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A Larum

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iTunes Review

South-African born, U.K. raised Johnny Flynn delivers a debut album, recorded with his band the Sussex Wit, that brings British folk-rock back to life by recalling the tradition once popularized in the 1960s by the likes of Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, and Pentangle. With a strong emphasis on acoustic guitars, a subtle cello, occasional violins, horns, and even spoons!, A Larum forges a campfire jamboree where Flynn’s spirited vocals lead the mild insurrection. Whether the band is kicking out its acoustic jams with “Leftovers” or relying on the sawing violins of “Sally,” or meditating over the sparse and brooding “Brown Trout Blues,” or leaving Flynn to serve up the upbeat guitar and vocal of “Tunnels,” there’s an expert sense of timing and drama that goes beyond a young troubadour and band only in their mid-20s. Flynn has worked as a Shakespearean actor and considers himself a poet. He throws himself with full commitment into these songs of poverty (“The Box”) and irreverent hope (“Tickle Me Pink”). For extra texture, “Hong Kong Cemetery” adds a funereal organ to seal its ominous, downtrodden fate.

Customer Reviews

Folk Poetry

The Sussex Wit are not your average new-folk band, and front man Johnny Flynn is definitely not a typical singer-songwriter. A 25 year-old Shakespearean actor, Flynn brings a unique and very literate style to this talented group of musicians, who provide his songs with a very rustic, age-old sound with a twist. It's a combination that has produced an album of musical poetry that sounds both ancient and modern. Besides being a great lyricist, Flynn also plays about a billion instruments (guitar, banjo, violin, trumpet etc.) which fill out the songs when necessary, and disappear altogether on a couple of simple, finger-picked tracks (some of my favorites). The mix of styles and instruments keeps things interesting throughout the album, though it never gets too scattered. A couple songs drag a little, and a somewhat annoying cello or violin effect comes screeching along occasionally, which distracts from the music, though I suppose that's a personal preference. Also, Flynn sometimes is too busy writing beautiful phrases to worry about melody, as in "Eyeless in Holloway." Generally, however, the music rolls along as Flynn tells clever and enjoyable yarns from yesteryear; good stuff. All-in-all, a very accomplished debut album and an artist that I will look forward to hearing from again. If you like your folk with and olde fashioned twist, check out 'A Larum.' Favorite Tracks: The Box, Leftovers, Tunnels

Johnn Flynn is amazing!!!

Johnny Flynn is an amazing artist and a wonderful musician. This music is honest and lyrical. It's not like anything out there now and I love it! Bottom Line : Check out this amazing artist! :)


You will not spend a better eight dollars on i-tunes. This album is a steal. It is simultaneously original and traditional. The musical arrangements are top rate, perfectly performed, and happily accompanied by thought provoking lyrics. It's the album I've been trying to find for years.


Born: London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An actor, poet, and Americana-styled songwriter, Johnny Flynn was initially a member of British folk group the Sussex Wit before moving up to become the group's frontman. As would befit someone with such a varied artistic background, Flynn cited both W.B. Yeats and Shakespeare as influences, as well as musicians such as John Fahey, Vaughan Williams, and Langhorne Slim. Flynn's debut album, A Larum (recorded with the Sussex Wit but credited with his name), was released in 2008 on Vertigo Records in...
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A Larum, Johnny Flynn
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Customer Ratings