Local to upstate New York, Ian Flanigan is a celebrated Kerrville New Folk Festival finalist, emerging artist for Falcon Ridge Folk festival, and an alumni of the Dripping Springs Texas Songwriter Festival. We caught up with Ian to chat about ‘Broken Wings’, taken from his EP Give Me Colour.
My style is probably described as alternative acoustic, somewhere between traditional acoustic and adult contemporary.
First up, what got you into music?
My mom and I used to write songs for fun when I was a kid, we would trade lines back and forth… and it just grew from there.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
When I was a kid I was given Eric Clapton ‘Unplugged’ that album really set the corse for the first few years of what I wanted to try to emulate. Growing up, a lot of local talent and artists inspired me along with my guitar teacher, Chuck Massassi who taught me how to structure songs.
Later in life, more new age percussive style guitarists like Kaki King, Joey Eppard, and Andy McKee really inspired me to try to infuse some of those techniques with some of the more soul folk acoustic I had been trying to write in.
How would you describe your style?
It changes a bit every year, I hope it always continues to grow. The Give Me Color EP is a little more indie/soul-folk sounding to me… I was able to collaborate with Justin Guip—he is an amazing engineer and producer—we found a really great flow and completed the record in four days. My style is probably described as alternative acoustic, somewhere between traditional acoustic and adult contemporary.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you choose?
Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and Alicia Keyes.
Tell us about your new single ‘Broken Wings.’ What’s it about?
Each song in this new EP is dedicated to a women in my life, ‘Broken Wings’ is inspired by my mother and the gratitude that I have for her sticking by my side. Sometimes it’s the really simple wisdoms and messages that we need to remember to overcome the hardships.
When did you write it, and where did you record it?
I wrote the song this past winter and had the great honor of recording it with Justin Guip at Milan Hill Studio, here in the Hudson Valley.
How does ‘Broken Wings’ represent your style?
It’s one of those songs that grew into a collaborative effort between Justin and I. Originally I had written it as more of a somber acoustic style, which is typically my style, but I’ve been making an effort to branch out. It’s not a good representation of my overall catalogue, it doesn’t fully represent my style, but that is the beauty of a single, it can stand on its own and represent an idea or inspiration I had and wanted to try out at that time.
‘Broken Wings’ is taken from your forthcoming EP Give Me Colour. Can you talk us through each song?
Each song on the EP really speaks for itself. I try very hard to write songs descriptive enough yet vague enough to invite the listener into the lyrics. I will say each song was written with a connecting theme of finding the silver lining through some of life’s difficulties through the ones you love. For me each song was written about a specific woman in my life, my mother, my partner, and to my step daughter. Describing the album takes the individual’s own experiences of the music away. I’m always open to feedback and to hearing the listeners experience.
What are you hopes for ‘Broken Wings’?
I hope people listen and find some value to the message and find their way to listening to the whole EP. Maybe even like it enough to share the music and further the vision.
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I’m actually planning to tour the USA with my family in an RV. I’ll have a mobile rig and book as many venues as I can. I just want to meet more people to connect to and see what I can do in a large national community.
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
A serious booking agency in the US and Europe. I’m just trying to work and write as much as possible!
Listen to Give Me Colour on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to ianflaniganmusic.com.