Michael Flynn Latest Album Is Sinatra Meets Lord of the Flies

Just as Frank Sinatra beckoned Come Fly With Me, Michael Flynn’s Survive With Me is an invitation, a 2020 version of a similar calling. Today, he premieres his title track as the second single ahead of his third studio album. Flynn plans to release the record October 13 as a manifesto, a new sonic journey for the pioneering solo artist.

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Looking to the greats and their timeless encapsulation of immediacy, he thought, “What would the modern version of that look like?” The record was an excuse for him to work with talented people he loves, which aren’t necessarily in the music world. A dear college friend, John Brooks, helped him bring his aesthetic to life. He described the aptly designed album cover as “Sinatra meets Lord of the Flies.”

The title track is a timely summation of the anxiety that purveys the record and his life at the moment. “I was just trying to write a sweet little love song, but climate anxiety kept creeping in,” he says. “It’s a love song that will resonate with people feeling the same way about lack of action from people in power.”

He points particularly to the attitudes of older generations toward climate change. This is the same population that will likely not live to see the real reckoning day of Mother Nature. The song reveals a signature move of his artistry, disguising a severe condemnation behind cheerful cadence.

“Tell them that the world they loved is never coming back / Guess they should have put their faith in scientific fact,” he sings.

This messaging leads directly into the soul of Flynn’s forthcoming collection. The artist moved from the bustling streets of Charleston to the higher ground in Western North Carolina. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he and his partner have enjoyed a deeper, convenient connection to the natural world during the pandemic-permitted time this year. Pieces of their homelife seep into his songs. The songwriting is quasi-autobiographical. The details are not entirely true, but the emotion is real.

Songs like “Too Many Dreams” and “Saluda” point to this place in time. He speaks to the changing tides of adult life and growing a family in an uncertain world. He is proud to share his closing commentary on the music industry, “Satan Take The Wheel.” With humor, he discusses the inner-dialogue of an artist contemplating “selling-out” to the commercial monopoly of the business side of making music.

“It’s a soundtrack for someone figuring out how to have a small happy life amidst unwieldy worldwide problem,” he says. “I go back and forth between cradling the precious things and leaning over the abyss looking down.”

Silver linings of the present situation for Flynn include widespread, previously unfeasible fan engagement. He did not foresee the success of streaming shows. His extensive touring experience garnered small pockets of fans from far reaching corners of the world. An artist of his scale cannot travel back to London or San Fransisco frequently to check in with this audience. Still, virtual concerts allow them an opportunity to connect not only with Flynn but join the collective pool of fans from all over.

“There is no replacement for playing for people. It’s awkward playing for your phone, and watching hearts bubble up is not the same. Yet, there is zero hassle or overhead. On a traditional tour, after expenses are covered, that leaves money maybe for dinner,” he says.

 The track will be available on streaming services Monday, September 14. Listen exclusively below.

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