Ethan P. Flynn is an uber-prolific songwriter unafraid to venture off the beaten path. His past releases have included sardonic attacks on professional networkers and a song about a man drowning on a long boat journey.
On his new song “Clutching Your Pearls” the London-based artist tells the story of a doctor who finds himself shipwrecked in the 1950s, though really it acts as a means by which Flynn can look inwards and admonish himself. “They caught you clutching your pearls,” he sings with a tut in his voice, “Let your arms unfold.” He leads this song, which is really about letting go and embracing the good times, behind his mandola while cello, horns, and tuba build behind him.
The up-tempo song comes with a video, that Fynn directed himself, that catches him (mandola in hand) as he performs the song in a pub surrounded by a group of friends. Think of it as a bit like The Banshees of Inisherin if it was shot in south London.
Speaking to The FADER via email, Ethan explained: “This song stuck with me and ended up on the album because it’s one of the first songs I ever wrote away from the computer. I tuned the mandola in a really experimental tuning so it’s always playing in harmony with itself and wrote the instrumental and vocal melody and kept it for years. By the time I’d already tracked a few songs for the album I dug this one out and quickly got the lyrics together in about a day. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, I’ve always had an aversion to making happy upbeat music but in the every step of the process that’s what I was focusing on here.”
“Clutching Your Pearls” will appear on Flynn’s debut album, Abandon All Hope, which is due out on October 20 via Young. He will also be on tour across the U.K. and Europe around the same time. Find his upcoming shows below.
Ethan P. Flynn live dates
October 22 – Cardiff – SWN Festival
November 13 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
November 14 – Manchester – Yes
November 15 – Glagow – King Tut’s
November 16 – Leeds – Headrow House
November 20 – Bristol – The Louisiana
November 21 – Southampton – Heartbreakers
November 22 – London – Moth Club
November 23 – Margate – WhereElse?
November 24 – Brighton – Dust
December 6 – Berlin – Lark
December 7 – Amsterdam – Paradiso
December 9 – Paris – PopUp!
December 10 – Brussels – Botanique