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

New Album From Mice Parade

New Album From Mice Parade.

Candela is the new full-length from Mice Parade, which will see a release early next year.

It is a record that omniverously references source material from across the globe, and rebuilds it all into the distinctive, inimitable voice that Mice Parade has come to represent, and where there are plenty of heady moments of pop brilliance amongst abstract, restrained eloquence.

Download This River Has A Tide, and tip your toes into their colourfully intense and vibrant world.


MM Shorts 177: The Appleseed Collective

MM Shorts 177: Appleseed Collective.

With their heady blend of bluegrass and gypsy jazz, The Appleseed Collective croons a sentimental folk duet with their latest single Something New (Changes) from forthcoming album Baby To Beast. With some whimsical fiddle playing and washboard flare, this is a the tale of a couple yearning for something to change, a daydream of what’s to come.

Download The Appleseed Collective – Something New (Changes) mp3 (from Baby To Beast)

Download The Appleseed Collective – Mani mp3 (from Baby To Beast)

Introducing >>> Johnny 5th Wheel & The Cowards

Introducing...Johnny 5th Wheel & The Cowards.

Johnny 5th Wheel & The Cowards play something they define as “steampunk-doom-jazz” and their latest single is, nominally at least, a double A side featuring the tracks Nancy and In My Laboratory.

The former is more jazz than steampunk, as it meanders laconically along telling a surreal tale of giant eyeballs, librarians and obsession – you could picture it on the banks of the Seine in Paris in the rain with a Gitanes, a beret and a knowing smile. By contrast the latter has more of the spirit of the travelling carnival about it being deliberately silly and reminded us of Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett’s Monster Mash heavily dosed up on Prozac.

The band have a second album due for release later this year. Until then visit their Bandcamp page here.


Ten Bandcamp Treasures

Some Bandcamp Treasures.Trawling Bandcamp can from time to time reveal the most extraordinary treasures – more often than not they are free or a nominal ‘pay what you want deal’ and so here are ten of the bands that have been tickling the Mackerel’s fancy recently.

First up is uncompromising garage-punk noiseniks The Bats Pajamas who have featured on MM before and have a new EP called Totally now available here.


Next are The Graveyard Kids who have recently released this really rather good single of lo-fi bluesy garage rock, The Raft Of The Medusa.


We have also posted before about the somewhat mysterious Hypocrite In A Hippy Crypt whose sweetly judged tales of folk melancholy are a perfect accompaniment to lonely late nights. Try Bits for free from forthcoming compilation of demos, outtakes and instrumentals called All I Ask Ya Alaska.


On the face of it Cindy Lou Gooden’s EP Kitsch Tapes might be considered to be full of sweetly kooky and upbeat folk-pop, especially when you see the cover art. Not a bit of it, the six tracks contain lyrics that are so piercing and sharp you could probably shave with them…

So cut the crap and cut my tendons
Dice and poach them tenderly
And if my heart makes it to Monday
Put it on a plate to eat


Thoroughly modern and unashamedly retro duo The Two Man Gentlemen Band channel the mod, swinging lifestyle of 1950s Palm Springs, with drinks in hand, white suits, slicked-back hair, and a new album titled Two At A Time (out next Wednesday). Mixing everything from pre-war jazz to back-alley hokum, jazz guitar pickin’ to jump blues, plus countless other influences, this is a taster from the record, album opener Pork Chops.


Future History are an experimental, five-piece alternative rock band from Toronto, and will soon release their first full-length record, Loss:/self. They have made a free two-track sampler available – try it out.


The Last Temptations have a nice solid six track EP of indie rock called Penny Dreadfuls available on a pay what you want deal. This is one of the standout tracks and check out the cover art too.


The Dirty Feathers are a five-piece psychedelic garage rock band from Champaign, IL. Having already made their excellent album Midnight Snakes available via Bandcamp (here) they have also added this new track, a wonderful slab of fuzzed up mayhem, as a pay what you want deal.


By contrast Oakland’s Trails And Ways inhabit an altogether more serene world of dream pop. Tereza is the charming first single off their forthcoming debut LP Trilingual and has echoes of a more energetic Beach House or even Wye Oak.


And lastly High Diner have a jaunty indie-pop sound that is as much inspired by the Beatles as it is Hot Chip. This is new single c.k.f.




For our first ever Festive Feature on Mad Mackerel, we asked twelve of our favourite bands and artists of 2011 to answer twelve questions and we will publish them over the next twelve days taking us up to Christmas Eve.

MM's 12 Days of Christmas: 1 Twilight Hotel.

Kicking us off on Day 1 are Twilight Hotel who released the superb When The Wolves Go Blind album back in January. From the jazzy echoes of  the title track to the dark road trip of Mahogany Veneer and the pulsing folky reverb of Ham Radio Blues they delivered a record which we’ve played solidly throughout the year. They are certain to feature in MM’s Best of lists that are coming shortly.

1) Three iconic clashes. Who would you vote for?

a) The Velvet Underground or The Doors?

Velvet Underground because their music was way ahead of its time, their debut was low fi slacker indie rock before well before mustaches became ironic. 

b) Bob Dylan or Neil Young?

Neil Young, I love Bob Dylan, but Neil has an honest vulnerability to his songs that moves my heart in a way that cool detached Dylan just can’t.

c) The Sex Pistols or the Clash?


2) What has been your personal highlight of 2011?

2011… the year of…. lets see… A little over a year ago I joined a group called the Minor Mishap Marchingband, I saw them playing at a club and I thought “I could be in that band playing trumpet” So I approached the group and they let me join. Fast forward to Dia de los Muertas 2011 and I found myself with the band in a parade on 6th st, covered in face paint blowing trumpet along with what are now 30 of my closest friends and playing a song that I wrote part of and I thought, “well, here you are.” Oh and did I mention we made a cameo in the remake of Slacker?

3) What was your low point of the year?

The low point of 2011 was undoubtably being stuck in Toronto Canada in the freezing late January, broke and sleeping on the air mattress of a friend who was going through a mini mid life crisis. Every night around 1 am I’d go out for a shivering cigarette and order bad coffee from the late night service window of a Coffee Time on Queen St E and end up at a 24 hour internet cafe where I’d buy a day old double chocolate muffin with pocket change. This one particular day the fellow working says to me “I’ll give you computer number 23 in the back so you can look at your porn. My god those were dark days. 

4) You can give one single album from 2011 to just one person for Christmas. What would you buy and who for?

Sorry, but if I get to chose, it isn’t going to be any album from 2011. In this fantasy, I come across a dog-eared copy of The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St for $1.99 from some thrift store after thumbing through 500 Roger Whittaker and James Last titles; I keep it for myself. 

5) Give us between two and five songs from 2011 that you’d recommend as the best of the year.

Tom Wait’s has a new record out called Bad as Me, there’s at least 5 songs on it. Also, not so current, but Beethoven’s Archduke Trio performed by The Million Dollar Trio was recommended to me by Haruki Murikami and is now my favorite discovery of the year.

6) Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol?

When I was a kid I loved the Kingston Trio’s version of “the Virgin mary had a baby boy” I just thought it was a catchy song and I liked the Calipso undertones, but then again you’d also hear a lot of Boney M’s christmas album in my house. More recently I got hooked on Bob Dylan’s “Must be Santa” because it makes me laugh and he looks like Sanderson from Newhart with his long hair.

7) Imagine you are snowed in and stuck in an isolated house in the woods for Christmas with no way out. Wolves and bears are prowling outside.You need to recommend the following:

A classic song to impress an ultra cool, know-it-all, teenager

Play the teenager Nat King Cole’s version of Nature Boy (who cares if he likes it). 

A song to terrify Grandma

Play grandma Tom Waits’ “Midtown”.

A traditional song to help send Grandad to sleep

Play grandad McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre” but tell him its an old Celtic ballad.

A song for someone just waking from a five-year coma

Play the coma patient Gillian Welch’s “I Dream a Highway back to you”.

A book to frighten the children

Read the kiddo’s the original Grimm’s version of almost any fairytale they’ve come to assume Disney wrote.

An unforgettable film to watch

I don’t really like movies, can’t think of an unforgettable one… 

8) What is top of your Christmas list this year?


9) What is the worst Christmas present you’ve ever given and/or ever received?

Some people are hard to buy for, I once got my sister a bag of coffee beans, on the tag I wrote “from Juan Valdez” and she looked at it and said, “well it seems like coffee, which is strange cuz I don’t drink coffee”.

Somewhere in this world is a graveyard of all the ill considered shirts mothers have bought their sons…

10) Will you be making a New Year Resolution? If so can you share it and will you keep it? What is the stupidest New Year resolution you’ve ever made?

New years is a fun party night but I won’t be making any resolutions beyond having fun.

11) Imagine you’re headlining a Christmas Concert at your favourite venue. You can share the stage with three other artists or bands (past or present) for the final encore of the night. Who would they be and what would you play?


12) Can you write us a Christmas themed limerick?

There once was a holiday called yule
The pagans all thought it was cool
A season for muggins
And kissing your cousins
But the christians came along with their rules


You can buy a copy of When The Wolves Go Blind here, or download from eMusic here.

Why not watch the video for the title track.


Download Twilight Hotel – Ham Radio Blues mp3 (from When The Wolves Go Blind)

Download Twilight Hotel – Viva La Vinyl mp3 (from Highway Prayer)

Download Twilight Hotel – Highway Prayer mp3 (from Highway Prayer)

Check back tomorrow for The Lovely Eggs!