Believe it or not, Mad Mackerel has been around for more than five years now. During that time we’ve posted more than 4,000 times, and offered more than 5,000 songs for your listening pleasure. And more than three quarters of a million people have paid MM a visit during our lifetime on Google’s (godawful) blogspot and since April 2010 on WordPress.
We asked some of the regular MM contributors to give us their top twenty songs since MM first went live and we’re also going to give you one big mega-listing shortly, first up was Dr Roddy, then Chris T Popper and now we have the choices of the fragrant, but often blasphemous Polly Pocket.
20) Ben Howard – Old Pine
Download Ben Howard – Old Pine mp3
19) Barr Brothers – Beggar In The Morning
Download The Barr Brothers – Beggar In The Morning mp3
18) One Eskimo – Hometime
17) Annie Williams – Roll On Hills
Download Annie Williams – Roll On Hills mp3
16) Dead Weather – I Cut Like A Buffalo
Download The Dead Weather – I Cut Like A Buffalo mp3
15) The Cave Singers – Swim Club
Download The Cave Singers – Swim Club mp3
14) The Low Anthem – To Ohio
Download The Low Anthem – To Ohio mp3
13) First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
12) The Tallest Man On Earth – I Won’t Be Found
Download The Tallest Man On Earth – I Won’t Be Found (Daytrotter Session) mp3
11) Alt-J – Taro
10) Emiliana Torrini – Jungle Drum
Never fails to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It really does capture that feeling when you fall utterly head over heels and there is nothing to be done about it.
9) Laura Marling – Sophia
I love that this song seems to have two such distinct parts to it but they work so beautifully together. Such an incredible voice. Laura can do no wrong in my eyes.
8) Bon Iver – Blood Bank
A timeless beauty, much loved since 2009. So far it has proved impossible to listen to without singing the end part of the song ‘I know it well’ for hours afterwards.
Download Bon Iver – Blood Bank mp3
7) Junip – Line Of Fire
A 2013 tune and already Line of Fire is a song I’d rather not live without. I love Jose Gonzalez’ effortless vocals. Utterly emotional, a bit bleak in places and all consuming. It has a cracking (and very odd) video to go with it too.
6) Shearwater – You As You Were
A lovely discovery for 2012. This song just gets bigger and bigger until you realise you are no longer singing along but shouting like a crazy person!
Download Shearwater – You As You Were mp3
5) Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True
If you like a song to tell you a tale then this is the one for you. It will also make you want to learn to play the harmonica.
4) A.A. Bondy – The Twist
From 2011’s top ten, a beautiful track. Very dark and brooding, like a lovely storm overhead. No idea what it’s all about but it feels most profound.
3) We Are Augustines – Chapel Song
It was my number 1 from 2012 and it certainly deserves its place here. Is it the voice or the lyrics that are most heartbreaking? Always a stand still and listen to all the way through tune.
2) Willy Mason – What Is This
Timeless, effortless and to my mind perfect. I have yet to find a time or a situation where this tune doesn’t fit the bill. That pretty much sums up the entire album for me, Carry On is a masterpiece.
Watch it here.
1) The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight
I remember the car journey when I first heard this song – it was a bit of a mind blower and hearing it live the next year cemented it as a firm favourite. The moment the strings start you know its going to be epic and it never disappoints.
Download The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight mp3
Three much loved discoveries:
You know an artist is that good when you kick yourself for not having found them sooner – I could have been listening to ‘When The Devil’s Loose’ since 2009 but only came to it in 2011 having fallen in love with ‘Believers’.
The Tallest Man On Earth
There is a real honesty to Kristian Matsson’s songs, I think that is what I love best. He has an incredible voice and writes songs you just can’t help but sing a long to. Always a treat.
An unbelievable talent. I was privileged enough to have heard Laura Marling sing in Gloucester Cathedral in 2011 – a very fitting venue for the purest of voices. If she is this good now, what will she be like in years to come? I look forward to finding out.