"You can't sing all the songs... Well, some people do. But you can tell if someone doesn't connect with that song..." Unlike what we might expect, traditional music is not one-size-fits-all. Each song has its own story, history and characters which the singers must serve, rather than themselves.
On his new album, Look Over The Wall, See The Sky, John Francis Flynn delicately unpicks these traditional songs and rearranges them with an emotional force that sometimes leaves them unanchored, floating in a surreal space between the past and the present, the analogue and the digital, between love and tragedy. In his first single, Mole In The Ground, a cover of an American anti-establishment folk song recorded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928, John allows the surrealism of the song to take centre stage, opting to speak rather than sing the words.
His voice, too, lives beneath the ground of the melody, burrowing its way beneath hypnotic drums, dancing guitars, and sliding violins. By taking away the nursery rhyme-like melody of the song, we focus on our narrators' fantasies and desires, but also on "the weirdness of the song, and its aggressiveness. The last line is: I don't like the railroad man/ the railroad man will kill you when he can/ and he'll drink up your blood like red wine, and I wanted to get to grips with that emotion."