“California-based educator, vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lyon has a unique artistic mandate. It’s simple but rare. One of his stated purposes is that if he’s fortunate enough for listeners to spend time with his music, he wants to elevate them rather than bring them down. This doesn’t mean that his work serves up idyllic visions in songs that aren’t rooted in reality but, instead, songs that see the world for what it is and still find beauty in everything... ” - Michael Rand
MICHAEL LYON “WANT TO BE A FLOWER”
July 14, 2022
California-based educator, vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lyon has a unique artistic mandate. It’s simple but rare. One of his stated purposes is that if he’s fortunate enough for listeners to spend time with his music, he wants to elevate them rather than bring them down. This doesn’t mean that his work serves up idyllic visions in songs that aren’t rooted in reality but, instead, songs that see the world for what it is and still find beauty in everything.
“Want to Be a Flower” doesn’t depict that with trite, wearisome language. Lyon’s writing, instead, captures the earnest desire to soar with the figurative angels of our lives, always awakened to life’s countless possibilities, and it does so with a wide-ranging point of view. He brings the serious to bear, the poetic, the direct, and more with each of these touches co-existing with one another in the overall scheme of the song.
The song, like his other musical output, is an artistic extension of how Lyon endeavors to live. There’s a lovely accompanying video for the song. It’s a lyric video as well and he syncs the words with several very appropriate images/clips that accentuate the track’s themes without ever overshadowing the song in the slightest. The bright color composition of the video compliments the track as well without ever seeming too overwrought or garish. It’s a good move to release a clip for this song.
He doesn’t have a traditionally beautiful voice with impossible range, breathless highs, and theatrical lows. Instead, it’s an intensely human voice, every bit as much as his songwriting, and the vulnerable emotion conveyed by his voice adds innumerable layers to the song. His playfulness is an important part of the song’s success; the way he turns certain lines has immense across-the-board appeal without ever cheapening the song. You can almost see him smiling as he delivers some lines.
The acoustic guitar playing is spotless. It is a deceptively simple melody, beguiling, but one that demands a level of precision from the player honed by years of repetition and experience. Lyon has a relaxed command over the piece though and his fingers seemingly dance over the strings. The production does a great job capturing his voice and the aforementioned guitar, but its greater accomplishment is the unwavering balance the song maintains between those parts. The production even handles double-tracking his voice without ever fumbling the addition. It’s smooth and selectively reinforces the lead vocal.
Clarity, however, doesn’t mean that the track sounds sterile. There’s a warmth radiating from the track that isn’t a byproduct of the song’s positive attitude but, instead, the result of understanding the aural arts. It’s apparent that Lyon’s abilities don’t end with musicianship and songwriting. This song is an excellent introduction for newcomers to his work and it’s sufficiently representative of his music that they won’t feel cheated or misled when they come back for more. His comforting and melodic California sound has a sweetness and, yes, wisdom that’s difficult to resist.
From one of the lines of Want to Be a Flower: "... the power of a flower, as a song is sung, is the joy it brings to old and young..."
A sampling of that joy, as expressed in recent listeners' comments:
- "So I rarely listen to 'new' music unless it comes highly recommended... this kept popping up in my feed... and I Love it"
- "Michael thank you so much Such a beautiful song and words.. and yes.. imagine how beautiful it would be we could all be flowers... only bringing beauty thank, joy, smiles, laughter and love... thank you so very much for sharing. You will touch the hearts of many people all over the world with this sweet and beautiful song. Xx"
- Love it. The bees think the flower is an ice cream cone. Gorgeous."
- "You inspire me to make the best of everyday and bring a little joy to others too. Thank you."
- "Simply beautiful!"
- "Awesome Michael. Love it."
“Michael Lyon – 'Love' -The opening vocal harmonies on this track set the stage for an engaging, meaningful track. The lyrics are transcendent and powerful. When you take it all together, you’ll feel something like CSNY or Simon and Garfunkel. It’s nice to hear that someone is keeping alive these type of classic folk harmonies. I’d love to learn more about the recording process of this incredible new folk tune.” - Greg Jones
FEATURED in RATTLER MAGAZINE - https://www.rattlermag.com/home/michael-lyon-calling-all
Michael Lyon: "Calling All"
June 6, 2020
Michael Lyon has just released “Calling All”, a song about what all of us have suddenly been volunteered to understand and follow through with at this defining moment of our lives:
Being called on to recognize that the enemy is not some other human being (perhaps uncomfortably different from you or me). Rather, it is a deadly virus causing a world of hurt in countless awful ways to many millions.
If we turn out to be wise enough to seize the moment, one big favor Covid 19 can do for us is bring virtually everyone together as one to defeat it.
The first step in understanding the enormity of what we're facing has been making the painful sacrifice of getting the hell out of the way of the virus — staying home as much as possible, often at staggering economic cost.
In watching heroes in the medical community (and many other walks of life) risk - and in many cases lose - their lives to protect the rest of us, it’s becoming clearer than ever that each one of us also has a heroic part to play.
All of us are being called to protect and care for each other in ways unimaginable only several short months ago. Make no mistake: in answering this call, we absolutely can - and must - now set about changing the world for the better!
Continue answering the call, and keep up with Michael Lyon on social media:
When Waking Up Turns To Joy
Michael Lyon’s new album, Waking Up, is a celebration of California pop and folk that explores what it means to be consciously “awakened.”
“This is a genuine artist and style... with a sound that surrounds us with that youthful imprint of innocence, wonder, and awareness.” - Rooted Sounds
LOS ANGELES, California - 2018 -- In the physical realm, awakening the human body each morning can be a challenge. However, for Michael Lyon, a rising California singer-songwriter, awakening one’s mind through music and poetry is an entirely different experience. Within Lyon’s latest release entitled, Waking Up, lies a myriad of melodic and mindful messages examining the entire process of wakefulness. Taking listeners on an uplifting trip through thirteen tracks, Michael Lyon demonstrates how Waking Up can turn into joy - in a hurry.
Michael released his first full-length album called Pictures in 2016. It was the creative culmination of years of study as a musician, educator, as well as a singer/songwriter. While Pictures captured a snapshot of the external view of the human condition, the new album, Waking Up, looks inward. “This project began in earnest last winter when I was writing “Morning Song,” explains Michael. He continues, “Digging deeper into the physical process of becoming alert and alive in the morning, it occurred to me to explore this theme beyond the literal sense.”
Michael Lyon’s creative process made Waking Up morph into what he describes as, “A journey through the stages of greater awareness of nature, of love, and ultimately our inner-selves.” Akin to the stages of falling asleep, Michael set out to reverse the process, making each successive track tie together in a progression.Waking Up travels upward, from the simplicity of the first short, softly-spoken title-track to the last tune, which urges on the listener to “Sing Your Song.” The first two numbers being released are “Morning Song” and “What Were You Dreaming?” "Morning Song" with its retro-flavored, California-pop feel, does for the album what mornings often do as an adrenaline rush - for Michael and many-a-listener on the GO - a "time to hit the ground running."
“What Were You Dreaming?” elevates wakefulness to the more metaphysical level of enlightenment. A recent trip to the tsunami-stricken areas of Japan inspired the piece. “This song reflects the surreal experience I had of my late father visiting me in a dream,” offers Lyon. “What Were You Dreaming?” beckons the listener to consider how one's thoughts become realities. In this most poignant of songs on the album, Michael poses the questions, “What are you dreaming, what did you decide, which new horizons are opening wide?” For Michael Lyon, more important than getting to sleep on time is to ensure that humankind is awakening in time. Waking Up to joy isn’t as hard as it might seem. It's a stirring daily adventure - one that begins by pressing "Play."
On the Web: