Drawing heavily on American musical traditions and blending them with old English-style storytelling, UK troubadour Johnny Flynn brings his old school folk sounds and gives them a unique twist on his new disc, A Larum. Flynn's affinity for literature, theatre and storytelling are deep rooted, as his father was an actor and Flynn himself spent a chunk of his youth working in Shakespearean ensembles, some of which even brought him to NYC. That trip to NYC proved to be a turning point for Flynn, turning him on to the anti-folk movement that was happening, especially to singers Adam Green and Jeffrey Lewis.
On A Larum, Flynn draws well on all those influences and weaves them into his brand of nostalgic folk, yet manages to keep the sound as fresh as anything the genre has seen in years. Perhaps due to his thespian beginnings Flynn shows a chameleon like ability to not only place himself in the characters he sings about, but to draw the listener in to his stories. Whether it's playing the role of the vagrant on "Leftovers", singing of lost loved one's on "Hong Kong Cemetary" or spinning a tale of the the writings of Henry David Thoreau in "The Box" Flynn is at his most engaging.
The album was recorded mostly live, adding to the loose raucous barroom feel. In describing the albums title, 'A Larum' Flynn says ... "The larum is a warning bell, a call to arms. So it's a wake up call and an alarm, and a call to brings people together." 'A Larum' is a wake up call indeed, a wake up to the genre, to other artists and to it's listeners. An album that can just as easily fit in at your favourite old English pub or at that trendy Lower East Side bar.
Tracks not to miss: "Tickle Me Pink", "Cold Bread", "Hong Kong Cemetary", "Wayne Rooney", "The Box"
Listen to Johnny Flynn on myspace.