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Music Feature: Michael Flynn


Saluda songwriter Michael Flynn chose endlings as the name for his five-track EP, released in February, after reflecting on how many of his fellow musicians had moved on to other careers. Endlings are creatures who exist as the last of their kind. “It’s not entirely apt though,” Flynn says, “because arranging and performing these songs with my bandmates (Jonathan Gray and Hannah Seng) has been one of the most creatively inspiring projects I’ve ever been a part of.”

In December, Flynn was named winner of the 20th annual NewSong Music Competition held in Asheville. Finalists hailed from across the country and had been winnowed from 1,000 entries overall. Flynn’s accomplishment came after years of devotion to music beginning with mandatory piano lessons in third grade. “Sometime in the sixth grade, my friends and I decided we’d start a band,” he says. “I volunteered to play keyboard, and I’ve been lost to respectable society ever since.” By high school, he was playing in regional bands and writing songs.

He calls his style “Americana-adjacent,” and says it appeals to listeners who appreciate lyrics. “I listened to a lot of folk music growing up, so I take the lyrics real seriously,” says Flynn, “but as a piano-based guy I feel more musically at home among ‘80s pop and old Casio keyboards than guitars and mandolins. I don’t really make the kind of music that grabs you by the collar and demands that you listen, but if you do listen there’s a good chance I’ll get my claws in you nonetheless.”

A particular favorite on endlings is the first track, “Wishing Tree,” co-written with Seng, who also plays banjo and sings. “It’s one of those kinds of songs I’ve always wanted to write, but never thought I could,” says Flynn. “Part traditional, part film score, ornery lyrics with some heavy metaphors—it has lots of elements of things I love.”

The EP is available on all streaming platforms. To learn more, visit

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