New Album From Samantha Crain

New Album From Samantha Crain

Samantha Crain justifiably received much acclaim for last year’s excellent Kid Face album and will release the follow-up Under Branch & Thorn & Tree via Full Time Hobby on the 17th July.

As with previous releases, her smoky, sultry voice is a distinctive joy, set further apart from the norm with her use of jazz style vocal phrasing. The album is a sombre one with darkness tugging at its edges, but lifted by the striking arrangements that bring unexpected flashes of illumination and expansiveness to even the blackest of scenarios.

The first track from it is the exquisite Outside The Pale – have a listen below. You can pre-order the album here.


New Calexico Album – Edge Of The Sun

Calexico have announced a new album, Edge of the Sun, their first studio release since Algiers in 2012. It is a collaborative affair with contributions from Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine, Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, Nick Urata from DeVotchka, Neko Case and plenty more.

The first taste is the jaunty, latin tinged Cumbia de Donde.

Have a listen. The album is out in April.


New From Kings Of Lowertown

New From The Kings Of Lowertown

The mighty Kings Of Lowertown are about to release their first single of 2015.

New Orleans Woman is a bourbon soaked, blues shoutin’, Preservation Hall inspired song that checks in at a blazing 2 minutes and 36 second combination of dirt-blues and crazy jazz.

The track is the follow-up to Kings Of Lowertown’s brilliant, slide-guitar drenched Swamp King collaboration with bassist Mike Watt (The Minutemen, The Stooges). Also, the band will be releasing their digital 2014 Mississippi Flood/Blues Haul single as a double A-side single on vinyl in the early part of this year.

For now though, this is just the way we like it. Have a listen…


Mad Mackerel Premiere: Gwyneth Moreland’s Slaughterhouse Gulch

MM Premiere Gwyneth Moreland

We are proud to be able to bring you the premiere of Gwyneth Moreland’s brilliant new single Slaughterhouse Gulch, taken from her forthcoming album Ceilings, Floors, and Open Doors, which is out on November 18th.

It is a perfect blend of authentic, classic country that feels as genuine as it does timeless, with songs that are steeped in the rural landscapes and the rugged coastline of Northern California. Boldly eschewing the unnecessary and the superfluous to strip things back to the essence of genuinely intimate songwriting means she has created a record of stunning simplicity and feeling, which is undeniably moving and affecting.

Slight jazzy undertones, rich, warm vocals and subtle instrumentation help deliver something of rare and fragile beauty. So, download and immerse yourself in the single below. Gorgeous.


It’s An Easter Round Up

Easter Round Up

We are kicking off Easter with a massive Round-Up of lots of new music and bands that have been sat in our in-box patiently waiting to be heard. Some of these have been released already, some are about to be, but either way we have fifteen artists that are all well worth checking out.


Let us begin with Josh Matthews whose work has been compared to Leonard Cohen as well as outcasts such as The Fugs and Captain Beefheart. His enigmatic album Co-Patriot drops April 19th, and this is A Good Life from it.


Silver Arm’s latest release He of the Slow Creep EP is four tracks of riotous psych-punk. Try on the title track and Gunboat for size…


We have another fuzzy little stomper of garage-pop from Dead Professional. Listen to I’m Not The One.


Comrade Question’s second LP, Pepe Polo, is the first release on Superdreamer Records. It’s a psych/garage/pop gem with guy-girl vocals and genius simplicity. Opening track is the sweetly named Bastard.


Ciara O’Neill is a singer songwriter from Northern Ireland and Dead, Black has a lovely folk noir feel, plaintive and fragile with haunting female vocals.


Daisy Victoria’s influences are Captain Beefheart, Sonic Youth, Gang of Four, P J Harvey et al, and her debut single Heart Full Of Beef is a surrealist exploration of the creative process. It hosts a cast of characters who include a maternal vegetable, a lap-dancer with divine clientele, and a militant typewriter.


Dizzy Bats use power chords over heavily-picked basslines as a vehicle for fun, energetic, power pop. Check out/download Girls.


Meet the Betrayers, Edmonton’s new fuzzy psych/garage band. The five-piece recently released their debut album Let the Good Times Die and we have a couple of tracks from it, Spinnin’ Wheel and Cherry Beach here.


Honeyfeet are a group of loosely affiliated scruff-bags mixing old folk forms, blues grooves and jazz chords to create a unique sound of their own. Latest single is Buried My Husband.


Ciro Madd has penned a baroque pop tune for the first issue of Pug Records singles series. You and Me is a charming symphony of keyboards and vocals wrapped up in George Harrison-style riffs, recommended for fans of the Beach Boys and The Zombies.


Cousin Marnie’s debut EP Is Sleeping, re-imagined four Carter Family tracks from the 1930s. The EP is a ticking collection of throbbing beats, synth drones and wistful country sentiment. Check out Cain which showcases her unique combination of country, hip hop and left-field pop.


The River Monks are a Des Moines folk pop sextet with an organic interplay of instruments, rich lyrical imagery, and layered vocal harmonies that build on the foundation laid by artists like Sufjan Stevens and Good Old War. Beasts is the first single from new long-player Home Is The House.


Former Backyard Tire Fire member Edward David Anderson will release his debut solo album Lies & Wishes on April 29 through The Royal Potato Family. It is a collection of ten songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots.


Combining Brit-punk grit with a distinctive pop jangle, Cambridge five-piece 28 Boulevard recently released five-track EP, Sunclouds. The emerging young group expand on the raw, adolescent feel of their debut single, pushing their innovative spin on guitar pop to a spine-rattling, head-splitting climax. This is Electric Feet.


Lastly, our favourite 50s throwback and rockabilly rebel Dan Sartain has a new album out at the end of this month called Dudesblood. We have no less than three tracks for you to dip into including the paranormal country and western of Marfa Lights, the anarcho-punk of Smash The Tesco and the late-night croon of Rawhide Moon.


Mad Mackerel Recommends… Ryley Walker

Mad Mackerel Recommends... Ryley Walker

We had an e-mail from a reader recommending we check out Ryley Walker. So we did. Turns out he is a little bit special.

While only 24 years old, on his debut album (released this very day) All Kinds Of You, he delves much further back than that to the fingerpicked style of classic British folk artists, American primitive guitar and classic pastoral psychedelia. The results are mesmerising – bluesy, jazzy, folky – fluid and meditative with expressive vocals edged with just enough grit and emotion.

Try a couple of tracks – Fonda and the gorgeous album closer Tanglewood Spaces, which he describes as “a jam to stub your joint out too”.

You can buy from Tomkins Square, or catch him supporting Cloud Nothings on their current tour.


Round-Up Time Already…

Round Up

Now that the new year is slowly grinding into gear and starting to pick up some momentum, we are starting to see some really tasty new releases being promoted. Here is our pick of a few new tunes from new records that we are really looking forward to…

First up, we have another gorgeous track from Marissa Nadler’s new album July, and a live taster of the first new record in two years from We Were Promised Jetpacks. The near perfect indie rock of Portland, Oregon’s Rare Monk is well worth checking out, and we have the sonic intensity of Brooklyn two-piece NØMADS to contrast with the vintage, ‘swingadelic’ heady bliss of the brilliantly named Jitterbug Vipers.

Next up is the degenerate raucous rock of Fat White Family’s new single Touch The Leather, and finally (for now) the brilliant Kelley Stoltz has a new single of shimmering psych-pop titled Cross Your Mind backed with The Anarchist In Me – you can stream the latter below.

Dig in…








Videos of the Day: The National || L.A. Salami || Miss Quincy & The Showdown || High Coast

Videos of the Day

Films today from indie heavyweights The National and their video for the brilliant Sea Of Love, and from rising UK troubadour L.A. Salami we have the sparse but engrossing video for Old Queen’s Head, (pick up a free download of his track Deformation Days below too). We have some appropriately vintage film footage for Miss Quincy & The Showdown’s video for Silent Movie, and lastly, a chilly hunt for the Northern Lights accompanies High Coast’s sweetly picked Americana on Talvatis.




MM Shorts 321: More From Lapland

MM Shorts 321: Lapland

Lapland, the engrossing and introspective folky project of Josh Mease, has made another track available from his self-titled debut album, which is due out at the end of March. Mixing styles from electronica to jazz, soul and indie, this track Where Did It Go? is a sweetly hypnotic strum in classic Fleetwood Mac style.

See our previous post featuring Lapland here.

The Blog Sound Of 2013: Long List Announced

Blog Sound of 2013: Long List Announced.

Shortlist and winner announced 3rd January 2013

The Blog Sound Poll was first published in 2011. The concept of the poll wasn’t to criticise the established BBC Sound of list, but simply an experiment to see if UK music bloggers could come up with its own list of emerging artists that was more representative of their community and give the artists that were nominated some extra publicity. Indeed the idea was to compliment the BBC list in many ways by providing an alternative to compare and contrast.

Last year’s final long list provided some interesting alternatives to the BBC list; most notably it included Alt-J, this year’s Mercury Prize winners, who didn’t feature on the BBC list at all.

The Blog Sound of 2013 poll has expanded with 49 UK blogs (including Mad Mackerel for the first time) nominating their 5 favourite emerging artists. Just over 170 acts received at least 1 vote. The winning act received votes from around 25% of all bloggers.

The long list represents the very best of new music and draws from major label, indie label and completely unsigned acts. The likes of Haim may be featuring on a lot of new music tip lists at the moment, but the Blog Sound poll also highlights lesser known bands such as Curxes and Randolph’s Leap, bands that do not have big PR representation, and this is what makes the Blog Sound list fascinating and exciting.

The poll was organised by Robin Seamer (Breaking More Waves) and Andy Von Pip (The Von Pip Express).

Each blog was allowed to vote for five acts and the diversity of the nominations was staggering. Based on the evidence of the spread of votes anyone that says that music bloggers are sheep and are all writing about the same artists has got it wrong. However, the results of the poll show that certain artists do have a lot of support and love from a significant portion of UK bloggers and those artists make up the Blog Sound of 2013 list, says Robin.

Listen to the Full List of Nominated Artists For The Blog Sound Of 2013 

AlunaGeorge – Infectious R&B influenced pop from London

Curxes  – Dark industrial-pop electronic duo from Brighton and Portsmouth

Chvrches – Scottish electro pop trio formed from a variety of other bands

Daughter – Minimal / ambient sounding folk

Haim – Classic rock from LA with pop sensibilities

Laura Mvula – Jazz / soul singer hailing from Birmingham

– Hip soulful female vocal electronic pop from Denmark

Palma Violets – Raw and energetic indie rock band

Pins – Edgily cool and raucous all female indie band from Manchester

Randolph’s Leap – Glasgow based indie folk pop with a twist of brass

Rhye – Smooth and blissful pop duo

Savages – Intense post-punk with female vocals

Seasfire – Modern rock band from Bristol who mix electronic beats with guitars

The Neighbourhood – Atmospheric Californian 5 piece rock / pop band

Tom Odell – Piano based singer songwriter originally from Chichester

While we won’t reveal who we voted for, we are pleased to say that Savages, Haim, Palma Violets and Pins have all featured on MM in the past…

The 49 blogs who voted in the poll are: 

A New Band A DayA Pocket Full Of SeedsAll NoiseAlphabet BandsBoth Bars OnBrapscallionsBreaking More WavesBrighton Music BlogDetails Of My Life So FarDon’t Watch Me DancingDots And DashesDrunken WerewolfEaten By MonstersElectronic RumorsFaded GlamourFolly Of YouthFlying With AnnaGod Is In The TVHarder Blogger FasterHowlIn Love Not LimboJust Music That I LikeKilling MoonKowalskiy,  Love Music : Love Life,  MudkissMusic Broke My BonesMusic Fans MicMusic LiberationMusic Like DirtMy Bands Better Than Your BandNot Many ExpertsPeenkoReal HorrorshowScottish FictionSkeletory,  Song By ToadSounds Good To Me TooStorm’s BrewingSweeping The NationThe Blue WalrusThe Electricity ClubThe Mad MackerelThe Metaphorical BoatThe Music HoarderThe RecommenderThis Must Be PopVon Pip Musical Express17 Seconds