Singer, musician, actor, poet and annoyingly handsome fellow Johnny Flynn follows up the success of his 2008 debut long player A Larum with this delightful little package, a taster of what to expect from his second album due out early next year.
The Sweet William EP contains four tracks, each of them providing the listener with several minutes of unbridled joy and pleasure on the ears. Opening with the subtle but uplifting The Mountain Is Burning, Flynn draws the listener in with his note perfect voice and poetic musings on life; his wordplay reaching a place somewhere between that of old Bill Shakespeare (he once toured the globe as part of a Shakespeare theatre troupe) and Nick Drake. The songs Trains (Rose, Mary and Time) and Sweet William continue to tug at the heart and soul, while it’s the closing track Drum that really stands out. Here we find Flynn in melancholic mood delivering the line: ‘live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse,’ in a tender tone against the backdrop of a heavy beat, haunting piano and some sparse but superb brass accompaniment. If A Larum announced his arrival in 2008, 2010 is sure to be the year Johnny Flynn really stakes his claim. Put simply, the Sweet William EP is fifteen minutes of pure beauty. Curse his über-talented bones.
Words: Callum Mitchell