Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ALBUM: Don't need no fine cuisine

Johnny Flynn hails from South London, and has just released his debut album, A Larum, which I'd highly suggest you check out. The record is a good mix of some foot-stomping, arm-swinging acoustic chanties and some more traditional folk-balladry, all adding up to what I think is a rather sing-along-able folk album. He draws heavily on traditional instruments and arrangements - making good use of fiddles, banjos, and all other stringed folk staples. But his real draw for me is his hardy singing voice - the kind you'd expect to hear in an old English tavern singing merry melodies and raising a glass to his jolly-'ol mates - as well as his thoughtful, often poetic lyricism. He particularly shines through on foot-stompers like The Box and Leftovers, and on sing-alongs like the celtic-tinged Sally and Tickle Me Pink. He evokes a little Zack Condon on the horn-heavy Hong Kong Cemetry, but pulls it off and makes it his own with a swaggering group-sing chorus that really conjures that tavern setting I was envisioning earlier. In between lie his more somber numbers like Wayne Rooney that really reveal their graces on repeat listens, showcasing his lyrical talent. Overall, A Larum is a solid debut that's surprisingly fun for a singer-songwriter's first effort. Check it out.

Get mp3's on Hype Machine/elbo.ws
Buy A Larum at Amazon/iTunes

1 comment:

James said...

A very honest post. I must agree. There is something about Johnny that reminds me of Beirut...perhaps that is why i like him so much. Or perhaps I just can't get enough of beirut that i seek them out in anything i hear.
anyway, Johnny Flynn is hawt.