Introducing…Roy Paymon

We had a pretty unassuming e-mail through recently from Roy Paymon mentioning his recently released album Guarding Crows. He described it as a mixture of Appalachian folk and Greek Cretan music and he recorded and produced it himself on bare bones equipment in Brooklyn.

The whole album is streaming on his website here, but he also sent us a couple of tracks to listen to as he thought it might be something we could enjoy. We dutifully downloaded and clicked play and were immediately transported to somewhere better by the classic pop harmonies and folky instrumentation that mark Tipperary Sand and the gorgeous, fragile beauty of Imonetta.

And then there is the first single from the album, the stomping, hellfire and brimstone, Johnny Cash-esque Big Black Bell, which changes the mood entirely and shows that despite his low key approach, Mr Paymon is seriously talented and worthy of some serious attention.

Watch the video for Big Black Bell here and then download a couple of tracks below.

Buy the album via Bandcamp here.

Download Roy Paymon – Imonetta mp3 (from Guarding Crows)

Download Roy Paymon – Tipperary Sand mp3 (from Guarding Crows)

New from War On Drugs

We were particularly delighted to get an e-mail from Secretly Canadian yesterday with details of the new War On Drugs album titled Future Weather.

The record follows their debut release Wagonwheel Blues, which was a truly brilliant record mixing straight up US rock with experimental folk and psychedelia, and was one of our favourites of 2008. In fact we had to buy it twice as our new puppy munched the first copy when the postman put the package through the cat flap instead of the post box.

Anyway, the new record will be out in the US on the 26th October with a release date still to be confirmed for the UK. Until then you can sample the strummed guitar delights of the first single from the eight track album called Comin’ Through.

You can buy Wagonwheel Blues from Amazon here.

Visit War On Drugs MySpace here.

Download The War On Drugs – Comin’ Through mp3 (from Future Weather)

Introducing…David’s Lyre

Tear Them Down is the debut single from David’s Lyre and has justifiably been picking up a lot of positive press and major label interest.

The song is a cracker and has echoes of Wild Beasts without quite the vocal histrionics and you can view it the official video for it below.

While you would certainly put him in the Folk corner, there is definitely an experimental edge taking in dubstep and 80s pop with equal ease.

We also have the very promising demo of his track Heartbeat for you to download and MM figures you’ll be hearing a lot more from David’s Lyre sooner rather than later.

You can catch him on tour soon supporting Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. Dates are on his MySpace here.

Download David’s Lyre – Heartbeat mp3 (Demo)

Mad Mackerel Recommends…Pepper Rabbit

Pepper Rabbit have a great name. They play a lovely blend of folk with chamber leanings and an occasional twisted, slightly psych-pop edge.

They are currently out on tour in support of Cotton Jones and following two EPs last year, have a debut album Beauregard via Kanine Records due imminently. We’re loving the taster track Older Brother for its giddy exuberance, warm chorus and mix of sleepy vocals – check it out below plus a track from their Shakes EP last year.

Visit their MySpace here. Pre-order the album here.

Download Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother mp3 (from Beauregard)

Download Pepper Rabbit – Red Wine mp3 (from Shakes EP)

Introducing…Thee Sgt. Major III

Thee Sgt. Major III’s first full-length, The Idea Factory, contains the wit, optimism and feisty schoolboy angst that Kurt Bloch articulated in his songwriting for seminal punk band The Fastbacks and the sparky guitar chug that beloved The Fastbacks to so many. Expert musicianship and high-cool grace are tempered by scrappy garage punk leanings, jazz longings, and a winking kind of macabre, not at all serious, but seriously good.

Each of the songs on The Idea Factory are a sort of controlled explosion, the recipe for which is this: take a well-built, 1960’s pop music machine and stuff it with The Who and some Ramones style punk rock. Blow it to bits. Start again.

Over a twenty year period, The Fastbacks made bright, tight, witty and explosive music that was not quite punk, not quite pop, and totally distinct. Now Bloch is back in the saddle with Thee Sgt. Major III, and their sound is more than accurately described by their label as ‘vaudeville punk’.

Visit their MySpace here. Buy the album from Spark And Shine Records here.

Download Thee Sgt. Major III – Information Seminar mp3 (from The Idea Factory)

Check out Shuffler FM

We’re very impressed with Shuffler FM, the new music blog internet radio that plays randomly selected tracks from different blogs based on your preferences of genre. Then if you like the song you can download it from the blog before moving on to the next track and the next blog.

It is brilliantly simple, no registrations or log-ins, and is a great way to discover new music (and new blogs) you might like.

Check out Shuffler FM and get started by clicking here or using the link on the right.

And while we’re at it, it seemed like a good opportunity for us to try and get two or three old classics (that have long been unfairly forgotten) onto the Shuffler playlist too.

So try the classic cow-punk of The Men They Couldn’t Hang and their storming protest song Ironmasters, the 100% infectious folk and fiddle of The Cropdusters Yesterday’s Cakes, and the bitter anti-war lament The Easter Parade by The Faith Brothers. All wonderful additions to any iTunes library.

Download The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Ironmasters mp3 (from Night Of  A Thousand Candles)

Download The Cropdusters – Yesterday’s Cakes mp3 (from If The Sober Go To Heaven)

Download The Faith Brothers – Easter Parade mp3 (from Eventide)

New from Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda’s new album Crush is due out in September on Bella Union. Citing “cold wave and minimal stuff” as an inspiration, rather than the “tropical punk” they had been labelled with, they have already given us lead track, the repetitive and chilly, Throwing Shade as evidence of a new direction.

Now, new taster To Tears also certainly lives up to the new direction. It has synths, it is icy cool, but thankfully retains the spiky rhythms and guitars that has always been part of their stock in trade.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Abe Vigoda – To Tears mp3 (from Crush)

Download Abe Vigoda – Throwing Shade mp3 (from Crush)

See them in the UK:

9 Oct OX4 Festival, Oxford

12 Oct Audio, Brighton

13 Oct Cargo, London

14 Oct XOYO (with No Age), London

Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday

Oh look, it’s Friday again. Down here in Ventnor, we’ve had lashings of rain and a fair bit of wind. Not a lot of sunshine, but I did warn you about August last week …

In fact, so much rain, the dog tried to do an about turn and I was unable to open my eyes for a short time on our joyous Wednesday evening walk. But then Richard Hawley came on my iPod (before that too was destroyed by the torrential downpour) and everything just seemed better. A proper good voice he has. The power of music to transport you out of your circumstances – or immerse you in them.

Today the Mackerel clan went fishing – and caught some of our own. Perhaps that’s bad karma in waiting and when I set out for this evening’s dog walk, I’ll be hit by a plague of avenging flying mackerel.

Do you sense some delirium here? Time for another glass.

Stay dry and warm this Friday.

Mrs M

Walk your hound to this tune…

Download Richard Hawley – Just Like the Rain mp3 (from Coles Corner)

Efren Release Always Been A Bleeder

Earlier this month we posted about the forthcoming Efren EP Always Been A Bleeder.

The EP has now had its official release a few days ago, and the band have made a second track available for free download. Following hard on the heels of the excellent Stay High comes Check It Down, and it is another fine example of their shimmering, invigorating folk with psych overtones.

Well worth a few minutes of your time.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Efren – Check It Down mp3 (from Always Been A Bleeder EP)

Download Efren – Stay High mp3 (from Always Been A Bleeder EP)

Free Mix from Open House Festival

The Open House Festival takes place in Belfast from September 6th to the 12th. To mark the event, the organisers are giving away a free 14 track digital mix that includes the likes of Modest Mouse, The Felice Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show.

A couple of our favourites from the mix are below, and to find out more about the event and download the full mix for free, just click here.

Download Matthew & The Atlas – Within The Rose mp3

Download The Villagers – On A Sunlit Stage mp3