EP: Billie Flynn – ‘Hey Stranger’

I’ve taken a while to find the words for Billie Flynn’s debut EP Hey Stranger, a heartfelt meditation on grief. Each listen has highlighted something new and different, evoked more and more feelings; gorgeous, but increasingly hard to describe in words. It’s a thing of feeling. It feels like memories whispered on a cliff edge and the wind carrying parts of you away. It feels like the moments of stillness after the soil’s been turned. It’s incredibly honest and it  demonstrates Flynn’s infinite potential – her lyrics speaking truth to grief, while fitting comfortably into the cosy featherlight and luxuriously breathy cocoon of her voice box. 

The quality of production is consistently immersive – heady and cinematic, each song getting the best out of synths, pianos and Flynn’s unique tone. I’ve written about and adored previously released tracks already, but the latest ‘Forever Goodbye’ shows Billie’s artistry at a whole other level, it surpasses expectations. I held my breath as I listened. It’s about a loss which occurred during Billie’s teenage years and is utterly stunning in a very special, incisive and relatable way. Lyrics such as  “there’s a look in the eye of a friend when they mention your name, like they’re reminding me of pain, like I’d ever let it go” get to the core of what it is to live with loss in the presence of others. The trepidation, the repetition, the changing pace of the world outside as something privately sinks into your soul, and the never ending cycles. For an EP to so unambiguously be about the life changing power of loss without being in any way maudlin, is truly magical. 

There’s hope and transformation woven in  too. ‘The Good Girl’ beautifully explores the personal journeys our pain can inform as Flynn sings about shedding people-pleasing tendencies, pushing boundaries and growing into someone different. What does it mean to be authentic? What does it mean to reject expectations? What are those moments in life when we feel ourselves truly step into our own power? These are the questions ‘The Good Girl’ provokes. 

The emotional energy of Hey Stranger might not neatly blend with the sugar coated Christmas tunes we’re hearing blasted around us, but there’s no doubt that the moment for this EP is now. In a period where so much and so many are being grieved, this body of music is timely and refreshingly close to home.

Tutku Barbaros
@tutkubarbaros

Track Of The Day: Billie Flynn – ‘Someone’s Daughter’

Having previously charmed our ears with her soulful previous single ‘Hey Stranger’, Cornish artist Billie Flynn has now returned with a brand new offering. ‘Someone’s Daughter‘ is a comforting acoustic dreamscape which plays to the artist’s strengths while showcasing a few more of the tricks up her sleeve. If you’re already a fan of Flynn’s earthy acoustic vibes, this track won’t disappoint. And, for new listeners, this is an apt introduction to her blend of soft vocals and artfully simple lyrics set against a backdrop of gently strumming guitars. 

Though new, Flynn’s signature style seems rooted in her gift for texture. Her music feels multi-sensory in a way that’s balmy and immersive. Whereas the layering of her debut single was led by the instruments, this time Flynn opts to lead with her vocals, making this track seem more personal – more like an invitation to get to know her as an artist. The way Flynn utilises low sumptuous repetitions and a handful of well timed loops as she expresses satisfying lyrics such as “this world keeps turning, while I’m still burning…” suggest to me she has a penchant for the occasional nostalgic and ever so slightly poppy lilt; a detail I’m absolutely here for.

Of the track, Flynn explains:

This was a big song for me when writing it, it felt like a real release. I was struggling at the time and I just had the thought that, if nothing else, I will always be a daughter, and that’s an important thing to be.

Flynn shows us what her voice can do in a way that doesn’t feel contrived but, instead, playful and joyful. Another promising track from this upcoming artist.

‘Someone’s Daughter’ is out now via Never Fade Records.

Tutku Barbaros
@@tutkubarbaros

LISTEN: Billie Flynn – ‘Hey Stranger’

Debut single ‘Hey Stranger‘ by Cornish artist Billie Flynn is an emotive and ethereal summer treat. Gentle as the winds, crashing as the waves – a track you can almost feel on the surface of your skin. 

Recorded between her home studio and remotely during lockdown – with beautifully pitched production by JMAC – this song  bends time as it conjures thoughts of past relationships. Flynn’s unique vocal style is delicate – breathy, floaty and melodic – but simultaneously packing its own punch. There’s command in her tone as she sings up with refreshingly direct lyrics about that standard scenario we all wonder about: in her own words “It’s about seeing someone again that isn’t in your life anymore and hoping that they’re proud of who you are now.” Deliciously relatable – “Well…are you proud?”, I ask myself before getting swept up in the melody again. 

This is a track which undulates and surprises over and over again as it confidently takes on many instrumental turns and changes in pace, culminating in a textured, echoing climax before being neatly stripped all the way back down again for a final glorious flourish of Flynn’s uniquely elemental voice. An absolute journey of a track, which summons much excitement for future EPs.

‘Hey Stranger’ is out now via Never Fade Records.

Tutku Barbaros
@tutkubarbaros