Myra Flynn’s debut album “Crooked Measures” is a diverse beast. It basks in the warm glow of Myra’s soulful vocals and a vast range of song styles from folk to jazz and leapfrogging many singer/songwriter genres inbetween.
“Feel Like the Sunshine” opens the album with a fuzzy warm funky folksy track with some beautiful vocal layering that breeze over you. Myra’s voice is something that really hits you square in the jaw. It’s sultry and silky smooth and lures you into false security. Sometimes, especially in other songs, you forget the lyrics aren’t exactly happy, but you don’t immediately feel that. This opener is a great finger clicker!
“Long Fall Down” is a slower soft rock ballad where all the instrumentation and vocals drip emotion through the speakers. The strings really add to the overall feel and depth of the song as it sways by. “Just Because” initially takes things down to an intimate level before drums and vocal layers aplenty flood in for a simple but effective melody and hook. It builds and builds into a low key finale and ends up being a real powerhouse of a song that displays Myra’s talent at some of its best. “So It Goes” slinks and shimmies along with plenty of soul and diva in its vocal delivery. This is the track where you want to stand up and shout the lyrics whilst shaking your fist at the audience surely!
“Bones”, like a lot of the album, is suited to a video montage in a rom-com film where the leads share a lovely day out together. It has a certain glow to it, a homeliness that invites you on, especially with the excellent vocal collage at the end. “Hold It Up” is more folk rock with some techie twists which effectively make what sounds like a string strum become the percussive beat to the track.
“Small Talk” takes the album into a different plain. The snazzy blues track with a fantastic chourus that instantly sticks in your head on the first listen, its a playful track and makes you smile while it deals with tons of issues. It’s a real standout in terms of style in the album and therefore sticks out as a favourite of mine.
“What Am I” is a rock ballad which again showcases a simple melody with strong vocals with splashes of jazz, soul and blues all rolled into your average acoustic singer/songwriter. “Where Do You Go” strips things back to a piano/vocal base and it takes its time to deliver each line, which makes things weigh so much more on you as a listener. Some of the songs on the album do feel like the words are flying by at 100mph, but here its refreshing to feel each nuance.
“Miss Independance” is a great track. Claps, hums and vocal tracks collide to give a track with attitude! This kind of daring arrangement of a track showcases Flynn’s future potential as it absolutely suits her sassy voice which has such a huge range, she could happily be the whole choir and here it shows. This is without doubt my favourite track from the album.
“Fragile” closes the album with an uptempo jazz-rock track which again throws a new genre at us. It’s an uplifting end to what is on the whole a warm album. It has a catchy chorus, simple chord and melody structure and features Myra’s vocals – it can’t really lose!
“Crooked Measures” took me a few listens to understand. Having come from seeing her play a piano/vocal track live – I was compelled to buy the album and the overall sound wasn’t really what I was expecting. As a listener, I really struggle with anything with a hint of Jazz and so its a testament to Flynn’s music that I came back and began to really enjoy the album as a whole! Its probably twice as hard too, to make an album that’s as much as warm glowy one as a miserable one and still have credibility. “Crooked Measures” succeeds with that. It’s catchy, fun, if a bit safe and samey in places, Myra’s vocals absolutely raise the music to a higher plain and when she breaks the mould from the usual soft rock, Flynn’s music really bursts into life.