Myra Flynn
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Myra Flynn

Burlington, Vermont, United States | SELF

Burlington, Vermont, United States | SELF
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"Myra Flynn-For The Record"

Myra Flynn, For the Record
Album Review
BY DAN BOLLES [08.03.11)
Contrary to popular belief, being a musician is hard goddamn work. While fables of obscure singers rising to stardom make for good rock-journo copy, the reality is that such Cinderella stories are just that: fairy tales. To make it in music requires thick skin, a stiff upper lip and an almost inhuman level of dedication to one’s craft. Writing, recording, touring and promoting yourself is grueling and often thankless. Only a special type of person can deal with the inevitable frustrations, failures and indignities that almost seem mandatory along the road to success.

Burlington’s Myra Flynn understands this well. The neo-soul songstress has displayed tireless dedication throughout her songwriting career as she has inched, little by little, toward the top. It’s been a bumpy road at times. Flynn’s 2009 debut album, Crooked Measures, though promising, was an accurate reflection of a struggling songwriter still getting her bearings. Since then, Flynn has pressed on, relentlessly gigging, writing and networking. Now, with the release of her stirring sophomore follow-up, For the Record, she is ready to reap the fruit of her relentless labor.

Where Crooked Measures introduced Flynn as a talented but somewhat insecure singer, For the Record reveals a mature and self-assured diva. From the album’s hushed opening strains on the cunningly titled “Expectations,” Flynn serves notice that she has arrived. Gone are girlish flights of thin, falsetto fancy. Instead, she delivers sensuous, full-bodied heart and soul that demands attention.

Flynn’s writing and arrangements have similarly developed, from sturdy but derivative musings to full-fledged ingenuity. Much like her mentor, local pop prince Gregory Douglass, Flynn seems unafraid to challenge not only her own boundaries but those of the pop archetypes within which she exists.

“Emergency” is a shifty, scintillating rocker, while “Memo” sounds something like Beyoncé fronting TV on the Radio. “Say So” is a playfully cheeky pop charmer that explodes at the finish. And “Pretty Face” revisits the tender R&B-tinged neo-soul for which Flynn is best known. Throughout the record, she crafts lush, orchestral pop suites as engaging as they are inventive.

From start to finish, there’s hardly a weak link among the record’s 11 tracks. Even fleeting lesser moments, such as the meandering, borderline-precious “Broken Down Baby,” are rescued by Flynn’s confident, forceful approach. And more often than not, she executes them with a grace, style and class that can only come from experience. Congratulations, Myra Flynn. Your work has paid off in spades.

Flynn celebrates the release of For the Record this Friday, August 5, at the Black Door in Montpelier, and at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe on Saturday, August 6, with Gregory Douglass.
- Seven Days


"Myra Flynn-For The Record"

Myra Flynn, For the Record
Album Review
BY DAN BOLLES [08.03.11)
Contrary to popular belief, being a musician is hard goddamn work. While fables of obscure singers rising to stardom make for good rock-journo copy, the reality is that such Cinderella stories are just that: fairy tales. To make it in music requires thick skin, a stiff upper lip and an almost inhuman level of dedication to one’s craft. Writing, recording, touring and promoting yourself is grueling and often thankless. Only a special type of person can deal with the inevitable frustrations, failures and indignities that almost seem mandatory along the road to success.

Burlington’s Myra Flynn understands this well. The neo-soul songstress has displayed tireless dedication throughout her songwriting career as she has inched, little by little, toward the top. It’s been a bumpy road at times. Flynn’s 2009 debut album, Crooked Measures, though promising, was an accurate reflection of a struggling songwriter still getting her bearings. Since then, Flynn has pressed on, relentlessly gigging, writing and networking. Now, with the release of her stirring sophomore follow-up, For the Record, she is ready to reap the fruit of her relentless labor.

Where Crooked Measures introduced Flynn as a talented but somewhat insecure singer, For the Record reveals a mature and self-assured diva. From the album’s hushed opening strains on the cunningly titled “Expectations,” Flynn serves notice that she has arrived. Gone are girlish flights of thin, falsetto fancy. Instead, she delivers sensuous, full-bodied heart and soul that demands attention.

Flynn’s writing and arrangements have similarly developed, from sturdy but derivative musings to full-fledged ingenuity. Much like her mentor, local pop prince Gregory Douglass, Flynn seems unafraid to challenge not only her own boundaries but those of the pop archetypes within which she exists.

“Emergency” is a shifty, scintillating rocker, while “Memo” sounds something like Beyoncé fronting TV on the Radio. “Say So” is a playfully cheeky pop charmer that explodes at the finish. And “Pretty Face” revisits the tender R&B-tinged neo-soul for which Flynn is best known. Throughout the record, she crafts lush, orchestral pop suites as engaging as they are inventive.

From start to finish, there’s hardly a weak link among the record’s 11 tracks. Even fleeting lesser moments, such as the meandering, borderline-precious “Broken Down Baby,” are rescued by Flynn’s confident, forceful approach. And more often than not, she executes them with a grace, style and class that can only come from experience. Congratulations, Myra Flynn. Your work has paid off in spades.

Flynn celebrates the release of For the Record this Friday, August 5, at the Black Door in Montpelier, and at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe on Saturday, August 6, with Gregory Douglass.
- Seven Days


"Myra Flynn For The Record Review"

Burlington, Vermont’s Myra Flynn is a testament to the new music industry. With fierce independence she embraces (and frankly, attacks) not only the role of singer/songwriter, but also of manager, promoter and marketing director. The results of her relentless drive can be seen in full effect when her new album, For The Record, which drops in early August.

For The Record finds Flynn revisiting the folk-meet-soul territory of her 2009 debut, Crooked Measures, but with a self-assured sense of commitment and what seems like another lifetime of reasons to sing.

Her vocal influences have as much in common with Ani Difranco and Shawn Colvin as they do with Rihanna and Jill Scott.

Emergency appears early on the record and finds Flynn mining her poppier sensibilities. It’s a wonderful piano rocker that pulls out all the stops—bringing in the full-band treatment and layering crunchy vocal effects into the production for a track that could easily find its way onto the playlist of a forward thinking independent radio station.

Title track For The Record is a beautiful, soulful piano ballad and realist’s view of love. “Love isn’t joy/Love isn’t pain/Love just takes time.” Adding to the intimacy of the track is its tinkling, music box intro which breaks out into a tear jerking account of relationships in the real world—complete with arguments that no one wins and the tedious yet surprisingly tender moments of a day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year relationship with a soul-mate.

The double-dutch jump-rope chant of Say So is entertainingly incongruous given the song’s subject matter—a kiss off to a shallow lover. The song breaks out into a full-on indie rock jam before returning to its playground melody at the end.

What’s truly wonderful about Flynn is her desire to pursue her dreams her own way. With her vocal and songwriting chops she could easily churn out Top 40 R&B hits. She insists instead on delivering her unique and uncategorizable brand of indie-folk-soul-R&B, making her maybe slightly less marketable but certainly far more entertaining. When Flynn hits the big times it will be on her own terms—that’s for sure.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch Myra trying out her new tracks when she embarks on the For The Record mini-tour:

August 5 – Black Door, Montpelier, VT
August 6 – Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT
August 15 – Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
August 19 – Flynn Space, Burlington, VT
August 24 – P.A.’s Lounge, Somerville, MA (as part of The Deli Magazine’s artist showcase series)
September 14 – Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY

--George Dow - New England Deli Magazine


"Myra Flynn For The Record Review"

Burlington, Vermont’s Myra Flynn is a testament to the new music industry. With fierce independence she embraces (and frankly, attacks) not only the role of singer/songwriter, but also of manager, promoter and marketing director. The results of her relentless drive can be seen in full effect when her new album, For The Record, which drops in early August.

For The Record finds Flynn revisiting the folk-meet-soul territory of her 2009 debut, Crooked Measures, but with a self-assured sense of commitment and what seems like another lifetime of reasons to sing.

Her vocal influences have as much in common with Ani Difranco and Shawn Colvin as they do with Rihanna and Jill Scott.

Emergency appears early on the record and finds Flynn mining her poppier sensibilities. It’s a wonderful piano rocker that pulls out all the stops—bringing in the full-band treatment and layering crunchy vocal effects into the production for a track that could easily find its way onto the playlist of a forward thinking independent radio station.

Title track For The Record is a beautiful, soulful piano ballad and realist’s view of love. “Love isn’t joy/Love isn’t pain/Love just takes time.” Adding to the intimacy of the track is its tinkling, music box intro which breaks out into a tear jerking account of relationships in the real world—complete with arguments that no one wins and the tedious yet surprisingly tender moments of a day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year relationship with a soul-mate.

The double-dutch jump-rope chant of Say So is entertainingly incongruous given the song’s subject matter—a kiss off to a shallow lover. The song breaks out into a full-on indie rock jam before returning to its playground melody at the end.

What’s truly wonderful about Flynn is her desire to pursue her dreams her own way. With her vocal and songwriting chops she could easily churn out Top 40 R&B hits. She insists instead on delivering her unique and uncategorizable brand of indie-folk-soul-R&B, making her maybe slightly less marketable but certainly far more entertaining. When Flynn hits the big times it will be on her own terms—that’s for sure.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch Myra trying out her new tracks when she embarks on the For The Record mini-tour:

August 5 – Black Door, Montpelier, VT
August 6 – Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT
August 15 – Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
August 19 – Flynn Space, Burlington, VT
August 24 – P.A.’s Lounge, Somerville, MA (as part of The Deli Magazine’s artist showcase series)
September 14 – Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY

--George Dow - New England Deli Magazine


"Best up and Coming Performer"

Myra Flynn
Winner: 2010.


myra flynn
http://www.myspace.com/myraflynn
(map)
COMIN’ ON STRONG

It may come as a surprise that some readers consider Myra Flynn “up and coming.” Not because she doesn’t deserve recognition as one of the best voices in the Vermont music scene, but because one could say this soulful diva already “arrived” with her 2009 debut Crooked Measures. After all, she was runner-up to rock star Grace Potter in the Best Vocalist category last year. But Flynn’s still got places to go — she’s working on her second album of classic-R&B-tinged neo-soul in the vein of Erykah Badu, India.Arie and Sharon Jones. This time, Flynn has friend and fellow songwriter (and 2010 Daysie winner) Gregory Douglass acting as producer, and he describes her new album as “a little bit edgier.” While the disc probably won’t be out until early next year, until then you can hear Flynn and Douglass collaborating as ’80s cover band Side Pony, as well as playing separate shows. From neo-soul to new wave — now, that’s versatility. Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Flynn and the runner-up in this category, Justin Levinson, are getting married!

-Tyler Machado

2010 Runner-up: Justin Levinson - Seven Days 2010


"Best up and Coming Performer"

Myra Flynn
Winner: 2010.


myra flynn
http://www.myspace.com/myraflynn
(map)
COMIN’ ON STRONG

It may come as a surprise that some readers consider Myra Flynn “up and coming.” Not because she doesn’t deserve recognition as one of the best voices in the Vermont music scene, but because one could say this soulful diva already “arrived” with her 2009 debut Crooked Measures. After all, she was runner-up to rock star Grace Potter in the Best Vocalist category last year. But Flynn’s still got places to go — she’s working on her second album of classic-R&B-tinged neo-soul in the vein of Erykah Badu, India.Arie and Sharon Jones. This time, Flynn has friend and fellow songwriter (and 2010 Daysie winner) Gregory Douglass acting as producer, and he describes her new album as “a little bit edgier.” While the disc probably won’t be out until early next year, until then you can hear Flynn and Douglass collaborating as ’80s cover band Side Pony, as well as playing separate shows. From neo-soul to new wave — now, that’s versatility. Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Flynn and the runner-up in this category, Justin Levinson, are getting married!

-Tyler Machado

2010 Runner-up: Justin Levinson - Seven Days 2010


"Myra Flynn is Coming Into Her Own"

By ART EDELSTEIN Arts Correspondent - Published: June 19, 2009

A happy start to summer is the new CD by Myra Flynn, "Crooked Measures." This is a bouncy, airy, soulful CD by a singer/songwriter headed for national recognition.

Flynn is a 24-year-old who already has eight years of recording and performing experience under her belt. With smart, insightful lyrics, strong pop melodies, and very professional production and instrumentation from Colin McCaffrey, this album is a joy to listen to.

When comparing Flynn's vocal stylings, the likes of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Leela James and Alicia Keys come to mind. But on a track like "So It Goes," I thought of Aretha Franklin.

Flynn says she counts Joni Mitchell among her lyrical influences. While there is a boldness in her words, she isn't yet turning phrases quite as poetically bold as Mitchell.

It's a bit hard to categorize Flynn's music. While definitely pop, there's a lot of sincerity in her vocal delivery, a sense that the words she delivers actually mean something to her. McCaffrey does a good job of having Flynn layer her vocals with background singing to give emphasis and depth to the words. The overall sound created on this album has a warm richness, glowing honey rather than fizzy cola. The setting gives maximum exposure to Flynn's voice, which is well placed front and center in the mix.

I think the most creative song on the album is track seven, "Small Talk." This track is a departure from the other themes, with its jazz setting and McCaffrey playing ukulele and mandolin. With lyrics that would ban it from radio play, its premise is a telephone conversation about getting to the point of real emotions. It swings, as well as conveying raw feelings.

The album's emotional high point is track nine, "Where Do You Go," a lovely torch song about love and breaking through a partner's emotional defensive wall. Piano and harmonica bring out the poignancy of reaching out and not making contact.

A professional musician since she was 16, this central Vermonter says she earned a record deal with Wyclef Jean's Refugee All Stars. In the ensuing years she has been an opening act for Ivan Neville, Alexa Ray Joel, Slick Rick and Lee "Scratch" Perry.

"I was a writer before I was a singer," says Flynn, who also works as a journalist.

Central Vermonters probably haven't seen that much of Flynn, whose picture brings to mind Ronnie Specter from the Ronnettes, a 1960s girl band. This versatile musician performs as an intimate solo act, with musical collaborator Paul Boffa as Quiet Songs, or backed by her band Spark.

Flynn is holding two CD release parties, the first this Saturday at Flynn Space in Burlington at 9:30 p.m., and next Saturday, the 27th, at the Black Door Bistro in Montpelier.

I predict that Flynn will garner national attention like fellow Vermonters Phish and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have already done. These CD release parties are a chance to see a really good performer in an intimate setting.
- Times Argus


"Definitely Not Funk"

By Alicia DeMartini

Every Sunday evening at Red Square’s alley-turned-performance venue on Church Street, you can hear Myra Flynn’s sultry vocals drifting past the late night diners and shoppers. “Every Sunday I come here expecting a really empty house,” Myra said to the audience, “Because… well, it’s Sunday.” However, this Sunday, like so many others, Red Square was filled to the brim with loyal fans and intrigued newcomers. Seated in front was Myra’s dedicated fan base consisting of friends and family, while Church Street passersby paused to listen.

The chemistry that Myra has with her band is obvious, and she couldn’t “sing” their praises enough. Paul Boffa, on the bass guitar, occasionally accompanied Myra on vocals. Andy Harris was on the keyboard; Myra dubbed him the “mad scientist,” probably due to his slightly crazy hair and playful nature on stage. Simon Plumpton rocked the drums, and dealt a great deal of teasing from the rest of the band members throughout the show. Dave Grippo, an “unofficial member” of the band, joined in with his saxophone. Much to everyone’s delight he had been joining in with Myra and friends at their Red Square appearances.

After the show Myra, just 24-years-old, sat down to describe her life, her music, and her ideas over the glowing red candles outside Red Square. Dressed in a cropped top with fashionable high-waisted jeans, her tiny frame is elevated with tall heels, accentuated with a mass of light-brown, curly hair that seemed to reflect her upbeat personality. She grew up in Randolph, Vermont, and has been singing “since forever.”

At the tender age of 16, she got her big break when she was offered a record deal with Wyclef Jean’s Refugee All Stars. This experience helped her to decide that from then on she did not want to be famous. “This is where I want to be,” she said, gesturing to the lights and sounds of downtown Burlington. She went to school at Dickinson in Philadelphia, majoring in English with a minor in Communications. She claimed she was a writer before she was a singer, which helped her in writing her own songs. Along with her own music, she enjoys covering a variety of artists. At this particular Sunday’s performance, the band covered Damien Rice, Corinne Bailey-Rae, and Prince, among others. Her musical inspirations include Erykah Badu and Joni Mitchell. When asked to describe her style of music, she was quick to point out that it was definitely not funk; “There’s nothing funky about us,” she claimed, her bracelets jangling as she emphasized her point. Neo-soul was her description of choice, which matches with the styles of her muses.

In past performances, Myra has opened for the Neville Brothers, Alexa Ray Joel (Billy Joel’s daughter), Slick Rick, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. She’s looking into recording a solo album, and also works as a journalist at the Burlington Free Press; she says she would love to write about what venues pay performers in Burlington. Check out Myra Flynn and her band, Spark! every Sunday night at 8 p.m., at Red Square in Burlington, Vermont. - Tunk


"Vermont Vibers Need Some Myra Flynn"

If you are a Vermont Viber, you need to vibe your way to a Myra Flynn show. I guess now that I have abandoned the Vermont Music Blog (time, my friends, time), I can still write about fantastic Vermont musicians on the Vermont Vibes Blog. And I will.
So, yes, Myra Flynn. This woman is amazing. I seriously need to urge all Vermont Vibers and Vermonters period to make a definite effort to go check out a show. She is playing everywhere on many nights so it shouldn't be difficult to find a time to see her. Check out her upcoming shows and pick on to attend! You will be knocked off your rocker.

This soulful Vermont singer is truly in a league of her own and we as Vermonters are lucky she hasn't whisked away to the lures of big music cities. I had the chance to chat a bit about this with Myra when we had lunch a few weeks ago (she is also a talented writer and journalist). She said she sometimes does the New York thing, but there is nothing like playing to the intimate, cozy crowds of music loving Vermonters. And she said this in such a humble, honest way, I could do nothing but admire her and be grateful I really got to have such a conversation with the best singer I have ever met. (And I have actually met a lot as I was a singer in a former life and even performed with Natalie Merchant and Kenny Rogers if you can believe it.)

Watching Myra perform is magical in itself. Her vibes are so pure and she can bring you in so small and delicately and than wallop you like a diva who means business. It's great fun to see her perform. And her voice - well, it's sheer brilliance. I am happy to say Myra is off in Boston as I write recording a CD which I can't wait to get my hands on. This will be a fabulous addition to the Vermont Vibes repertoire. For all who vibe, check out Myra's website - www.myraflynn.com - to learn more about this Vermont rock star where you can see her perform, and how to get a CD for your own positive vibes as you rock out across the state!


- Vermont Vibes


"Definitely Not Funk"

By Alicia DeMartini

Every Sunday evening at Red Square’s alley-turned-performance venue on Church Street, you can hear Myra Flynn’s sultry vocals drifting past the late night diners and shoppers. “Every Sunday I come here expecting a really empty house,” Myra said to the audience, “Because… well, it’s Sunday.” However, this Sunday, like so many others, Red Square was filled to the brim with loyal fans and intrigued newcomers. Seated in front was Myra’s dedicated fan base consisting of friends and family, while Church Street passersby paused to listen.

The chemistry that Myra has with her band is obvious, and she couldn’t “sing” their praises enough. Paul Boffa, on the bass guitar, occasionally accompanied Myra on vocals. Andy Harris was on the keyboard; Myra dubbed him the “mad scientist,” probably due to his slightly crazy hair and playful nature on stage. Simon Plumpton rocked the drums, and dealt a great deal of teasing from the rest of the band members throughout the show. Dave Grippo, an “unofficial member” of the band, joined in with his saxophone. Much to everyone’s delight he had been joining in with Myra and friends at their Red Square appearances.

After the show Myra, just 24-years-old, sat down to describe her life, her music, and her ideas over the glowing red candles outside Red Square. Dressed in a cropped top with fashionable high-waisted jeans, her tiny frame is elevated with tall heels, accentuated with a mass of light-brown, curly hair that seemed to reflect her upbeat personality. She grew up in Randolph, Vermont, and has been singing “since forever.”

At the tender age of 16, she got her big break when she was offered a record deal with Wyclef Jean’s Refugee All Stars. This experience helped her to decide that from then on she did not want to be famous. “This is where I want to be,” she said, gesturing to the lights and sounds of downtown Burlington. She went to school at Dickinson in Philadelphia, majoring in English with a minor in Communications. She claimed she was a writer before she was a singer, which helped her in writing her own songs. Along with her own music, she enjoys covering a variety of artists. At this particular Sunday’s performance, the band covered Damien Rice, Corinne Bailey-Rae, and Prince, among others. Her musical inspirations include Erykah Badu and Joni Mitchell. When asked to describe her style of music, she was quick to point out that it was definitely not funk; “There’s nothing funky about us,” she claimed, her bracelets jangling as she emphasized her point. Neo-soul was her description of choice, which matches with the styles of her muses.

In past performances, Myra has opened for the Neville Brothers, Alexa Ray Joel (Billy Joel’s daughter), Slick Rick, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. She’s looking into recording a solo album, and also works as a journalist at the Burlington Free Press; she says she would love to write about what venues pay performers in Burlington. Check out Myra Flynn and her band, Spark! every Sunday night at 8 p.m., at Red Square in Burlington, Vermont. - Tunk


Discography

11-track album "For The Record" released in August, 2011
Single "Harvest" released in December, 2010
11-track album "Crooked Measures" released in June, 2009.

Photos

Bio

Vermont
Myra Flynn
myra@myraflynn.com
www.myraflynn.com
(802) 249 7928

Vermont Based singer/songwriter Myra Flynn spends her career embracing dichotomy. Half Irish and half African American, her self-titled indie/soul/folk music blends soulful vocals with a lyrical delivery that doesn't let you get too comfortable. As the New England Deli Magazine puts it: "Her vocal influences have as much in common with Ani Difranco and Shawn Colvin as they do with Rihanna and Jill Scott."

Flynn spent her childhood clad in leopard print and platform shoes, singing and dancing atop anything that looked remotely like a stage. These days; not much has changed. She has since shared literal stages with: Ivan Neville, Alexa Ray Joel, Slick Rick, Anais Mitchell, Gregory Douglass and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Her debut 2009 album Crooked Measures earned her a sound spot in the singer/songwriter circit as well as much deserved media recognition. She was named "Best Up-and-Coming Performer in Vermont" by Seven Days Newspaper (2011 and 2012) and "New England Artist of the Month" by The Deli Magazine New England. She signed a six-month licencing deal with CBS Records and her original song "Feels Like the Sunshine" was used on the CW TV show "The Beautiful Life" (produced by Ashton Kutcher).

Her latest effort album, For The Record, dropped August 5, 2011. Produced by Vermont singer/songwriter Gregory Douglass, the New England Deli Magazine said the new album is crafted with “a self-assured sense of commitment and what seems like another lifetime of reasons to sing.”

"For The Record is an album about everyone in my life but me. It's been an inspiring exercise to try to step out of my own perspective and kind of take on the role of the characters who shape my personal world,” Flynn said. “As a result, I think the album is far more edgy than Crooked Measures. I really dove in and tried to explore religion, sex, anger, love and even death. I hope listeners can relate at times, but I think it's also okay if they are simply listeners. If they listen closely, they may hear the musical grownup inside of me who has finally arrived. I'm pretty proud of her."

Flynn performs as an intimate solo act, or a duo with musical collaborator Paul Boffa as Quiet Songs, or backed by her full band. In each format, she delivers earnest original songs and obscure covers to a growing fan base.