(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Single Review: Johnny Flynn – Raising the Dead

By on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Singer/songwriter Johnny Flynn has emerged from a recent flurry of acting, composing and family commitments with news of a new studio album, his fourth, titled ‘Sillion’. The album follows Flynn’s work on the television series ‘Lovesick’ (whose title was changed from the cringeworthy but hilarious ‘Scrotal Recall’) and his introduction to fatherhood with the birth of a new daughter. If you’re interested in seeing Flynn on the small screen, I can recommend ‘Lovesick’ as actually a rather charming programme, now available on Netflix. But it’s the fatherhood angle which brings us to Flynn’s newly released lead single, ‘Raising the Dead’.

‘Raising the Dead’ is an examination of the cyclical nature of life, as Flynn relates the death of his father to the birth of his child. “My Dad died when I was 18, and that was quite a galvanising experience”, Flynn says, “and there’s often an element of that in anything I’m writing; every big loss that you suffer in life, I think everything comes through the conduit of that. I had a really strong sense of my daughter having elements of my Dad when she came along, and it made me kind of laugh – that cyclical sense, of thinking of my daughter as my Dad.”

The new track is immediately richer and more mature in sound than Flynn’s previous release, ‘Country Mile’, with a lush backing chorus and a vivid complement of instrumental sounds behind his introspective lyrics. Flynn’s own singing voice sounds warmer and more mellow, very relaxed and at-ease here compared to what I remember from songs like ‘The Lady is Risen’, but the slight change in vocal timbre is a perfect match for this song’s thematic juxtaposition of joy and sorrow.

Flynn’s songwriting has always been top-notch, both in terms of lyrics and composition, and ‘Raising the Dead’ rises to the standard we’ve come to expect. It displays an emotional and musical depth that reminds us of Flynn’s natural talent and provides an enticing first impression of his forthcoming LP.

8.5/10

Johnny Flynn’s fourth studio album ‘Sillion’ is due for release on the 24th of March via Transgressive Records. Ahead of the album release, Flynn is currently scheduled to appear at SXSW 2017. For news and updates on SXSW 2017 showcasing artists, please consult the festival’s official schedule here. TGTF’s previous coverage of Johnny Flynn is collected through here.

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