tucker finn's ablum the cup and the lip is available to buy now.
[words: aine herlihy]