Call it talent to the power of three.
A trio of Peninsula-raised singer-songwriters – all past grand prize winners of the Diamond in the Rock Youth Talent Search – are returning to White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios venue to showcase their latest music in a live, and live-streamed, concert.
Pop bombshells – and almost-identical twins – Alanna and Brianne Finn-Morris (aka Fionn) and soulful blues and Motown-influenced artist Esteva (formerly known as Ava Carich) will perform at the venue (1328 Johnston Rd.) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.
Although Fionn may seem to have changed a lot since their days as teenagers busking in White Rock – when they used to blend sweet folk and country harmonies to their own guitar and ‘ganjo’ accompaniment – the twins, now 23 and signed to 604 Records, maintain they are much the same fun-loving girls the city took to its heart early in the last decade.
“Although things have changed in terms of life experience, at the core we’re the same,” said Alanna, who noted that the pair, who claimed the 2014 Diamond in the Rock grand prize, moved back to the Peninsula some three months ago.
Indeed, while professionally directed and sharply edited videos for recent songs like Take Me Back and Hold Off project a decidedly grown-up vibe, their always notable playfulness is still manifest in their selection of locations, their own styling of their matching outfits and even their embrace of some basic choreography.
“They are a lot of fun to do, but also a lot of hard work,” Alanna said of the most recent videos, all shot between the early months and summer of last year. “They’re not just a walk in the park.”
“There have been a lot of people who’ve been following us all along, through all the changes,” said Brianne. “Although we’re different from when we started we still love all kinds of music. We’ve been spreading our wings and doing things we like to do, in the moment.”
Like many performers during the COVID-19 era they’ve been sad that they haven’t been able to perform live, they said.
“We’d been playing shows pretty much constantly since we were in Grade 8, Grade 9,” Alanna said. “That was always why we were so passionate about music.”
The timing of their albums Everyone’s A Critic (2020) and Candid Constellations (2021) was not great, they acknowledge, as they felt they weren’t able to give the music the live exposure it warranted.
“We’ve been fortunate that we could make the best of it, said Brianne, who said Fionn have been able to use their presence on social media and TikTok to good advantage, as well as share some more basic, guitar-accompanied duo performances during the period of lock-down.
But nothing quite measures up to the thrill of live performance – especially in front of a hometown audience, the twins agree.
That’s why they’re so excited about the upcoming Blue Frog show, which is the first in a series of ‘Canadian Music Unearthed’ concerts planned by the venue.
“We reached out to Kelly (Breaks) at Blue Frog because we’d done a live stream from there for Canada Day By The Bay and thought it would be fun to do a new show from there,” Brianne said. “It turned out he was just putting together the series, so the timing was good.”
Another reason to be excited, they said, is that they will be sharing the stage again with Esteva (also 23) – who they’ve known since their high school days.
Although not as high-profile as the twins in the last few years, Esteva (Diamond in the Rock grand prize winner in 2016) has nonetheless built an admirable resume by performing in most of Vancouver’s famous venues as well as many of the more ‘underground’ stages in the city.
Her music – as well as her emotion-evoking alto and soprano range – has won her consistent critical kudos for relatability and honesty and she was last featured in White Rock with Desiree Dawson in a TD Concerts for the Pier performance in 2019.
“We’ve played a lot of open mics with her – we consider her a friend,” Alanna said. “We’ve always been big fans of her music, so we’re excited to hear her new songs.”
While they’ll be showcasing a lot of their pop material – much of it conceived as an antidote to the emotionally-taxing strictures of the the pandemic – Fionn also promise to preview some four songs from a new and as-yet unnamed album project during the concert.
“For the next project we’re going back to our roots,” Brianne said of the more serious tone of the new material.
“The album is still in the demo stage, but it’s going to be more organic – we’re readyto say a lot more things that we weren’t ready to say in 2021 and 2022.”
While in-person seating at the venue is limited, there is an option to receive the live-stream on the home screen (with access to the recorded concert for 72 hours).
To book tickets ($39.50, or $9.50 for the live-stream) visit bluefrogstudios.ca