#24 on the 2010 Musical Bacon Calendar
Been Listening by Johnny Flynn
I know deep down my tastes in music are indirectly influenced by the internet’s biggest indie music critic, Pitchfork.com. But I also know deep down that Pitchfork’s taste doesn’t have to match my like or dislike for a band. Quite often it doesn’t; I still sometimes listen to Travis Morrison’s Travistan, which the website infamously gave an 0.0 rating. But it still gives me some sort of strange pleasure to feature a great artist in my 2010 list that is decidedly “indie,” but has somehow flown under the Pitchfork radar. So, please allow me to introduce Johnny Flynn.
If you manage to hail from somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic, chances are a little better that you may have heard of Johnny and his band, the Sussex Wit. Been Listening is their second album, and even though they have little-to-no following here in the states, they managed to fill up the High Dive in Fremont with expats when they recently came through town — on a Monday night, no less. As I said in my review at that time:
Skinny, of average height, with a grey flannel shirt, levis, and a blonde mop raked across his head in that emo-boy way, he masterfully played the steel guitar he had strapped to his chest. The most surprising thing about him is the depth of his voice. Somewhere between Peter Murphy and Robyn Hitchcock, he sang one beautiful story-based tune after another.
Those of you that know Elvis Perkins’ music will find a familiar home in Flynn’s songs. Filled with horns, guitars, hollow-sounding percussion and the aforementioned steel guitar, Flynn paints a canvas of sound that you think you know, but can’t quite put your finger on. But I do hope you pick up Been Listening. You’ll thank me later.
25. The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
26. Lisbon by The Walkmen
27. Scratch My Back by Peter Gabriel
28. All Day by Girl Talk
29. A Storm – A Tree – My Mother’s Head by Bobby Bare Jr.
30. 03 to TEN by Knathan Ryan
31. In This Light On This Evening by Editors