Few bands know the United States as well as Finn Riggins. Since the release of the group’s TLE debut in 2007, the Idaho indie rock outfit’s members have spent most of their time in a van together, at one point averaging over 200 shows a year.
Which is not to say there’s any love lost between Finn Riggins and its home town of Boise: To the contrary, the band is heavily invested in and beloved by the local music scene, and keyboardist/vocalist Eric Gilbert is a founder of Boise’s high-profile Treefort Music Festival, now preparing for its fourth year. And Boise loves Finn Riggins back: Among the band’s local supporters are local legends Built to Spill, who have enlisted the group as support on a handful of tours.
VS WILDERNESS, the trio's fourth record and third for Tender Loving Empire, is a compositionally complex, dirty, extra-hooky gem of an album. Its undeniably bright pop sensibility is filtered through off-kilter time signatures and surprising chord progressions that delight and amuse—Finn Riggins will get to the payoff, but they take the road less traveled to get there.
Dynamic, quirky and highly energetic indie rock trio Finn Riggins has made a name for itself around the West and the greater US as road warriors from the oft-overlooked state of Idaho over the last several years.
Since the release of their debut album A SOLDIER, A SAINT, AN OCEAN EXPLORER on Portland's beloved mom-and-pop label Tender Loving Empire in 2007, they have averaged close to 200 shows a year in 43 states -- including a massive 80-day tour around the entire perimeter of the US in the Spring of 2010. Most of this touring has been on the backs of their DIY ethic and wide open approach to the changing music industry. In 2009 and 2010 they played three different support tours with fellow Idahoans Built To Spill while supporting their sophomore album VS WILDERNESS (Tender Loving Empire).
The collaborative brainchild of three music school graduates from the University of Idaho -- Cameron Bouiss, Eric Gilbert and Lisa Simpson -- Finn Riggins has always been a tough entity for the music industry to pin down. Their genre-defying approach to rock-n-roll has yielded a long stream of varied explanations for their sound over the years -- experimental pop, prog-pop, post-punk post-epic 70s rock, synth-driven indie rock, and so on. One consistent thread through most of the press raves over the years has been the fact that Finn Riggins' sound is unique and fresh and not adhering to any particular trend, all while being accessible through pop-hooks and an incredibly well executed and fun live show.
Since relocating to Boise, ID in early 2009 from the small mountain town of Hailey, ID at the foot of the Pioneer Mountain Range, Finn Riggins have become key players in the young music and art scene of Idaho's largest population center. They took their first extended break from touring in 2011 to further connect with their local scene and focus on writing and creating anew. In a November 2011 NYLON feature on the Boise scene Chad Dryden of The Record Exchange is quoted confirming the band, “injected much-needed life into the scene.” During this time Eric Gilbert helped develop Treefort Music Fest – a festival geared toward promoting the Boise scene and raising money for independent station Radio Boise, the first to support local artists in decades. 2012 was the festival’s inaugural year and was a great success.
New Finn Riggins EP BENCHWARMERS will be released by Tender Loving Empire on limited edition 10″ red vinyl for Record Store Day on April 21st, 2012.