Label: Lost Highway
Johnny Flynn (who is credited in acting roles as "Joe Flynn"... I don't know which, if either, is his real name) is relatively new on the scene, arising from the same English folk scene as Noah and the Whale and Mumford & Sons. His first album, A Larum, is title after the Middle English word for "Alarm." I'm not sure if there is any significance to using a Middle English word for the title, but this album does have a sound that seems to hearken back to times past. Certain passages have a bit of a Renaissance feel to them.
The album says "Johnny Flynn" on it, but the band is actually "Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit." I don't know why they don't put the full band name; perhaps the label thought it would sell better if it's a "solo" record? Personally, I think The Sussex Wit sounds cool.
Here is the track list:
|2||The Wrote & The Writ||4:07|
|3||Tickle Me Pink||3:11|
|4||Brown Trout Blues||5:02|
|5||Eyeless in Holloway||4:05|
|6||Shore to Shore||4:23|
|11||Hong Kong Cemetery||4:51|
|13||All the Dogs are Lying Down||4:13|
|14||Shore to Shore (Reprise)||1:27|
This is catchy, straightforward English folk rock with catchy tunes and excellent harmonies. I especially like the use of the banjo in songs like "Eyeless in Holloway." The lyrics do have a bit of a dark tone, which contrasts nicely with the upbeat melodies:
There's a man at hand, there's a way betweenOr:
The sinking sand and a crooked dream
And collared off at the modern age of nine
Summoned off for walking down the line.
They lost eyes in old city streets
Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek.
Monsters in the valley, and shootings in the alleyI can honestly say the only dud here is "Brown Trout Blues." It drags a little bit. But the rest of the songs are great. Definitely check out this one if you like English folk rock.
And people fall flat at every turn.
There is no straight and narrow, offload your wheelbarrow
And pick up your sticks and twigs to burn.