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Heinali and Matt Finney “End of July” (Influenza)

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Heinali Matt Finney

Approach Influenza as a series which serves to offer insight into the birth of a song; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists.

With a distance of nearly 9000 kilometers between them, lyricist Matt Finney (Alabama) and producer Heinali (Ukraine) met online and found a way to pool their thoughts and ideas into a collaborative effort which has since resulted in two albums: Town Line and the recently released Lemonade EP. While the considerable distance between the two denies a certain degree of chemistry, their proximity from one another has not hindered their creativity. “End of July” showcases that collective focus as a flowing piano line bleeds into a dark ambiance and throbbing guitar which enhances Finney’s haunting spoken word realization. Leonard’s Lair called the EP an “uncomfortable” listen, while Revibe Review likened it to hearing “Nine Inch Nails or Joy Division [for] the very first time.” In this edition of Influenza Matt Finney looks back on the song and details the dramatic timeline which led to the track’s creation.


We write in a really weird way. It’s completely separate so we never know which direction the other is gonna go. It keeps things exciting and interesting for us and the listener. This song in particular really shapes the EP. The first two tracks are so heavy but then the piano creeps through the headphones for this one. It was so eerie the first time I heard it. This shows how great Heinali is as a composer. He can work at both ends of the spectrum: the quiet introspective before he decides to make your ear drums suffer a bit. It’s amazing how one guy can create a sound this pure and heartfelt after hearing my vocal takes. It blows me away each time we complete a track.

I spent a while agonizing over these lyrics. I couldn’t seem to get them perfected but after the first line was down the rest fell into place. The story behind it stems from a rough time I was going through last year. I was in a serious relationship for three years. We were talking about getting married which scared the shit out of me. It wasn’t something I wanted but I’m a chump and I let her force the idea upon me: We became engaged for a while. The relationship slowly started to burn out; it was obvious to both of us and everyone that was around at the time, but she continued to hold on like I was all that keeping her from drowning. Before I had the chance to call everything off she told me that she was pregnant. The news rattled me to my core.

I couldn’t imagine us having a child. I couldn’t imagine having a child in general. I would be just as bad as my father. I was a complete wreck. She took an abortion pill and that was it. I didn’t go with her to the doctor to have any of this done. She could’ve been making it up to try and salvage what was left but I’ll never know. I carry the guilt around everyday. She’s supposed to be getting married soon but she still talks a lot of shit on me. I probably deserve it. The last line of the song is about the absolute rage that comes from something like this happening. It’s terrible but I kept thinking “why us?” We were already prisoners chained to each other and now this. The song is a wake up call for me. I hope it will help some other people if they’re in the same boat or they feel trapped in a life that they don’t want.