Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit - Been Listening (3 stars)

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit - Been Listening


Alongside 27-year-old Flynn’s mature-beyond-his-years lyricism and songwriting ability, as demonstrated on 2008’s A Larum, Been Listening reveals a much broader musical palate, and a band on very fine form indeed. Blues influences are still present and correct, with folk roots consolidated by Laura Marling’s guest appearance on ‘The Water’, but The Sussex Wit also take us on a whistle-stop musical world tour, bringing a tight-but-loose afro-pop vibe on ‘Churlish May’, and sounding like Joy Division unplugged on ‘Barnacled Warship’. Horns, strings and the prerequisite banjo and resonator guitar take us round the Balkans and West Africa via the Ozark Mountains and Central America, and Johnannesburg-born Mr Flynn’s magical storytelling and razor-keen melodic sense make for truly engaging listening.

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