In Review: Folk Singer-Songwriter Michael Flynn Releases New EP ‘endlings’

On February 4th, Michael Flynn released endlings, the EP titled after the last existing member of a species, which is kind of what Flynn feels he is.

The whole record, though brief in nature, covers an impressive range of emotion and feeling. The 5-track collection explores the idea of being “the last of your kind,” following an arc that derives from grief, and melds into a humble acceptance of fresh and encouraging circumstances.

The new record displays Flynn’s easy-on-the-ear acoustic sounds and often gentle vocals that combine to lull the listener in. American Songwriter described the North Carolina songwriter as, “A pioneering solo artist,” and after listening to endlings, it’s hard to dispute.

“The EP is called ‘endlings’ because these songs were written during a period when I was really reflecting on my life in music and how long it has now lasted…I’ve never made a record like this, a small and intimate and unvarnished family of songs that couldn’t just sit and wait to be included in a larger release,” says Flynn.

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The new collection of songs comes after three albums and various other releases since 2014 from Flynn. His history making music goes back further, as he’s also played with the band Slow Runner in the 2000s.

The band did some international touring with artists such as Josh Ritter, The Avett Brothers and Built to Spill to name a few, which is undoubtedly where Flynn honed his performance chops and learned a thing or two.

“Damage”, the first single released from the EP, came out January 17th, to which Under the Radar premiered the single, describing it as a “tender piano ballad… joined by weeping pedal steel and a stirring string section.” The song is about beginnings and starting something new, which is inspired by Slow Runner, the band that gave Flynn his start.

Flynn includes a musical interlude with the track, “Andrew Henry’s Meadow,” which is followed by a more upbeat higher energy track than the first two songs. “Weights and Measures” offers a sound that is more comparable to his previous album, Survive With Me. The lyrics still fit closely with this EP, in the theme of how life feels as we age and the world going in different directions all around us.

A beautiful EP with mixtures of both melancholy and joyous feelings, Flynn’s endlings is a timeless record that comes at what seems to be the perfect time for all of us.

Earlier this year, Flynn won the 20th annual NewSong Music Performance + Songwriting Competition. He is set to begin recording another collection of tracks at Citizen Studios in Asheville later this year. 

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