In 2015, following the release of long player Preparing For Flight with backing group The State of Things, Dan Flynn entered his home studio and shut the door. Ghost Melodies is what happened during this exile.
The album has been hastily identified by some critics as “folk”. For listeners calmed by the safety of the genre pigeonhole, the work is certainly underpinned by strong technique and storytelling.
However, Ghost Melodies is perhaps better described as the unfolding of a folk artist in electronic passage. Moog and Mellotron spearhead the 10 tracks, resulting in his most artful album to date. Flynn’s time in spooked soundscape duo Children of the Wave also seems to have contributed further confidence in exploring this new synth sound.
Soaring harmonies edify the song writing he has consistently been noted for, but Ghost Melodies is a fresh creature. Even when Flynn allows his acoustic guitar to pilot on blustery The Man I Could Have Become (a song that would fit seamlessly into a Nick Cave set) the song doesn’t feel out of place.
This is because the song list progresses so beautifully. Flynn has been patient in creating an album that is not simply a collection of new material. Thoughtful sonic connections drive to an end where the outer limits are a joy: a place where we bask in the owl light of some pixelated dusk.
Bittersweet atmospheres resonate throughout. Tracks like Everything He Does, Across the Wire, and This One’s For You/ Last Waltz bring artists such as John Grant, Jason Lytle and Mark Linkous to mind.
This is a thriving solo album and one Flynn should feel exceptionally proud to have brought into being. Fortunately, he is also feeling social again and looking forward to playing live.