Having previously traded as Major Chord, this is the first outing for the Melbourne indie folkie Dan Flynn under his own name. Joining him are Aaron Pepper (drums, keys), Meabh Friel (vocals, mandolin) and Phil Collings (bass), they also performed on the final Major Chord album.
Drawing on influences that are both obvious (Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel) and less so (Fairport Convention), it’s a gentle, airy affair that sometimes belies the darker shades of the lyrics, which may talk of love and nature on the likes of Blanket in the Snow and the rippling Sunny Autumn Weather and family with the humming Father Like Him, but also address the way we turn a blind eye to social issues with the simple fingerpicked The State of Things.
It’s not all soft and sweet melodies either, Boy, Can He Run (which seems to be about how we can lose track of our children) has a slow, clanking march rhythm underscored with throbbing synth, rasping bass and Celtic whistle while the departure trajectory of Preparing For Flight Part One gradually layers cosmic clouds of synths and vocal effects over the repetitive guitar pattern, a chugging Part Two closing the album with Kate Connor’s bowed violin and rumbling hollow percussion before gathering pace as guitars and Friel’s harmonies and backing vocals enter the mix for a feel more reminiscent of early 70s West Coast America. A minute or so of silence gives way to a hidden track, where the band indulge in full on psychedelia backward tapes. I can’t see it making a huge splash and taking off outside his established stomping ground, but even so there’s much here worth a listen.
Review by: Mike Davies