Johnny Flynn - Ode to A Mare Trod Ditch Single Review
Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit
Ode to A Mare Trod Ditch
This is a cross between a folk song, a sea-shanty and a really good piss up. It doesn't plod along, as it first appears to, but gallops about haphazardly; like a big, drunken daddy long legs. Unashamedly upbeat, the cracked voice floats above the jaunty rhythm, arriving at a vocal-only chant towards the end, before finally getting a sense of purpose on the last chorus.
The B-side, Oh to Eat an Apple, is a wistful, cliché-ridden lament set on a bus. It doesn't really go anywhere, but I don't think it's meant to. It's a sensory track about living in the moment and capturing the picture in your mind, I think. Either way it's a bit pretentious, a bit boring and full of terrible lines. It feels a badly executed attempt at something quite ambitious: subverting clichés into something real.
Despite the B-sides shortcomings the main attraction is quite a lovely piece of songwriting. It's not going to cause any revolutions or solve world hunger, but you probably won't hear much like this, this side of the merchant navy.