Mad Mackerel’s 2010 Top Ten Series: No 6, Cover Songs

Following most excellent Top Ten submissions from Starbar, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, Barry-Sean and Mr Popper come MM’s top ten covers of 2010.

Now, we’ve said on many occasions that we’re not great lovers of covers. However, some of the cover versions we heard in 2010 may well have done enough to change our minds permanently.

So without further ado…

10 Holly Miranda – Nobody Sees Me Like You Do mp3 (Yoko Ono cover)

9 First Aid Kit – When I Grow Up mp3 (Fever Ray cover) Link removed by DMCA – no reason given…

8 Emily Reo – On The Beach mp3 (Neil Young cover)

7 Fever Ray – Mercy Street mp3 (Peter Gabriel cover)

6 Dead Luke – Ghost Rider mp3 (Suicide cover)

5 Mumford & Sons – Unfinished Business mp3 (White Lies cover)

4 Morning Benders – Outlaw Blues mp3 (Bob Dylan cover)

3 Wooden Shjips – Drunk Girls mp3 (LCD Soundsystem cover)

2 Japandroids – Racer X mp3 (Big Black cover)

1 Port O’Brien – My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down(Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) mp3 (Ramones cover)

And an honourable mention for this 2009 cover that we only first heard this year.

Download Phosphorescent – Big Red Sun Blues mp3 (Lucinda Williams cover)

And finally, we don’t post remixes because by and large we can’t be bothered with them. This was one exception to prove our rule. The Mystery Jets given the classic spacerock treatment by The Wooden Shjips.

Download The Mystery Jets – Dreaming Of Another World (Wooden Shjips remix) mp3

MM’s Best of the Month: November

Here is the best of our November posts, a perfect mix tape to kick off the festive seasons and a nice reminder before we all get immersed in all those end-of-year top tens/twenties/fifties etc. And as always a couple of new ones too. Twenty five great tracks. Enjoy.

Download Outer Minds – Until You’re Dead mp3

Pristine nugget of 60s inspired garage rock, twangy rough-cut harmonies, a perfect hook and wall of sound noise.

Download Secret Colours – In The Absence mp3

Chiming guitars, hypnotic percussion and spaced out vocals.

Download Derek Pritzl – His Words mp3

Unhurried, thoughtful, raggedy old country soul.

Download Whole Sky Monitor – Freakshow mp3

Brilliantly discordant, energetic rock ‘n’ roll blast.

Download The Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know mp3

Twangy, country infused singalong.

Download Loch Lomond – Elephants & Little Girls mp3

Chamber folk gem that ebbs and flows beautifully.

Download My Teenage Stride – Message mp3

Knocks the spots off most post-punk / garage rock we’ve heard this year.

Download – Joe Pug – To Ohio (Live)

Excellent version of the Low Anthem classic.

Download Popstrangers – Happy Accidents mp3

Chiming guitar, frantic drumming, great vocals.

Download Glass Owls – Griffin Boy mp3

Well crafted, intelligent indie pop with swaggering attitude and studied nonchalance.

Download The War Crimes – The Cost mp3

An insistent low-key refrain overlaid with lyrics as good, and as dark, as any we’ve heard in 2010.

Download Sea of Bees – The Woods mp3

Hypnotic, wistful and otherwordly. Freak-folk at its finest.

Download White Buffalo – Oh Darlin’ What Have I Done mp3

Fingerpicked guitar and sparse percussion soundtrack searingly honest and sometimes uncomfortable folk tale.

Download Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Rejected mp3

High octane garage rock ‘n’ roll.

Download Airwaves featuring Sharon Van Etten – Waters mp3

Warm, inviting and a little bittersweet folk.

Download Emily Reo – On The Beach mp3

Classic Neil Young given a gossamer coating and let loose on the wind – a swirling, hazy gem.

Download Iowa – Lose Yourself mp3

Sleazy, grimy, fuzzed up delight – so cool it could wear sunglasses indoors.

Download My Disco – Closer mp3

Dark, pummelling tribal noise with a repetitive intro riff, rumbling drums and sonic interference.

Download Wade Williamson – Uncle Sam Don’t Give No Damn (‘Bout Me) mp3

Foot stomping, anti-war folk protest song, like being in 1968.

Download And The Wires – Lines mp3

The gothic deep South combined with the rhythms of South America, barroom jazz and avant pop.

Download Wayter – Cheese Sandwich mp3

Repetitive, melancholic guitar licks and strained poignant vocals.

Download The Moviegoers – Avalanche mp3

Understated and coolly elegant indie-pop.

Download The Luyas – Tiny Head mp3

Echo-drenched space-age pop song.

Download School of Seven Bells – I L U Mp3

Our favourite track from the electro pysch-popsters album.

And a couple of new ones. We love the ferocious garage jangle of the Jacuzzi Boys and their new single Coral Girls, while the Secret Sisters offer a lovely blend of traditional and timeless harmonious country heartbreak.

Download The Jacuzzi Boys – Coral Girls mp3 (from Jacuzzi Boys / Nobunny Split 7″)

Download The Secret Sisters – Tennessee Me mp3 (from The Secret Sisters)

Emily Reo covers Neil Young

Longtime MM fave Emily Reo dropped us a line to update us with some news and to give us this rather wonderful cover of Neil Young’s classic On The Beach.

First up, The Fmly added both her full length album, Minha Gatinha, and EP, Witch Mtn, to their Fmly Rcrds digital downloads, and you can get everything (plus a few hidden surprises!) for free here!

With the free downloads, they have also included this alluring and singularly original cover of On The Beach (and in time to honour his birthday too). It is as if she has taken the song and twirled it in the finest gossamer before letting it loose to float on the wind. It’s a swirling, hazy gem.

This is Emily’s most recent completed recording, and will give you an idea of the direction her new stuff is going in for 2011! We’re looking forward to hearing more…

Not only that, her collaboration with Blackbird Blackbird will be dropping this tuesday as a 7″ through Fire Talk records. You can get more details and pre-order by clicking here

Finally, if you want to check out more from Fmly Rcrds, here’s a link to the full list of digital downloads including New Alaskas, Dark Sea of Awareness, Professor Calculus, Truman Peyote, etc!

Visit Emily’s MySpace here.

Download Emily Reo – On The Beach mp3 (Neil Young cover)

Mad Mackerel’s Halloween Mix

We don’t usually do themed mixes, but Halloween is different. So many great songs lend themselves to a night of ghoulish wrongdoing and sorcery.

So to get you in the mood, download a marvellous combination of folk, punk, psych-rock, paisley jangle, experimental, indie, and straight up rock ‘n’ roll.

Fifteen great songs, all treats and no tricks.

Download The Dream Syndicate – Halloween mp3 (from The Days Of Wine And Roses)

Download The Cave Singers – Dancing On Our Graves mp3 (from Invitation Songs)

Download The Wooden Shjips – Vampire Blues mp3 (from Vampire Blues / I Hear The Vibrations 7″)

Download The Mae Shi – Run To Your Grave mp3 (from HLLLYH)

Download Longwave – The Devil And The Lair mp3 (from Secrets Are Sinister)

Download Jeffrey Lewis – If You Shoot The Head You Kill The Ghoul mp3 (from It’s The Ones Who’ve Cracked That The Light Shines Through)

Download The Mob – Witch Hunt (JD Twitch Extended Mix) mp3 (from Waiting For The Witch Hunt)

Download Karen Elson – The Ghost Who Walks mp3 (from The Ghost Who Walks)

Download Timber Timbre – Demon Host mp3 (from Timber Timbre)

Download Chicken Legs Weaver – Zombified mp3 (from Nowhere)

Download Mad Tea Party – Dr Phibes mp3 (from Rock ‘n’ Roll Ghoul EP)

Download Emily Reo – Witch Mtn mp3 (from Witch Mtn)

Download Darren Hanlon – Electric Skeleton mp3 (from Electric Skeleton 7″)

Download Indie Folker – Monsters In Rome mp3 (from Monsters In Rome)

Download Thee Vitamin Sees – Evil Eye mp3 (From Demos)

New from Blackbird Blackbird featuring Emily Reo

We were delighted this morning to find an e-mail from Emily Reo in our in-box. She is one of our very favourite experimental/ambient/darkpop songstresses, and had dropped us a line to send us a brand new collaboration with the highly regarded Blackbird Blackbird.

It was a combination to whet the appetite: sampling her unique vocal style and phrasing and then looping it firmly over spectacular icy beats and synths, the song still retains a sticky, sweet heartbeat that pulses with melody and will have you pressing the repeat button as soon as its over.

It is retro enough to be cool, contemporary enough to keep the buzz going, but above all it is good enough to still be on your playlist in 12 months time.

Watch out for Blackbird Blackbird’s Modern Disbelief EP

Visit Blackbird Blackbird’s MySpace here. Visit Emily Reo’s MySpace here.

Download Blackbird Blackbird (Featuring Emily Reo) – Fade To White mp3

MM’s Best of the Month: August

Here is our usual round-up of the best songs we’ve posted in August together with a couple of our favourite covers and three new songs to tempt you. Another perfect mix tape we think.

Black AngelsTelephone mp3

Gentler psych-pop approach from new album calling to mind classic era Zombies

DreamendMagnesium Light mp3

Superb psych-folk from the loosely joined and hellish story of a serial killer

The Migrant The Organ Grinder mp3

Gentle, low-key start before the swelling, insistent guitar strum builds and builds while the plaintive vocals keep pace the whole time

EfrenStay High mp3

Psych-folk tale of trying to lose love, dreams of family past, tall boys, gambling, and whiskey stills…

TV TorsoI Can See Your Face mp3

Excellent, hypnotic pulses and sixties harmonies

Amen DunesBy The Bridal mp3

Hazy, sunlit psychedelic folk

Nick MarshBest Shag In The World mp3

Like an evil Richard Hawley on smack singing something from Blue Velvet

Victorian English Gentlemens ClubA Biting Wind Followed By An Occasional Drift Of Snow (Was No Way To Cure A Hangover) mp3

Excellent new track from post–punk, art-rock weirdos

White Noise SoundSunset mp3

Corrosive feedback, pulsating krautrock rhythms, floating vocals and wall-of-sound guitars combine into an ear-shattering, blissed out climax

White Dress No Solid State mp3

Noir rock, taut and quivering with all kinds of emotion poured into the vocals

Small BlackPhotojournalist mp3

Lilting sliding beat dropping into a gorgeous moment of ambient wash

Paul Hawkins & The Awkward SilencesI’m In Love With A Hospital Receptionist mp3

Anti-folk masters of oddball lyrics, black humour, biting satire and sometimes poignant political comment

Ono PalindromesBlack Lungs mp3

Ferocious energy, vicious circling guitars and gunshot percussion

The NationalYou Were A Kindness mp3

New, suitably downtempo piano ballad

American GraveyardCommon Ones mp3

Debauched Americana, delivered in the timeless style of all classic protest songs

Truman Peyote Featuring Emily ReoTurn Into Feathers mp3

Like something from a banned 1970s horror flick it quickly transforms into a delightfully skewed three minute pop song for freaks and outsiders

Haunted WindchimesDon’t Take My Baby Away (Baby Back) mp3

Authentic, bewitching folk that draws you in and holds you tight

Baby EagleDay Of Our Departing mp3

A corking track with echoes of Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Pavement

We Are TreesDear Chan Marshall mp3

Deceptively simple song with some lovely flamenco style guitar and clever lyrics

Pepper RabbitOlder Brother mp3

Folk with chamber leanings and a twisted, slightly psych-pop edge

The War On DrugsComin’ Through mp3

Strummed guitar delight from forthcoming album

Roy PaymonImonetta mp3

Simply georgeous, fragile pop song

Our cover versions of the month are these two:

Download Fever RayMercy Street mp3

Download Mumford & SonsUnfinished Business mp3

And three excellent new tracks to finish off with: firstly another cover – The Drums doing Arcade Fire, the new taster track from indie-folk God Sufjan Stevens and finally some superb, caustic, drone punk from The Band In Heaven.

Download The DrumsWe Used To Wait mp3

Download Sufjan StevensI Walked mp3 (from The Age of Adz)

Download The Band In HeavenSuicide Pact mp3 (from The Band In Heaven / Weird Wives Split Tape)

New from Truman Peyote featuring Emily Reo

We have featured the wonderful Emily Reo a few times on MM and it is always a pleasure to get something new from her in our in-box. And so it was today when we received this track called Turn Into Feathers.

It is a collaboration with Truman Peyote and will feature on his forthcoming split release with Attached Hands on Post Records.

Starting like something from a banned 1970s horror flick it quickly transforms with some Kate Bush type vocals into a delightfully skewed three minute pop song for freaks and outsiders, treading a line somewhere between Aphex Twin and MGMT. Marvellous!

Visit Truman Peyote’s MySpace here. Visit Emily Reo’s MySpace here.

Download Truman Peyote (featuring Emily Reo) – Turn Into Feathers mp3 (from Truman Peyote / Attached Hands Split Release)

MM’s Best Of The Month: June

Here is our regular monthly round up of 25 of the best tracks posted on Mad Mackerel in the past month, and three new gems too. That’s a more than decent mixtape sorted even if we were crap in the World Cup!

The FuturebirdsBattle For Rome mp3

Glorious, up-tempo alt-country gem that recalls Neil Young at his finest

Puro InstinctCalifornia Shakedown mp3

Dreamily seductive slice of icy pop

Burnt OnesBury Me In Smoke mp3

Sleazy, dirty, hook-laden surf rock and heavy doses of 7os glam

Mississippi ManMountain mp3

Superb blend of Americana and country-folk

The Vitamin Sees Illumanati Mind Control mp3

Mesmerising and hypnotic, with repetitive guitar riff and laconic vocals. Our discovery of the month!

Black Mountain – Old Fangs mp3

Scorched, driving, desert blues

HollowbellyLong Road mp3

Raw, stomping, hellfire and brimstone blues

Sharon Van EttenI Couldn’t Save You mp3

Languid, lonely and desolate. As stark and as stunning a heartbreaker as you could imagine

Ferocious FewKathleen mp3

Joyous raiding of the rock’n’roll cupboard to produce a two-minute classic

Elf PowerStranger In The Window mp3

Gentle, pensive, country-tinged, psych-pop. Gorgeous

Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Mynah Birds Call mp3

Fragile, Syd Barrett influenced unorthodox folk whimsy

All Saints DayYou Can’t Be Alone mp3

Pop overdosing on distortion and reverb

Lail AradEveryone Is Moving To Berlin mp3

Wonderful blend of sharp-tongued pop and lovely folk overtones

The WhigsDying mp3

Visceral, slow burn of a track, builds into crescendo of guitars, drums and feedback

Tame ImpalaSolitude Is Bliss mp3

Bold, fuzzed up blues standout from recent album Innerspeaker

Karen ElsonThe Ghost Who Walks mp3

Gothic-tinged, country murder ballad

TennisMarathon mp3

Sweet and catchy pop gem

Tweak BirdA Sun Ahh Ahh mp3

Brilliant mix of full-on old-school metal riffing and psychedelic overtones

The MinksFuneral Song mp3

Vintage Cure bassline, icy synths and shadowy, sombre lyrics

The Black LipsBefore You Judge Me mp3

Typically swaggering boozy cut of garage rock

We Are Country MiceFestival mp3

Garage goodness, awash with reverb, duelling guitars and a tinge of psychedelia

The Local NativesCareful mp3

Chiming cover of Television album track

SalemKing Night mp3

Ghostly leanings and haunting, desolate beats

CrocodilesSleep Forever mp3

Full on indie rocker in the spirit of the Bunnymen

Emily ReoWitch Mtn Pt. 2 mp3

Dreamily seductive and captivating fuzzy Beach House style pop

And  three new ones for you to finish off:

The Vitamin SeesEvil Eye mp3

More tripped out, pulsing krautrock from our new band discovery of the month

Port O’BrienMy Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) mp3

From the wonderful Buffetlibre/Amnesty Peace project (180 tracks for $5 minimum) comes this brilliant Ramones cover by MM faves Port O’Brien. Buy this compilation here now!

Wild NothingYour Rabbit Feet mp3

Latest chilled (and chilly) dream pop from new indie-wunderkind

Emily Reo Releases Witch Mountain

As anyone who reads MM will know we are big fans of Emily Reo and have been eagerly awaiting the release of her EP Witch Mountain. The five track cassette is (of course) as dreamily seductive and captivating as we were hoping. There are fuzzy, distorted vocals, loops and washed out synths but always carried along by a lovely melody and the overall result is wonderful.

Best of all, it also has a subversive side that provides more than just a hint of the unexpected and the intriguing feeling that maybe she is slyly laughing behind her hand at a joke no-one else gets – least of all you.

Buy from Breakfast of Champs Records here.

Visit Emily’s MySpace here.

Download Emily Reo – Blue Canoe mp3 (from Witch Mountain EP)

Download Emily Reo – Witch Mtn Pt. 2 mp3 with Philip Seymour Hoffman (from Witch Mountain EP)

MM’s Best of the Month: April

As usual, here is our round-up of some of the best songs we’ve posted during April plus a couple of new ones. Thirty great songs all ready to go on one cracking playlist and impress your family and friends.

Without further ado…

Shabby Rogue – My Life As A Secret Agent mp3 (High octane, paranoia induced rock ‘n’ roll riffage)

Kurt Vile – Invisibility Nonexistent mp3 (Ramshackle bluesy psychedelia)

Woodpigeon – Empty-Hall-Sing-Along mp3 (Folk foot-stomper from outstanding new album)

Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain mp3 (Sparse, shadowy, southern Gothic folk)

Sparrow & The Workshop – Devil Song mp3 (Morricone inspired galloping, cowboy blues)

Band Of Horses – Compliments mp3 (First track from much anticipated new album – signs are good)

Local Natives – World News mp3 ((Yet another) catchy, harmony filled gem from the wonderful Gorilla Manor album)

The Ooks Of Hazzard – Kids mp3 (Cover of the year so far? MGMT given a ukulele led, rough country makeover)

Phosphorescent – Mermaid Parade mp3 (Classic Phosphorescent. Classic modern country)

Jason Ward – Bless You mp3 (Lyrically brilliant folk ditty reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper)

Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For mp3 (New Sub-Pop darlings show what the fuss is about)

Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles – At The Wake mp3 (Perfect blend of Americana and indie rock)

The National – Afraid Of Everyone mp3 (Standout centrepiece from brilliant new album)

Peggy Sue – Watchman mp3 (Folk duo spit lyrical venom)

Chapel Club – O Maybe I mp3 (Top notch, classic British indie rock from much tipped newcomers)

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Forget It mp3 (Perfect backwoods porch Americana)

The War Crimes – Enamour Me And Roll mp3 (Sinister, unsettling and lyrically brilliant)

Meursault – Crank Resolutions mp3 (Scottish miserablist folksters deliver in spades)

Howling Owls – Family Tree mp3 (Another insistently compelling, down-tempo and black-hearted folk tale)

Grass House – A Cockroach mp3 (Unsettling excursion on a dark, sonically captivating journey)

Emily Reo – Witch Mtn mp3 (Experimental, ethereal, excellent)

Alessi’s Ark – Shovelling mp3 (Fragile and spooky folk)

Wind Up Birds – There Won’t Always Be An England mp3 (Particularly English tale of bigotry – topical enough!)

Tallest Man On Earth – Burden Of Tomorrow mp3 (Another gem from rasping folk troubadour. Dylan comparisons obligatory)

Unnatural Helpers – Sunshine / Pretty Girls mp3 (Snotty, brash homage to classic punk with added bonus of chorus of the month)

Morningbell – Hello Dali mp3 (Melodic, shimmering psych rock from Florida)

Colours – Desert Dessert mp3 (Three minutes of buzzsaw guitars and a shout along chorus. Awarded instant classic status)

Brother Dege – The Girl Who Wept Stones mp3 (Authentic stomping swamp blues. Like Seasick Steve’s nastier brother)

And lastly here are a couple of new ones

Memoryhouse – Gian Lorenzo Bernini mp3 (More gorgeous, chilled out, dream to immerse yourself in)

Delaney Davidson – Dirty Dozen mp3 (Classic voodoo rockabilly and filthy, x rated lyrics. What’s not to like?)