Heinali And Matt Finney are a transcontinental avant-garde electronic music project consisting of Ukranian composer Oleg Shpudeiko (Heinali) and Alabama-based spoken word poet Matt Finney. Their new album (their first for The Flenser) sees the duo return with their first release since 2011. Like their prior collaborations, Heinali provides a lush, foreboding soundtrack to Matt Finney’s bleak narrations, but How We Lived demonstrates a more considered approach. The result is four long tracks which are denser and more cogent than anything they’ve released in the past. Finney provides his most intimate and harrowing words to date, evoking the type of anguish and enmity that only someone who has probed the depths of despair can. The duo first met in 2010 and immediately began collaborating, establishing a prolific working relationship and releasing a series of albums and EPs over the next two years. After the release of 2011’s Ain’t No Night, Finney, after a series of personal tragedies, gave up writing and human contact entirely, withdrawing for two years as far away from society as he could get. Eventually, his head cleared and he realized how much his work with Heinali had helped him deal with life’s seemingly endless disappointments, and he emerged from his self-imposed exile eager to feel that catharsis again. The duo reconnected and began collaborating on new material. This album is the result of those missing years.
“Heinali & Matt Finney are a band best listened to alone, in a darkened room, with perhaps a glass of whiskey. They’re a band to pay attention to, to lose yourself in.” —Sputnik Musik
“A staggeringly, unrelentingly bleak affair.” —The Line of Best Fit