Mad Mackerel Recommends…Girls Names

From Belfast, Girls Names could perhaps be considered as the UK’s spirited answer to all those  surf-rock, lo-fi garage obsessed bands from the US that are proving so popular at the moment.

But let’s not kid ourselves – that is some stiff competition to live up to and thankfully with their four track self titled EP from Captured Tracks they’ve more than risen to the challenge. They make short, but incredibly catchy lo-fi indie-pop songs that feature buzzsaw guitars, messy drums and which overflow with self-confidence.

Reference points are many from the Mighty Lemon Drops to The Fall to the best of the shoegaze bands, all joyously rammed into one big cooking pot and swirled around to within an inch of its life.

Could be the best thing out of that city since Stiff Little Fingers.

Buy the EP here.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Girls Names – Graveyard mp3 (from Girls Names EP)

Emily Reo Releases Witch Mountain

As anyone who reads MM will know we are big fans of Emily Reo and have been eagerly awaiting the release of her EP Witch Mountain. The five track cassette is (of course) as dreamily seductive and captivating as we were hoping. There are fuzzy, distorted vocals, loops and washed out synths but always carried along by a lovely melody and the overall result is wonderful.

Best of all, it also has a subversive side that provides more than just a hint of the unexpected and the intriguing feeling that maybe she is slyly laughing behind her hand at a joke no-one else gets – least of all you.

Buy from Breakfast of Champs Records here.

Visit Emily’s MySpace here.

Download Emily Reo – Blue Canoe mp3 (from Witch Mountain EP)

Download Emily Reo – Witch Mtn Pt. 2 mp3 with Philip Seymour Hoffman (from Witch Mountain EP)

Cloud Nothings New Single

At the beginning of this month we posted the excellent b-side to the new single from The Cloud Nothings.

The single Didn’t You is out today on Old Flame and now you can get that too with a simple click of your mouse below. It’s a cleaner sound, but still packed full of hooks and shot through with that punk arrogance that we like so much. Enjoy.

You can buy the single from Old Flame here.

Visit his MySpace here.

Download The Cloud Nothings – Didn’t You mp3 (from Didn’t You 7″)

Download The Cloud Nothings – Even If it Worked Out mp3 (from Didn’t You 7″)

Free Mixtape from Young & Lost Club

This year, one of MM’s fave labels, Young & Lost Club have put out a whopping fifty singles. They are celebrating by whittling thirty four of them down to a compilation of the greatest hits and misses! And it is a cracker.

The compilation includes Noah & The WhaleVincent Vincent and the VillainsLarrikin LoveJohnny FlynnBombay Bicycle Club and many, many more bands that have gone on to success, fame, and maybe even fortune. In fact, few people can claim to have influenced the London indie scene in recent years as much as label founders Nadia Dahlawi and Sara Jade. However, while the Young & Lost girls aren’t big on own-trumpet-blowing, they are big on helping out all the new bands they have loved and the bands they continue to love. In the process, they’ve got big in the art of putting out the singles that have shaped and shepherded and shaken up the scene. Also, while all that was going on, they’ve put on a massive number of club nights.

The compilation is a clear, diverse, bright and beautiful chronicle of the sound that they have championed all along; angsty, heartbreak-smattered, singalong-melodic guitar bands. It’s the sound, simply, of being young and lost in London.

They have given us a mixtape sampler from the compilation that you can download for free. It includes Noah & The Whale, Oh Minnows, Teenage Love and MM faves The Sunderbans.

To get the sampler just click here to download. But be quick, it’s up for 7 days only.

Want a taste first? Then grab this version of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game by Exlovers.

Download Exlovers – Wicked Game mp3 (from All The Singles Ladies: Young & Lost Compilation)

And because we love The Sunderbans here’s a track that’s not on the sampler as an added bonus.

Download The Sunderbans – Saw you In The Dark Light mp3 (Demo)

New video from Electric Tickle Machine

We loved Electric Tickle Machine’s debut album, 2009′s Blew It Again. Originally out on vinyl, it will finally see a wide release on their own Science Diction Records next Tuesday the 29th.

They also have a new video for one of the album’s standout tracks Bones – you can watch it below and then download a couple of tracks of loud, fast, snotty rock’n’roll including Gimme Money which featured in MM’s Best of 2009 list.

You can also get a free download of another track Part Of Me by giving up your e-mail address here.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Electric Tickle Machine – Honest Injun mp3 (from Blew It Again)

Download Electric Tickle Machine – Gimme Money mp3 (from Blew It Again)

Mad Mackerel Recommends…Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius is the adopted moniker of Seattle singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas. His debut album Learning came out via Matador Records on Monday, and is one of those unsettling, bruised records that stays in the mind long, long after you have finished listening.

Fragile, whispered lyrics and a muffled, lo-fi hiss create an intimacy that is almost painful, but at the same time totally absorbing and compelling. The songs are short and the album lasts barely 30 minutes, but not a moment is wasted nor forgotten. Recommended.

Visit his MySpace here. Order the album from Matador here or from Amazon UK here.

Download Perfume Genius – Mr. Peterson mp3 (from Learning)

Download Perfume Genius – Learning mp3 (from Learning)

New from Salem

Salem are perhaps the arch exponents of a sound you can only describe as sinister, dark-hearted and experimental, trading as much on the atmospherics as the music itself.

Album King Night is out in September (check out the marvellous cover art), and the lead off title track is just as bleak and as obtuse as you might expect. For all those ghostly leanings and haunted, desolate beats, the duo have a sense of rhythm and melody that, though often buried, refuses to surrender, and gives their sound a twisted romanticism that is hard to deny.

The album is out via IAMSOUND Records.

Download Salem – King Night mp3 (from King Night)

New from The Crocodiles

One suspects The Crocodiles have had the Echo & The Bunnymen manual out for this, their new single, Sleep Forever.

In fact Barry-Sean from the office (and a great E&TB fan/expert/obsessive) was suitably moved to observe that everything right down to the vocal phrasing seemed deliberately Bunnyesque. However, as he also observed, this is no bad thing – especially when they also manage to bring quite a lot of something of their own to the party.

And for those of us who are just that little bit less obsessed with the Bunnymen, it is simply a damn good song and well worth your time and (as Mr McCulloch so memorably once said), “friends, Romans, and Bunnymen”, your ears.

Visit their MySpace here.

Buy the single via Fat Possum here.

Download The Crocodiles – Sleep Forever mp3 (from Sleep Forever 7″)

Local Natives Cover Television for Aquarium Drunkard

The Local Natives have made a what seems to be a pretty big breakthrough with their debut album Gorilla Manor, deservedly picking up universal acclaim from critics (and fans) on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now as part of what looks like a most promising Aquarium Drunkard digital compilation titled L’Aventure (which is a tribute to the 1978 Television album Adventure), they have covered the track Careful.

As you might expect, the trademark harmonies are all present and correct and the song has been given considered and considerate treatment. All in all it is rather lovely. The compilation will also feature such bands as The Growlers, The Henry Clay People and Foreign Born.

Visit their MySpace here. Buy Gorilla Manor from Amazon here.

Download The Local Natives – Careful mp3 (from L’Aventure)