Panos Birbas - Finchley Road
by Erika Bach

Panos Birbas has been a respected name on the Greek music scene since his debut album 'Mournful' back in 2013 with solo releases and releases with bands such as 'Dustbowl' since then. 

With his new solo release, 'Finchley Road', Birbas continues with his deep soulful yearnings reminiscent of a less gritty Nick Cave, but also a more alternative Lee Hazelwood or Leonard Cohen. The 10 track album has a socially conscious aspect to the lyrics and to the inspiration. Finchley Road echoes both Athens, where Birbas resides and where Finchley Road was recorded, and London, from where the album takes it's name. The dark, the light, the happiness and the misery, from where love is born to the loneliness and the loss. Finchley Road is brimming with brooding tones and mixed emotions. A tight production and meaningful songs form the landscape of this album.

From the first note of 'Boat', a song inspired by refugees, a subject close to Birbas heart having worked closely with many as a social worker, the mood and atmosphere of Finchley Road are set and do not waver. A stand out track for me is the first single released from the album, track 2, 'Room 7',  featuring some beautiful extra vocals by Jennie Kapadai. Room 7 lays a sparse melodic blanket, padded by some old piano sounds, over wounding lyrics of love lost and destroyed. The title track, Finchley Road, emotes Birbas feelings from an encounter with a homeless man from Finchley Road and is the basis of the emotional undercurrent of the album.

Each track delves deeply into this exquisitely brooding mood that Birbas manages so well to create with his vocal depth and tone and organic sounds and instrumentation. Panos Birbas continues the tradition of singer/songwriter with a social conscience, making these  biographical songs into the stories that depict moments based on the city of London.

Finchley Road is Published through Violin Productions.

Listen and watch for Finchley Road Here: