RIP Nick Talbot AKA Gravenhurst

RIP Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst

Tragically it has been announced that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged just 37.

His record label Warp said, “We are shocked and saddened to share the news that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged 37. An immensely talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist, he will be hugely missed. Nick’s family and friends request privacy at this difficult time.

Chris T Popper and I were lucky to see Gravenhurst play a sublime set at the Jericho Tavern a few years ago (a show also memorable for the support act, the spectacularly crap Pivot) and his most recent album The Ghost In Daylight was one of our favourites of 2012, featuring in our best of lists at the end of the year.

Put simply, Gravenhurst was one of those bands that made us want to start Mad Mackerel in the first place – an artist we wanted to be able to write about and to share – an artist that was crying out to be heard far more widely.

Criminally underrated, Nick Talbot was one of our favourite British songwriters – evocative, provocative, sinister and intelligent in equal measure. Like Jason Molina or Hiss Golden Messenger, Talbot had a way of conveying the most beautiful and the most profound with breathtaking economy – no waste, no filler, nothing that didn’t mean something. The haunting The Foundry remains one of our favourite songs, like a modern-day story from The Brothers Grimm played out over a backdrop of acoustics so startlingly beautiful that the sourness of the lyrics pack an even greater punch.

Most recently Warp had released a compilation of Gravenhurst tracks called Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004. An album that we were immensely looking forward to getting to know, but one that now comes tinged with great sadness that we have lost such a talent so young.

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Download Gravenhurst – Only A Northern Song mp3 (from Yellow Submarine Resurfaces)

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It’s Halloween Music Time

Halloween Tunes

We’ve posted Halloween mixes in the past (see here) and here are a few random Halloween related tunes, streams and videos linked by nothing other than the time of the year and the fact they’re all pretty damn good.

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Five Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. Justin Townes Earle – Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
2. Grouper – Holding
3. Andrew Bird & Nora O’Connor – I’ll Trade You Money For Wine (Robbie Fulks cover)
4. Chumped – Name That Thing
5. John Moore – Smoking On The Cancer Ward

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[Click through for free download]

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Weyes Blood – Some Winters

Weyes Blood is the work of Natalie Mering, one time member of experimental troupe Jackie-O Motherfucker and guest on Ariel Pink’s Mature Themes.

The sound of Weyes Blood is one of folk (with elements of psych and pop) set against electronics and tape effects, multi-part harmonies, collages and melodic qualities of delay. With vocals, often compared to Nico and of a rare purity and ethereal quality, weaved throughout the songs.

Her album The Innocents is released on 20th October via Mexican Summer and the six minute, haunting, melancholic Some Winters is the latest track to be shared from it.

Download it here.

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Arborea Rework Bad Moon Rising

Our favourite ambient folkies Arborea have announced their only official release for 2014. It is a one-off digital single that is a acoustic-slide/vocal duet arrangement of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic choogler Bad Moon Rising.

Have a listen below and it is available via the usual digital suspects or can be ordered via Bandcamp here. Sales will help fund a new album so make sure you buy a copy!

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Steve Palmer – Unblinking Sun

Steve Palmer - Unblinking Sun

The ethos and energy of punk rock first inspired Steve Palmer to pick up a guitar, but it was his discovery of the music of John Fahey in 2012 that renewed and deepened that interest. For his first full-length, Unblinking Sun, he filters cosmic krautrock, drone, and psychedelic improvisation through the vernacular of the American fingerpicked folk tradition.

We have a couple of excellent tracks from it to stream or download, Cassini and Six Dollar Sunglasses. We’ll wager that fans of William Tyler or Clan Nugent will find much to like here.

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Balmorhea – Heir 1

In conjunction with the reissue of their 2007 self-titled debut (out on the 14th October on Western Vinyl), Balmorhea the six-piece instrumental group from Austin, TX., are releasing two new songs on a limited edition 7″ titled HEIR.

With the songs created for the 7”, the band brings everything full circle, returning to the simple structures and melancholic tone that colored their first recordings. Listen below to HEIR I  which starts things off slowly with a Wurlitzer’s somber tremolo and some gently propulsive electric bass, soon joined by vibes and a soaring violin melody.

 

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MM Gets All Psyched-Up

MM Gets All Psyched Up

While that might be the worst post heading we’ve ever produced, thankfully this round-up of all things psych-inspired that have been worming their way into our in-box, and from there into our ears is far better and certainly well worth investigating.

We have the crunchy psych-noise of A Sunny Day In Glasgow, the epic space jams of Formes, the ferocious krautrock inspired aggression of Autobahn, sweetly psychedelic dream-pop from Balancer, the grungy post-punk drones of Wild Smiles, brilliant psych-folk from Immigrant Union, visceral garage infused psych-rock from A Million Billion Dying Suns and the stoned cosmic rock of Hailer.

What more could you want?

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Eight Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. Invisible Familiars – Clever Devil
2. Real Lies – North Circular
3. Alice Boman – Red Eyes (War On Drugs Cover)
4. Arborea – Sea Of Polaris
5. Castanets – Out For The West
6. Matt Kivel – Open Road
7. J Mascis – Every Morning
8. The Wytches – The Holy Tightrope

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Todo Muere Vol. 4

Todo Meure Vol. 4

Sacred Bones will present the fourth volume of their annual Record Store Day vinyl compilation, Todo Muere. It will be limited to 1,500 copies only.

This year’s edition features eight tracks from a wide variety of their artists, each one new or previously unreleased on any physical format. The first track is the brilliant Lonely Richard by Amen Dunes, a hazy cut from the band’s forthcoming LP, Love that we posted here. That song is followed by a recording of Zola Jesus’ Vessel taken from the sessions for last year’s Versions, the string quartet album she made with the composer J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus). Side A is rounded out by And Light Shines, a David Lynch song from The Big Dream sessions that was previously unavailable outside of Japan, and Marissa Nadler’s spare, haunting take on the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds track The Kindness of Strangers.

Also featured on the compilation is Pop. 1280 with the newly recorded track Kingdom Come. Föllakzoid’s Domingo Garcia-Huidobro contributes a new minimal techno remix of his band’s Pulsar for the penultimate track on the collection, and Illume from Lust for Youth’s forthcoming LP shows the band moving completely out of coldwave into far warmer territory, even adding guitars to the mix.

Side B of Todo Muere, Vol. 4 kicks off with a bang though – two, in fact. Pharmakon’s cover of Bang Bang, the great song written by Sonny Bono for Cher and popularized by Nancy Sinatra, is a sharp cold-water shock that shows a side of Margaret Chardiet that may surprise fans of last year’s Abandon LP.

Todo Muere Vol. 4’s track listing is as eclectic as the Sacred Bones roster itself, and serves as a snapshot of where the label is in 2014.

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