Recently, I’ve been feeling a sense of nostalgia that I’m not fully comfortable with. While I cannot fully discern what it is or find le mot juste – it may have been rising to the surface by degrees for a time.
This feeling culminated after listening to Johnny Flynn’s single Raising the Dead from his latest album Sillion. From the first listen I was filled with a sense of ease by Flynn’s familiar husky tone and seafaring ambience. His ever-appealing resonator guitar in Wandering Aengus, as well as the sombre plangency of Barleycorn, came forth to greet me like an old friend.
The third single on the album, Heart Sunk Hank, was also partially recorded on one of the last two existing Voice-O-Graph booths in the world, which adds an aged crackling to an already simple, yet powerful folk song.
The wistful elements of each song on Sillion made me feel as if the past was tangible, and I was reminded of half-abandoned moments in my life, and the people I shared them with.
For myself – as well as many others – Johnny Flynn played an important role in my adolescent years and helped shape my musical palette. Whilst I had thought my “glory days” were supposed to be my early twenties, right before my father eventually sells me off to a wealthy financier, or at least to the highest bidder, Johnny Flynn has somehow taught me otherwise. Sillion made me admire the past in a way I didn’t believe possible, at least not for my age.
Either way, I’m grateful.