Johnny Flynn released his fourth album, Country Mile, to critical acclaim this week, not least in these pages. Renowned for his blending of more traditional folk influences with a characteristic poetic, literate modern twist, the musical palette he draws from is as broad as it is rich. To mark the release of the record, Flynn put together the following playlist to pay tribute to the artists that he’s worked with, and been inspired by, in the making of the record.
Marika Hackman – ‘You Come Down’
This is a beautiful song that I had the pleasure of producing for her first EP. She’s pretty special and we get to tour with her in October. I’m thrilled to see what she does because she doesn’t have a big ego, she’s very young and you can tell she plucks her lyrics straight from some other realm in her subconscious.
Anna Calvi - ‘Morning Light’
Obviously Anna is pretty well known, but since I first heard her I felt she was pretty special. Her songs are so beautiful and the imagination she brings to her own very distinguished understanding of music is exhilarating. It was a thrill for me to have her play on a song on our second record and I’m excited for what she’ll do next.
The Melodic – ‘On My Way’
These guys are old friends and we’ve done lots of touring with them. They have taken their time making their first record, and it’s about to come out on ANTI. We met them when they were all still at school and university, so they took a few years to pool together after studying. Rudi the charango player just came back from a period of time studying with a charango master in America – that’s something to be admired and encouraged in a world where I’m sure they had industry people breathing down their necks to put something out. It seems they’re ready to play now and I’m proud to have watched them become an amazing band.
Cosmo Sheldrake - ‘The Fly’
Cosmo is an old friend who I’ve known growing up. He’s actually my wife’s mother’s godson… anyway he’s sort of a genius and pretty soon you’ll know that for yourself. He’s joining our band for some upcoming tours this autumn and will be supporting us with own set on those shows as well.
Barbarossa – ‘Pagliaccio’
James, aka Barbarossa, is an old friend – I used to play in his band, then he played in mine, and now he’s got busy with this brilliant new record of his (Bloodlines) so he’s off touring that. He’s the sweetest soul and cares so much about making good music.
Country Mile is out now on Transgressive.