Written By Kelly Holm
In an era when many families have been locked down together for months on end, and it’s looking like an increasingly good idea to stay home for the holidays, Irish singer-songwriter Flynn’s “One of Us” voices compassion for what hordes of young people are feeling in their struggle to grow up amidst a pandemic.
“I’ve been lost and/I’ve been dying to find/A piece of me again,” Flynn laments. “Now I’m back here… back on my home ground/I know what it is now, to be one of us, one of us.”
With a rallying cry of a chorus and a music video full of wide-open landscapes and graffiti-clad buildings, the track— which can be found on the recent EP of the same name— is sure to appeal to those who love James Bay’s “Chew on My Heart.”
One of Us, the EP, boasts four other tracks and was released on October 23rd. Written in London, Brighton, Hastings, Bristol and even on Zoom, Flynn says it’s his coming-of-age EP. “I’ve been working on songs for years, and I wanted to sort of sum up my life so far, and touch on the lessons I’ve learned along the way,” he says. “We’re all ‘One of Us’ and it’s okay to go through a lot of emotions in life; those make us all stronger in the end… Just keep going and believe in yourself.”
Hailing from Mullingar, Ireland, Flynn grew up performing in school talent shows before deciding that “after I received my terrible final school exam results, music was my only option.” But it took cutthroat determination to get to where he is today, and the willingness to laugh at himself. Inspired by Pharrell Williams, he began dabbling in songwriting after moving to Bristol, England.
“[My first song was] a terrible song called ‘The Bench.’ I had no idea what to expect because I was just off the plane,” Flynn reminisces. “I actually still have it on paper. I don’t think it will make the album, though.”
Luckily, Flynn’s expanded his stash of original material since then, from breakup anthems to crowd pleasers to feel-good vibes.
“I’m reflecting on deep feelings quite often, but then I turn it on its head and keep it upbeat, like on [One of Us‘ single] ‘B-Side’,” he says.
Other tunes from the EP include “Selling Me Love”— “the last song I performed live before the world went upside down”— and “I Don’t Wanna Love You.”
“It’s a really personal song to me,” Flynn says of the latter track. “Writing it helped me move on from a shitty situation.”
Life as a performer has been tricky for Flynn during social distancing— “Making videos has been a pretty interesting challenge”— but he still seeks to chase any possible silver linings, and never takes anything for granted.
“I’ve written some of my favourite songs so far during lockdown, so it hasn’t been a massive hindrance in that respect,” he shares. “I guess I’m sad and a bit fed up, and I always write my best songs when I’m sad and a bit fed up.”
An encouraging note? We might get to hear some of those songs sooner rather than later.
“I’ll be spending the rest of 2020 promoting [One of Us, but] I want to have my next EP written too, so I can carry straight on into 2021,” Flynn teases. “Once I’ve achieved one thing, I find that I’m always on to the next.”