2012 MAD MACKEREL’S 100 FAVOURITE SONGS PART 3: 60 – 41

MM's BEST OF 2012 Nos 60-41

Today we reach the halfway mark of our favourite 100 songs of 2012. Here are numbers 60 – 41 for your listening pleasure. You can check out numbers 100 – 81 here and yesterday’s post of 80 – 61 here.

And on we go…

60 JAMES LEVY & THE BLOOD RED ROSE – YOU SNEAK INTO MY ROOM
A real mellow chill out tune. Reminds me of laid back version of the Divine Comedy. (SB)

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59 ANGEL SNOW – LIE AWAKE
This was a late arrival into my best of the year list and I am thrilled to have it here. Those beautiful haunting vocals stay with you long after listening – its a sad story perfectly told and I love it. Not the happiest song, but certainly one of the most beautiful. (PP)

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58 THE LUMINEERS – FLAPPER GIRL
Piano-led tune that is rather understated yet really gets under your skin, particularly when the guitar comes in to answer the piano. Lovely, undulating melody, the power of this song lies in its simplicity as lead singer and guitarist, Wesley Schultz, lays his heart on his sleeve. Ho Hey, their star is deservedly in the ascendant. (Mrs M)

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57 TEAM GENIUS – SEVEN YEARS
Although flirting dangerously close to novelty Seven Years certainly helped put a smile on my face with its blatantly narcissistic lyrics and thumping beat. This may be a bit of an indulgence on my part, but I have to be true to what I like. And boy I like this song – anything that begins with the line “I’m half drunk again, full of words, full of piss and wind’ was bound to become one of my favourite songs of the year. (CP)

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56 WAVES OF FURY – BUSINESSMAN’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT
If there was a more tribal drumbeat this year then we didn’t hear it. The genius came in mixing this primal menace with Stax horns and a hoarse, scorched vocal – the musical equivalent of Marvin Gaye smashing Gary Glitter’s face into a wall. (MM)

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55 WE ARE AUGUSTINES – HEADLONG INTO THE ABYSS
One of the best songs from a great album which deals with lots of heavy subjects like depression and suicide and turns them into triumphant and emotional tunes like this with singer Billy McCarthy screaming out lyrics like “call the police, call your shrink, call whoever you want cos I ain’t gonna wait around for some pill to kick in”. It grabs you by the ear right from the start and marches you all the way to the front of the class. (TS)

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54 RICHARD HAWLEY – SEEK IT
A really beautiful love song with a simple melody like a nursery rhyme and darkly comic lyrics. It sounds like an old classic that you’ve known all your life and just goes to show, sometimes less is more and the simplest things are often the best. Perfect with a brew and a biscuit at any time of the day or night. (TS)

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53 THE RAPTURE – CHILDREN
Just love the sort of electro pop bass-line running through this and for me a good sing and dance along song. (SB)

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52 THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH – WIND AND WALLS
Why this song? I guess it just makes me happy. When Kristian Matsson starts to sing, its hard not to smile, such a powerful voice. There is no place to hide with this tune – just a guitar, some words and a man telling a story. Nothing wrong with that combination in my mind. (PP)

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51 KING KRULE – ROCK BOTTOM
Smitten with this song right from the get go. A Johnny Marr-esque guitar riff is the lead in, then from nowhere comes this fantastical delivery of words half sung half spoken, that leave you in no doubt that King Krule has been Rock Bottom. Despite looking like the kid you would steal lunch money from, the lyrics are delivered with passion and a sense of a life lived. The drums in this song are off-kilter and almost sound out of place when first heard. This off beat style works perfectly when the song comes together and leaves the head nodding and the feet tapping. Perfect. (DR)

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50 EUGENE MCGUINESS – SHOTGUN
What a great song over the top of Duane Eddy’s Peter Gunn, with the catchiest chorus of the year:  “Every time I dance, every time I dance with you, I”ll stagger out the night club black and blue, battered and bruised…”(MS)

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49 THE LOLLIPOPS – BLACK TAR CARPET RIDE
“We’ll shoot some heroin, and take to the skies”. Told over a simple acoustic strum, this is an unapologetic, woozy, hypnotically brilliant paean to the delights of chasing the dragon. The best addition to the Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll mantra we’ve heard all year. Their only apology? For “the times we almost died”…(MM)

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48 THE PINES – CRY CRY CROW
I love this song’s eerie feeling, with the tune being played on guitar in the background, and the singer’s voice, they all blend together really well to make a great song. (MS)

Download The Pines – Cry Cry Crow mp3

47 THE LOST BROTHERS – NOT NOW WARDEN
Sounding like the long lost ghost of the Louvin Brothers, Not Now Warden is a perfect companion piece to The Knoxville Girl. A gently insistent guitar refrain anchors aching lyrics of regret and despair. Classic Nashville all the way from…Liverpool. (MM)

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46 SAVAGES – HUSBANDS
With a great beat and an awesome chorus of “My house/ my bed/ my husbands/ husbands…”, this song always has me dancing (badly) and singing along. Husbands is punk rock. Full stop. (MS)

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45 MOUNTAIN GOATS – CRY FOR JUDAS
Such a great feel to this. A truly outrageous pop arrangement acts as a perfect optimistic backdrop to a song about surviving the worst and adding that experience to your armoury. These opposites work in perfect harmony. Mountain Goats have long been a favourite of mine their output is prolific and never diluted, and lyrically sharp as a tack. (DR)

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)

44 SPECTOR – CHEVY THUNDER
Like Howler, Spector barrelled their way into the New Year with a classic indie anthem full of girls, cars, and teenage rebellion whilst boasting a chorus so classically simple that it defies you not to sing along within seconds. (MS)

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43 RAY WYLIE HUBBARD – DRUNKEN POET’S DREAM (DAYTROTTER SESSION)
Originally a 2011 track, but this version is from a 2012 Daytrotter Session and it’s just too good a song to overlook for a second year running. A brilliant tune perfectly matched with simple lyrics and Ray Wylie Hubbards’ ‘gargling-with-gravel’ voice. The story is told from the perspective of the drunken poet who introduces his girlfriend (who sounds like she’s quite a character) and tells us of his Bohemian lifestyle. And of course, he provides some brilliant drunken poetry as a chorus. Simple, contemporary country from the man who brought us Choctaw Bingo. (BSF)

Download Ray Wylie Hubbard – Drunken Poet’s Dream mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

42 THE WALKMEN – LOVE IS LUCK
My favourite track from the sublime Heaven album. I never really know exactly what The Walkmen are singing about but, truth be told, I couldn’t care less. Their music makes me feel good about life and that’s enough. (BSF)

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41 JANICE GRAHAM BAND – MURDER
The Specials got the Arctic monkeys drunk one night and roofied them. The child that came from this unholy union is The Janice Graham Band. It has a knowledgeable lived in feel to it. As we step over the half way mark it breaks, not becoming faster just fuller with some great sounding horns giving these boys a swagger all of their own. (DR)

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Remember…check back for numbers 40 – 21 tomorrow…

Thanks to Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Chris T Popper (CP), Barry-Sean (BSF), Polly Pocket (PP), Dr Roddy (DR), Starbie (SB) Middle Sprat (MS) and Toy Steve (TS) for their contributions.

Mad Mackerel’s Best Of The Month: July 2012

Mad Mackerel's Best Of July Mix.

You know the score. Some of our favourite downloads from the past month neatly parcelled up into one tasty mix and decorated with a few new tunes too. Nearly forty in all. Jump in!

Download Wye OakSpiral mp3 (from Adult Swim Singles Series)
A change of approach and tempo from experimental folkies

Download Unnatural Helpers – Hate Your Teachers mp3 (from Land Grab)
Raging. Ferocious. Punk

Download Wake Up Lucid – Feel It mp3 (from Feel It)
Combines sex-drenched vocals, high octane guitar, and a glorious lo-fi sludge that is garage rock at its purest and most dangerous

Download Keston Cobblers’ Club – For Words mp3 (from One, For Words)
Sweetly harmonious, banjo led folk song

Download White Wires – All Night Long mp3 (from WWIII)
Fun, infectious, and recalls some of the very best of the power-pop tunes of the late 70s

Download Deep Time – Homebody mp3 (from Deep Time)
Densely melodic slice of restlessly minimalist indie pop

Download Sun Sister – Sore Eyes mp3 (from Sun Sister Single)
Lo-fi dreampop with warm melodies, gorgeous reverbed vocals and rough jangly guitars

Download The Black Cadillacs – Choke mp3 (from Run)
Pure rock -  strong guitar melodies that are matched with catchy lyrics

Download Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians – Annalog And Her Hopeful Diaries mp3 (from Annalog And Her Hopeful Diaries EP)
Psychedelic whirlwind tinged with an unattainable nostalgia for a western era of dusty corrals and one-horse towns

Download Talk Normal – Bad Date mp3 (from Sunshine)
Hypnotically brilliant blend of punk and krautrock

Download People’s Temple – Looter’s Game mp3 (from Looter’s Game 7″)
Keeping a groovy, 60s psych vibe going

Download Wobbly Lamps – Alice The Goon mp3 (from Wobbly Lamps)
Takes an intro that sounds like it has been dragged kicking and screaming from a sweaty Detroit basement club in the 60s, attaches it to a thrumming, hypnotic riff, and then slams a sleazy proto-punk chorus over the top

The Lovely Sparrows – While Sailing
Gorgeous, pastoral folk

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Download The Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental mp3 (from God Bless You Amigo)
Classic ramshackle Americana. Just about as good as it gets!

Download Aaron Embry – Moon Of The Daylit Sky mp3 (from Tiny Prayers)
Spare, captivating, and beautifully simple folk

Download Cate Le Bon – What Is Worse mp3 (from CYRK II)
Beautifully reminiscent of The Velvet Underground at their weary, foggy best – an uncomplicated and unadorned slice of late night melancholic pop

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Ten Sleep, WY mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt & Dreams)
Fractured, unassailable beauty that begins with a sentiment any of us over a certain age can identify with, before it breaks out into a more expansive guitar showdown/meltdown

The Wilderness of Manitoba – The Ark
Beautiful slice of chamber-folk

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Download Grassfight – Nassau mp3 (from Icon EP 2)
With shades of Interpol in the hypnotic, propulsive percussion, echoes of Dinosaur Jr in the swirling guitar, and a classic indie deep, monotone vocal, the track successfully ticks all the necessary boxes for a post-punk extravaganza

Freedom Fry – Summer In The City (from Summer In The City single)
Infectious, sunshine indie-pop at its very best

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Download Two Gallants – My Love Won’t Wait mp3 (from The Bloom And The Blight)
Rollicking tune showcases the duo’s heavier side

Download Outer Minds – We Are All Stone mp3 (from Behind The Mirror)
Perfectly judged garage-psych voodoo rumble, with a reverential nod to the Doors

Download Lord Huron – Time To Run mp3 (from Lonesome Dreams)
Galloping, infectious dusty folk chime

Download Spook Houses – American mp3 (from Trying)
Lo-fi slacker indie rock loaded with the energy of the band’s rambunctious punk roots

Steakhouse – Spider Bite
Hear the sound of Johnny Cash’s electric guitar come floating in over the hypnotic, pulsing rhythm and be seduced by the strange blend of krautrock and C&W

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Download D.B. Rouse – Never Home Again mp3 (from The Good Land)
Another folky gem from travelling troubadour

Kalle Matson – The Shore (from Lives In Between EP)
Folk with an experimental edge that is equally at home dropping in a bit of punk distortion as it is with some funky basslines

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Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3 (from Delta Spirit)
Another brilliant uptempo cut from outstanding recent album

Download Denver – Reno mp3 (from Denver)
Perfect country twang from Blitzen Trapper led indie supergroup

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)
New album cut from quirky indie-rock royalty

Download Chelsea Light Moving – Frank O’Hara Hit mp3
Trademark guitar squall and distortion from Thurston Moore’s new project

Download John Murry – Southern Sky mp3 (from The Graceless Age)
Emotive and soul-wrenching mix of Americana and electronica

Download The Wild Leaves – Sister mp3 (from Sister)
Evocative and poignant, the notes sweetly swirling around the room like dust mites in the sunlight, as though the story it tells could have been hummed on back porches for decades gone by

Last American Buffalo – That Woman (from Here She Comes)
Brilliant blues stomp and folk swagger

Download Woodpecker – Married To The Movies mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)
Indie folk and banjo ramble including occasional bloodcurdling zombie screams

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The Most Powerful Telescope In The Universe – Lectures On Quanta (from Lectures On Quanta)
A brilliant psych-pop nugget of mellotron led drone

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And to finish off, here is Pony Boy’s The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee, inspired by an actual teenage couple who gained notoriety during a cross-country crime spree in the late 1950s as well as a first taste of Hot Freak Nation. We have the beautifully crafted psych tinged rock of The Asteroid Shop and the melodically rich and compelling new track Fifty Fifty from The Luyas.

Download Pony Boy – The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee mp3 (from The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee single)

Download Hot Freak Nation – All The Right Things mp3 (from Lifetime To Lifetime)

Download The Luyas – Fifty Fifty mp3 (from Animator)

Download The Asteroid Shop – Alone mp3 (from Distant Luxury EP)

A Massive Friday Mix

A Massive Friday Mix.

The number of new releases has cranked back into top gear recently with a whole host of tasty ear ticklers coming our way. So what could be even better than an Olympic opening ceremony than a massive Mad Mackerel Friday mix – twenty four tracks handpicked especially for you.

We light the flame with buzzworthy punked-up noiseniks Fidlar and in the same vein another from Vancouver-bred trio Nu Sensae. We have new songs from instrumental folk experimentalists Balmorhea, another from Blitzen Trapper led country rock supergroup Denver, a third track of trademark guitar distortion from Thurston Moore’s new project Chelsea Light Moving, Jason Lyttle covering 80s pop experimentalists Talk Talk, and some lo-fi goodness from R Stevie Moore.

We have some infectiously angst inspired riffage from Big Scary, some infectiously synth inspired indie rock from Letting Up Despite Great Faults and some infectiously beguiling electro-indie pop from Scraps. We have a brilliant psych-pop nugget of mellotron led drone from The Most Powerful Telescope In The Universe and a couple of tracks of Woodpecker’s indie folk and banjo ramble including occasional bloodcurdling zombie screams.

We have the new Lowpines dustily defiant Americana single via the excellent EardrumsPop label, and the slow moving gospel melancholy and honeyed velvet vocals of Padraig Whelan. There is melancholy too in Eli Mardock’s atmospheric, but slightly more upbeat indie-pop, and Fountains give us a taste of epic, brooding indie rock that tips a wink to 90s shoegaze and is as good as anything new we’ve heard in a good while – play this baby loud!

We have Delta Spirit’s brilliant Tear It Up from their recent self-titled album, and the new one from prolific and quirky indie rock royalty Mountain Goats. There is singer-songwriter’s Sondre Lerche’s out-take from his soon to be reissued album Phantom Punch, and a new taste of Crystal Castles gothic dance moves with Plague.

And lastly we have the angular, jerky and irreverent new wave of The Modern Airline, the hypnotic pummelling of psych-dance-rockers Turing Machine and Mac DeMarco’s My Kind Of Woman, a brilliant driving anthem of garage-pop.

Enjoy!

Download Fidlar – The Punks Are Finally Taking Acid mp3 (via Rollo & Grady)

Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3 (from Delta Spirit)

Download Balmorhea – Pyrakantha mp3 (from Stranger)

Download Denver – Reno mp3 (from Denver)

Download Jason Lyttle – Tomorrow’s Started mp3 (from Spirit of Talk Talk)

Download R Stevie Moore – Pop Music mp3 (from Lo Fi High Fives)

Download Nu Sensae – 100 Shades mp3 (from Sundowning)

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)

Download Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Visions mp3 (from Untogether)

Download Lowpines – Give Me A Horse mp3 (from Lowpines Single)

Download Chelsea Light Moving – Frank O’Hara Hit mp3

Download Turing Machine – Lazy Afternoon Of The Jaguar mp3 (from What Is The Meaning Of What)

Download Scraps – Secret Paradise mp3 (from Secret Paradise 7″)

Download Eli Mardock – Everything Happens For The First Time mp3

Download Woodpecker – Married To The Movies mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)

Download Woodpecker – Every Boy In New York mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)

Download Padraig Whelan – What I Know, I Know With You mp3 (from Never Be So Wicked, No More As You Once Were EP)

Download Sondre Lerche – Boxing Day mp3 (from Phantom Punch)

Download Crystal Castles – Plague mp3 (from Plague)

Download The Modern Airline – Monster On The Campus mp3 (from The Modern Airline)

Download Mac DeMarco – My Kind Of Woman mp3 (from Mac DeMarco 2)

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MM Plays Catch Up

MM Plays Catch Up. We’re busy catching up on a few things we weren’t able to post over the past few days.

So, without further ado, here are some brilliant new ones including The Mountain Goats, the languid country rock of The Futurebirds, a brilliantly intense offering from Cloud Nothings, more icy electronica from Work Drugs, indie pop from Gross Magic and the psych blues rock of White Denim and lastly the insanely catchy Strokes like indie rock of The Dig.

Enjoy!

Download The Mountain Goats – Thucydides II-58 mp3 (from Temporary Hellenism)

Download The Futurebirds – Nearsayerfive mp3 (from Holiday Road Super Single)

Download The Cloud Nothings – No Future / No Past mp3 (from Attack On Memory)

Download The Dig – You’re Already Gone mp3 (from Electric Toys)

Download Gross Magic – Yesterdays mp3 (from split 7″)

Download White Denim – No Real Reason mp3 (from Takes Place In Your Workplace EP)

Download Work Drugs – Flying Zambo mp3 (from Aurora Lies)

Free Halloween Mix 2011

Free Halloween Mix 2011. While we’re not great ones for themed mixes on MM, Halloween is one of the exceptions we like to make. Here is a perfect mix for whatever ghoulish event you’ve got lined up today! Fifteen corking tunes, from the skewed new wave pop of XTC and off-kilter indie of the Mountain Goats to the trashy surf rock of The Cramps and from the folk-stomp of the Men They Couldn’t Hang and the gothic drive of Ghost Dance to the pounding blues rock of the Scissormen and 22-20s. Enjoy.

Download Ministry – Every Day Is Halloween mp3

Download Ghost Dance – The Grip Of Love mp3

Download Green On Red – Zombie For Love mp3

Download The Roadside Graves – Demons (Aquarium Drunkard Encore Session) mp3

Download The Scissormen – The Devil Is Laughing mp3

Download The 22-20s – Devil In Me mp3

Download Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks – Macabre Holy Pleasure mp3

Download Ghoultown – Killer In Texas mp3

Download The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Ghosts Of Cable Street mp3

Download The Seeds – Evil Hoodoo mp3

Download The Cramps – I Was A Teenage Werewolf mp3

Download The Bodeans – Pretty Ghost mp3

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3

Download The Skeleton Dead – Lock The Doors mp3

Download XTC – The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead mp3

And don’t forget our 2010 Halloween mix either – still available here.

Mega Round-Up

Free mp3s music roundupWay too much good stuff has been flooding our in-box.

Way too little time to give it a proper write-up and give these artists the space they deserve.

Anyway, what it means is a Friday smorgasbord of treats to choose from. Something for everyone we guarantee.

First up is Vandaveer. A worthy pretender to the thrones left behind by Vic Chesnutt or Sparklehorse some might say. This is the title track from the excellent Dig Down Deep album.

Download Vandaveer – Dig Down Deep mp3 (from Dig Down Deep)

IndianRedLopez hail from Scotland and we have this from debut album Empty Your Lungs And Breathe. The song K.Y.S merges exciting melodies, angular riffs and electronic beats to good effect.

Download IndianRedLopez – K.Y.S mp3 (from Empty Your Lungs And Breathe)

Barry Sean’s faves and indie royalty The Mountain Goats have offered up another track from their most recent, and excellent album All Eternals Deck and High Hawk Season is just another example of the fine musicianship and individual world view of John Darnielle.

Download The Mountain Goats – High Hawk Season mp3 (from All Eternals Deck)

Y Luv recently released an EP called How Chill Can You Let Go, filled with solid indie pop hooks and drawing favourable comparisons to Foster the People and Superhumaniods.

Download Y Luv – All Night mp3 (from How Chill Can You let Go EP)

Imaginary Cities have given us Hummingbird, a lovely slice of soulful indie which comes from debut album Temporary Resident.

Download Imaginary Cities – Hummingbird mp3 (from Temporary Resident)

George Ellias started playing guitar at the age of nine, and harmonica at fifteen. He has listened to folk music since he was a child, but has always had an affinity for contemporary music, including punk, rock n’ roll, and especially avant-garde musical styles, all of which he infuses into his music. Ghost Town comes from his debut EP.

Download George Ellias – Ghost Town mp3 (from George Ellias EP)

The Great Book of John’s music is eminently lyrical – recalling Jeff Buckley’s psychedelic soul and Leonard Cohen’s poetic (and lacerating) wordplay, and matched to some fiery fretwork – this is big music, emotional, cinematic, but never pandering.

Download The Great Book Of John – Let Me Slide mp3 (from The Great Book Of John)

Crystal Antlers are purveyors of some of the very best, and noisy, psych garage rock and Two-Way Mirror is the tasty lead-off track from new album of the same name (out July 12th).

Download Crystal Antlers – Two-Way Mirror mp3 (from Two-Way Mirror)

Iceage revel in the glory of the good old days of punk with muscular riffage and a rarely seen energy nowadays.

Download Iceage – Broken Bone mp3 (from New Brigade)

Ellus Bellus are a luggage beating folk rock band from the Chicago suburbs and by luggage beating we mean they take a suitcase and beat the crap out of it! They combine their luggage beating with the rhythm of Mumford & Sons, and the vocals of Dashboard Confessional this is the newest single off upcoming EP Sticks, Stones & My Bones due out June 28.

Download Ellus Bellus – Like The Rest mp3 (from Sticks, Stones & My Bones EP)

Two Cent Revival play the kind of sturdy, mature classic rock that many attempt and few succeed. They do, Save Our Souls is a great story and a cracking tune – bar-room rock’n’roll to treasure.

Download Two Cent Revival – Save Our Souls mp3 (from The Devil’s In This Whiskey)

Total Babes are a Cloud Nothings side project and will release their debut album Swimming Through Sunlight at the end of August. Taster track bodes well!

Download Total Babes – Like They Always Do mp3 (from Swimming Through Sunlight)

And lastly Braidwood Pond describe themselves as a mix of experimental, psychedelic, freak folk and glo-fi. This track, Fire Chat comes from new EP Ginger Beer that can be grabbed for nothing on their Bandcamp page here.

Download Braidwood Pond – Fire Chat mp3 (from Ginger Beer)

Mad Mackerel’s Best Of The Month: January

Here is our regular round up of the best of January’s posts plus a couple of new tracks for your listening pleasure – all beautifully designed to make one perfect mixtape.

Download Wooden Wand – The DNR Waltz mp3

More classic down-tempo folk from greatly underrated MM fave.

Download Phosphorescent – Are You Ready For The Country? mp3

Riff-heavy, mean-assed cover which brilliantly captures the double-edged viciousness of Neil Young’s original.

Download Akron/Family – So It Goes mp3

A soulful psych-bounce over a groove both surly and sexy.

Download Secret Colours – Follow The Drone mp3

Texas-style psychedelia with a modern veneer.

Download The Veils – Bloom mp3

Nicely taut and hypnotic affair with an almost Wilco-esque bassline – it’s melodic, unpredictable and very, very good!

Download Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever mp3

Excellent appetiser from forthcoming album Smoke Ring For My Halo.

Download Pete & The Pirates – Winter 1 mp3 Removed by a modern day King Canute who doesn’t realise it has been given away free all over the internet. You cannot offer it free in one place and not expect it to turn up in another and what’s the difference? Get it loads of other places via the Hype Machine.

Welcome return from indie stalwarts offering a new direction and an echo of Donna Summer crossed with Can

Download Obits – You Gotta Lose mp3

More wonderfully sleazy, rockabilly rumble.

Download The Builders & The Butchers – Lullaby mp3

Another perfect example of their debauched country/folk stompathons.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Too Much Of A Good Thing mp3

A hymn to channel the raw feelings and chronicle the lives of the fucked-up romantics of Hurray For The Riff Raff’s home by the Mississippi.

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3

An everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations Howling Owls style, this time it has an almost a waltz-time feel.

Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide – So It Goes mp3

Promising mix of catchy folk and indie pop that has that little extra quality that means it insistently burrows its way in past all the flotsam and jetsam in your brain and lodges itself firmly in your head.

Download The Caulfield Sisters – Caterwauling mp3

Gorgeous pop disguised in a layer of sonic distortion.

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3

Typically literate horror inflected cowboy tale.

Download The Mind Spiders – Neurotic Gold mp3

Wonderfully uncluttered, joyous form of proto garage-rock that is simple, unaffected and damn catchy.

Download Jeff The Brotherhood – Bummer mp3

Calls to mind the Ramones jamming with the Sonics and having a blast.

Download Duke Garwood – Summer Gold mp3

Sparse, skeletal unsettling folk-blues.

Download The Skull Defekts – Fragrant Nimbus mp3

It’s minimal and powerful, it’s a bit raga, a bit drone, has some tribal chants, lots of repetition, it’s hypnotic, a bit trancey, some pyschedelia and seriously rhythmic!

Download Earth Girl Helen Brown – Hit After Hit mp3

Fictitious, nomadic, psychedelic soul singer, featuring a unique mix of country, girl group, R&B, and ghoulishness.

Download Alexander – Truth mp3

Mellow, sunshine feel good pop that is effortlessly easy on the ear.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3

Five-part harmony echoing over the sounds of an organ and folk guitar in the eerie opener to debut album.

Download Duquette Johnston – Broke & Lonely Ones mp3

A fragile, acoustic ballad – Johnston tells stories of those on their way down and those who’ll never bounce back up, bar-room tales of what might have been and what should have been, and songs of hope and redemption.

In what has been the best month of music releases for a long time, we finish with the newly fresh and minted first advance track from indie folk heavyweights Fleet Foxes with the title track from forthcoming new album Helplessness Blues. By contrast we also have fresh-faced newcomers Veelee with their quirky, folkish take on art-rock, all angular repetition, drone pop and lovely harmonies that makes their EP The Future Sight a delight. And lastly we have the new EP from Derby, titled Madeline — an edgier collection of smoky, riff-heavy basement rock that still keeps some roots in their trademark infectious indie-pop as evidenced in the undeniably catchy toe-tapper Don’t Believe In You.

Download Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues mp3 (from Helplessness Blues)

Download Veelee – When You Gonna Come Home? mp3 (from The Future Sight EP)

Download Derby – Don’t Believe In You mp3 (from Madeline EP)

Mountain Goats: New Album Taster

Here at MM, The Mountain Goats are a bit of a marmite band, you either love ‘em (Barry-Sean) or you don’t (Mrs M) and there’s not much grey area in between. So there will probably be delight and complete indifference in equal measure at the imminent release of new album All Eternals Deck and advance taster Damn These Vampires.

I actually think this horror inflected cowboy tale is one of the best things I’ve heard from them and bodes well for the album which is out at the end of March on Merge Records.

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3 (from All Eternals Deck)

MM’s Best of the Month: December

Despite all the ‘best of’ lists, the top tens/twenties/fifties/one hundreds etc. and all the Christmas songs too, there has still been a cracking amount of new releases in December as well. So lest you missed out, here is our monthly round-up of the best tunes we’ve posted in December and, as always, a couple of new ones too.

That’s the New Year’s Eve mixtape sorted at least.

Download The Sweaters – Can’t Stop Winnin’ mp3

A syrupy, garage gem. It’s upbeat and has as much soul as it does jangle and is driven along by solid percussion every bit as muscular as you would hope.

Download Harlan Pepper – Great Lakes mp3

Slyly mischievous lyrics over a vintage country refrain - a song you could imagine still being sung on back porches in fifty years time.

Download Eulogies – You Hide mp3

Belying the tragic inspiration behind the new Eulogies album, this is a surprisingly positive track.

Download Wye Oak – Civilian mp3

Taster from folk duo’s forthcoming album is a gem.

Download Howling Owls – My Kinda Luck mp3

Picks away at the edges of domestic strife and family troubles, gleefully revealing a queasy, black-hearted underbelly.

Download The Babies – Run Me Over mp3

Rather charming, fuzzed up, doo-wop drenched opener that comes from their forthcoming debut album.

Download Yo Soybean – Anticipation mp3

Alternative folk that bounces with slide banjo and djembe delivering an impassioned stream of consciousness concerning the mundane intricacies of twenty-something year old existence in the twenty-first century.

Download Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol mp3

Twangy menace behind a velveteen croon.

Download The Handsome Family – Drinking Beer On The Roof mp3

Classic black-humoured Americana from new album of covers, demos and outtakes.

Download The Range Rats – Colt 44 mp3

All Johnny Cash rumble and gun toting lyrics.

Download White Fence – Lillian (Won’t You Play Drums) mp3

More top notch lo-fi, retro indie pop.

Download The Mountain Goats – Tyler Lambert’s Grave mp3

Latest from the respected and influential lo-fi, indie do-it-yourselfers. A suitably prophetic tale.

Download Beach House – I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun mp3

Our most popular download of the month. More dreamy, reverb laden pop.

Download Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place mp3

Experimental and ethereal in equal measure.

Download Western States Motel – Country & Western Song mp3

A deceptively simple and straight forward tune that bounces along on a great rhythm and has quickly grown to be a firm favourite here at the Mackerel abode.

Download Jeremy Joyce – 18 Wheels mp3

A dark and groovy rocker with a great Hammond Organ solo.

Download Lisa Will Insult You, Darling – Give A Fuck mp3

A beautifully simple construction of the desolate and the downtrodden.

Download The Skeleton Dead – Gather Up Your Clothes mp3

It’s a lament, a regret. It’s both memorable and hypnotic.

Download Duke Garwood – Jesus Got A Gun mp3

An air of quiet menace, Garwood’s vocals whispering and murmuring over hollow knocks, piano and drones.

We also have a quite wonderful track from Sonny + The Sandwitches, it is from a recently released new four-song self-titled 7″ EP and features appearances by Heidi Alexander and Grace Cooper of the Sandwitches. The songs were inspired by a near-drowning, hence this track Throw My Ashes From This Pier When I Die. Superb.

We also have Religious To Damn who describe themselves as gypsy-psych and have an album Glass Prayer due for release in early 2011. This track Drifter has echoes of some of the classic 80s 4AD bands right through to Zola Jesus and Esben & The Witch.

Download Sonny + The Sandwitches – Throw My Ashes From This Pier When I Die mp3 (from Sonny + The Sandwitches EP)

Download Religious To Damn – Drifter mp3 (from Glass Prayer)