Mad Mackerel’s Best Of The Month: December 2012

Mad Mackerel's Best Of December 2012 Free Mix

As might be expected, slightly fewer tunes make up our final monthly mix of the best of the downloads from MM – no panic tho’, the quality of new tunes on offer more than makes up for it. And as always, some new ones for you too means a top banana mix of twenty cracking songs to play in the New Year.

The Cheatahs – The Swan
A swirling, smoking riff and a rough ‘n’ ready feel is mixed with 90s slacker indie influences and a bit of shoegaze – all to more than good effect.

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Beach Fossils – Careless
All sinewy jangle bouncing along on the back of hurtling, punk-ish drums.

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Criminal Hygiene – Rearrange Me
Skater-punk’s bitter ode to unhealthy relationships, full of rough and raspy vocals met with a charging bassline.

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Download Grave Babies – Over And Under Ground mp3 (from Crusher)
Catchy, but nevertheless slathered in their signature overdoses of distortion.

Split Screens – Deep Down
Pink Floyd style subtle psychedelia and Beck style emotion.

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Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Christmas Time Is Here
Sweetly harmonious festive version of a Christmas classic, also featuring Kristina Train, Rumer and Ren Harvieu.

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Download Fires – Untied mp3 (from Angels In The Dark EP)
Imagine the scuzz-rock blitzkrieg of Butthole Surfers, combined with the melody and songcraft of Urge Overkill.

Blackfeet Braves – Vicious Cycle
60s era psychedelia bathed in twangy reverb and infectious melody, resulting in lo-fi psych pop fitting for the most epic trip.

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Download Los Campesinos! – A Doe To A Deer mp3 (From A Doe To A Deer)
Indie popsters’ festive offering complete with alcoholic undertones.

Download Balto – Smokestacks mp3 (from Monuments EP)
Voices sail out in harmony over a dusty, spaghetti western guitar twang and heartfelt emotions are laid bare at your doorstep – tangled, delicate and rich.

James Yuill – Lost In California
New offering from folktronica master from as yet untitled new album.

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Download Tom Williams – Christmas (So Much Better When You’re Here) mp3 (from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas)
Another festive goody.

Jack Hardman – Plymouth
An ethereal and wintery song, filled with warm harmonies and covered in spring reverb – folk music with a psychedelic tint.

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American Royalty – Honey & Queen
Delivers a warm groove with a touch of Yeasayer / Little Dragon about it.

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Hero Jr. – Ann Boleyn
Indy-based foursome combine soaring vocals, stinging guitars and driving rhythms blurring the lines between ’70s classic rock, the angst of the Alternative Nation and modern indie-rock.

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And to finish off we have another raucous track from Criminal Hygiene. Next up is a new track from unique, otherworldly singger-songwriter Ólöf ArnaldsTreat Her Kindly is taken from the forthcoming album Sudden Elevation (out on One Little Indian US release 5th March, UK 4th February). We have Giant Giant Sand’s sage words and loungey rat-pack vibe on Not the End of the World with this track taken from the deluxe version of their excellent album Tucson. Then there is the Kinksian pop melancholy and Television Personalities wry punk disaffectedness of Campfires lo-fi weirdo musings – try the primitive pop of Fortune Teller from forthcoming album Tomorrow Tomorrow (just click through to download for free).

And lastly, hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Hawk and Dove is an indie rock band whose calm-before-the-storm sound has been described as the “loudest quiet band you have ever heard” and “the psychedelic country David Bowie never wrote.” On their forthcoming debut album, This Yesterday Will Never End, the band mixes hauntingly beautiful ballads with thunderous stoner grooves to create a sound quite unlike anything else. Download Things We Lost So Far.

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Videos of the Day: The Capsules || The Highballers || Hooray For Earth || Grass House

Video of the Day

Our final video post of 2012 has offerings from The Capsules, The Highballers, Hooray For Earth and a live offering from MM faves Grass House with a new song, A Thousand Generators. Enjoy!

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Download The Capsules – Our Apocalypse mp3 (from Northern Lights & Southern Skies)

Download The Capsules – Across The Sky mp3 (from Northern Lights & Southern Skies)

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Introducing >>> Novo Amor

Introducing >>> Novo Amor

Novo Amor is the moniker of a folk/indie musician from the UK.

For the duration of the summer he  left the city in which he had been living for 5 years. With a lack of direction he moved back to his childhood home deep in the Welsh countryside, where he set up a home studio of old instruments and microphones. Days were filled with song writing and recording, and he emerged in late summer with seven songs inspired by cross-Atlantic travels and love.

Drift is the debut EP which features two of these seven songs. Both are beautifully done with a rustic, tangled charm. You can get them for free from his Bandcamp page by clicking through below.

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Mason Jar’s Benefit Album For Hurricane Sandy Relief Work

The Storm Is Passing Over Compilation

The Storm is Passing Over
A Benefit Album by Mason Jar Music & Friends

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn-based collective Mason Jar Music has assembled an all-star collection of indie-folk artists to create The Storm is Passing Over, a benefit album of fifteen classic American storm songs. Donations exchanged for these recordings will go directly to support ongoing relief work in New York City and the tri-state area.

Contributing artists include Roseanne Cash, Lucius, Dawn Landes and The Gundersen Family.

Mason Jar Music is an audio/visual production company and creative collective based in Brooklyn, NY.

Grab a taste from MM faves Town Hall below and be sure to visit Noisetrade to grab the album on a pay-what-you-want deal – make sure you donate something.

Please visit TheStormisPassingOver.com for more info.

Download Town Hall – Mississippi Heavy Water Blues mp3 (from The Storm Is Passing Over – A Mason Jar Benefit Compilation)

MM Shorts 285: Odd Box Records Compilation

Odd Box DIY Pop

To celebrate their impending fourth birthday lo-fi garage rock and pop specialists Odd Box Records have collated a retrospective 45 song compilation – that’s nearly a song from every release they’ve put out over the past four years. It includes The Medusa Snare, The Vignettes, Proto Idiot, Ace Bushy Striptease, Pocketbooks and many more.

It’s available to download from their bandcamp page on a pay what you want deal (including zero!).

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American Songwriter’s Free January Muse Sampler

American Songwriter's Free January Muse Sampler

In conjunction with their January/February issue, American Songwriter have put together another in their free sampler series, this time featuring twelve tracks from artists including Matt Costa, Dropkick Murphys, The Lost Bayou Ramblers with Scarlett Johansson, Night Beds, Matthew Ryan and plenty more.

Here are a couple of standouts from it, or you can grab the whole thing from their Bandcamp page here.

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A Late December Catch Up

Late December Catch Up

With all the festivities and end-of-year lists of our favourites, it has meant we have not been able to post a number of new tunes that also came out during the latter part of December. So with apologies for the relative lateness of many of these, we still wanted to catch up and give them a bit of love and airtime.

Led by the husky, sweet vocals of Cameron Matthews, Bear Ceuse is filled out by fanciful and dissonant guitar work, bass, and drums.  The band was recently discovered by U.K.-based label Medical Records, who will release their debut album, Don Domestique, on 26th February. Here is Entertain Me from it.

Download Bear Ceuse – Entertain Me mp3 (from Don Domestique)

Jack Hardman’s track Plymouth is an ethereal and wintery song, filled with warm harmonies and covered in spring reverb – folk music with a psychedelic tint.

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New single, Long Forgotten Boy (out 4th March), is the first song written as part of the Night Works project – a sparse pop song with cold synth interludes, perfect for capturing that 4am feeling. It is taken from forthcoming album Urban Heat Island.

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Industrial folk collective The Jar Family effortlessly capture the poignant romanticism of life in the North East of England. New single Broken Minded is out on 7th January on Jar Records.

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The Pictish Trail also have a new single, The Handstand Crowd, released a couple of weeks ago on iTunes and as a 7″, with an album coming on the 21st January. The track is a wonderfully melodic musing about peer pressure and keeping the wrong company, you can listen here.

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Staying in Scotland, No Flags Will Fly is the debut album from Glaswegian band Olympic Swimmers. The album was self-released on the band’s own label Green White Violet in June 2012. This is Fallen Trees.

Download Olympic Swimmers – Fallen Trees mp3 (from No Flags Will Fly)

Olgwi, native of Northern Sweden, releases a third single from the critically acclaimed album Individuation. Titled What I, it is a melancoholic, acoustic country/folk tune, a quest for hope during hard times, in a mild waltzing rhythm, with beautiful backing played by the Stockholm Strings.

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Meanwhile, Black Books is altogether more epic – sun-soaked, atmospheric Southern Rock from Austin, Texas. This is White Noise from the Aquarena EP out 11th February on Believe Recordings -

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Engine are a new band to us, with a folky, indie sound that is definitely worth exploring. Check out their Bandcamp page here.

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Indie rock duo Josh & Mer have a sweet new single, Porcelain out now.

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Darling Don’t Dance play rough garage-pop with elements of noise-rock. Replacement is the first single from their debut album City Ghosts.

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The new single by Wayter is a double A-side, Team Spirit / Uruguay was recently released as a limited 7″ and download release on Naked Tree Recordings.

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Los Angeles’ psych-pop outfit American Royalty has a new track Honey & Queen out that delivers a warm groove with a touch of Yeasayer / Little Dragon about it. From the trio’s upcoming EP, Prismatic, which is due out in February.

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Fonda are shoegazey dream-poppers that drink the LA Kool-aid. At the forefront is the single Seeing Stars, which showcases the transcendental pop quality of the duo’s upcoming record, Sell Your Memories. You can give it a listen here:

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Shipwreck is the debut single from Henry Green. It was released on December 17th, via Night Talk Records.

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Beard Of Wolves have released the excellent track My Father Drives The Death Star as a free download, ahead of their first official single Wet Mouth being released through the Too Pure singles club on January 21st. A full EP and UK tour are then set to land this March.

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Upon The North will be the next release from folkies Eliza And The Bear, it will be released on the 25th February and is part of a Double A Side release with The Southern Wild.

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NOSE recently released a single on a pay-what-you-want basis called Cretin – a snarling, growling slice of bratty noise rock.

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Lastly, for now, Will Miles released his debut double A side single Shallow Water / Angela, last month via new grassroots label Wildheart Records. Shallow Water is an Americana drenched foot stomper whilst Angela is altogether lonelier, mournful and melancholic with washes of pedal steel and harmonica.