This is the new Savages video for Shut Up which will open forthcoming album Silence Yourself.
Watch and see why they were one of the standout bands of our trip to SXSW
This is the new Savages video for Shut Up which will open forthcoming album Silence Yourself.
Watch and see why they were one of the standout bands of our trip to SXSW
Just over the past few days some of the big hitters and up and coming stars have dropped new tracks from much anticipated new albums.
We have Primal Scream’s It’s Alright, It’s OK from More Light, all bongos, gospel choirs and Rolling Stones style funky rock ‘n’roll, Kurt Vile’s hazy Never Run Away from Wakin On A Pretty Daze and SXSW conquering Savages with their brilliant first single She Will from Silence Yourself.
Whet your appetite below.
Download Kurt Vile - Never Run Away mp3 (from Wakin On A Pretty Daze)
Having now learnt from the previous two days of SXSW (fully creamed up for a start) and the seemingly vastly increased numbers from 2009, I headed straight for The Red Eyed Fly determined at the third attempt to get into a Phosphorescent show…only to be greeted by more lines that stretched way, way into the distance.
Having no further wish to baste in the midday sun, I implemented plan B and headed to the House of Spin; the party with free beer and cupcakes and a line up that included Wavves and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. I arrived for the end of So So Glos and what would be (I guess) an absolutely stereotypical set of American skater punk, nonetheless I enjoyed it and it suited the cold can of cider I was given on arrival. The stage was cut into the side of the rock and offered no escape from the sun whatsoever, Wavves rattled through their set in a blur of breakneck guitars and machine gun drumming and it took The Pains of Being Pure At Heart to offer the first subtleties of the day with a polished set of shoegazey rock and jangly guitars that allowed the songs to take centre stage. A fine finish to the party.
And subtleties and grace and pure songwriting beauty is what you get with country legend Emmylou Harris. The long walk up to the packed stage at Waterloo Records was worth every step as she demonstrated exactly why she is one of the queens of her craft. A simply exquisite set that was followed by the finest, and largest, veggie burger and chips that I have ever seen at the diner next door.
I had picked one evening showcase and was determined to stick with it, not least because it looked about as eclectic and diverse as you could get in an evening, which I guess is the whole beauty of “South By” as the locals abbreviate it. Club De Ville has a great name, and for once I was at the head of its queue. First up were the Cheatahs, whose track The Swan made our Best of December mix, I don’t know what it was here though, but the guitar shapes and squalls of noise left me a bit flat and (again) seemed lacking in a touch of subtlety or a change of pace, or maybe I’ve just seen and heard it done better this week.
Up next came Aussies San Cisco who were new to me, but from the outset seemed to be offering more of the tropically tinged indie rock that has followed me around SXSW. This time though, despite all my expectations they completely won me over, not just the sunny guitar lines and bright, catchy hooks, but because of the fantastic tribal percussion offered up by drummer Scarlett Stevens. Tracks like Fred Astaire, Beach, Rocket Ship and finale Awkward were instantly memorable and was perhaps best summed up at the end by the chap next to me who simply said, “that drummer killed it, didn’t she”. Yes she did.
It was another about turn sound wise for it was the turn of new country sensation Caitlin Rose and her six piece band. The last time I saw her, she sang solo in a tiny venue in Coventry and her songs were simple, gently persuasive acoustic numbers. Not tonight, with a band as tight as any I’ve seen all week, her new found confidence was right to the fore with a sassy, smart and enormously entertaining set. New album highlights came in the shape of Only A Clown, Silver Sings, Pink Champagne, a wonderful rendition of her cover of the Felice Brothers’ Dallas and No One To Call, before ramping up the tempo with a cover of Buck Owen And The Buckeroos’ Tiger By The Tail and finishing with a blistering Shanghai Cigarettes. Wonderful stuff.
Next up were all-female Brits The Savages, another band I had tried and failed to see three times this week already (and a firm favourite of our own Middle Sprat). As they came on, the lights went down, and dressed in uniform black, they were illuminated only in monochrome flashes from cameras. It suited them perfectly, haughty, disdainful and intense, it was completely and utterly compelling. Channeling spiky art rock and post punk into a sparse and ferocious set that recalled classic Siouxsie, Joy Division, John Lydon and PJ Harvey, lead singer Jehnny Beth was a hundred times more intimidating and menacing than anything I’d seen at the Spin House party and stalked the stage like a cat cruelly playing with a wounded bird. Behind her, drummer Fay Milton thrashed the skins in a mesmerising blur like the vicious, uncontrollable little sister of the Muppets’ Animal. Give Me A Gun, I Am Here, No Luck, and first single Flying To Berlin were stunning before an incendiary Husbands finished the set to loud acclaim. If there had been one, the roof would have come off.
A change of pace came with Youth Lagoon with a bubbling, squelchy set of electronic indie rock. “Mellow” is how the chap next to me described it, but I actually think the word he was looking for was “dirgelikedronethatsoundedliketheveryworstoftheFlamingLipsbutwithoutanyofthetalent“. The vocals such as they were sounded like they were emanating from a field of sheep being worried by dogs, so perhaps best to leave it there.
And so, finally, to the headline act and Britain’s newest hope to save the future of music in the shape of the Palma Violets. Fresh from a highly acclaimed debut album, a single of the year accolade from the NME for Best Of Friends, and with Step Up For The Cool Cats becoming an office fave, I was looking forward to one of their much talked about live shows. Fair to say it was as watchable as anything I ever seen at a gig as the band stormed the stage, whirling, strutting and posturing and being as provocative and inflammatory as the rules of maximum rock’n'roll demand. The unfortunate thing was that while it was great to watch, the sound was one massive blur of distortion with anything as (that word again) subtle as a tune buried way down beneath the white noise. I briefly made out snatches of the two singles but that, literally, was all. While their flame burns mighty fiercely, I fear it may not burn for very long.
Day three was over, and like our famed Ascot Races, it had been one for the ladies. Emmylou, Scarlett Stevens, Caitlin Rose, and Savages proving themselves to be Austin’s top cats (to steal a Ray Wylie Hubbard phrase) in every way.Follow @madmackerel
The Blog Sound of 2013 poll is a survey of UK music bloggers to find out what emerging artists they think are best.
The votes have been counted, the results are in and the winners can now be revealed.
Back at the beginning of December we participated in the Blog Sound of 2013 poll (see post here for long list). Organised by Robin Seamer from Breaking More Waves and Andy Von Pip from The Von Pip Express the poll asked 49 UK music bloggers what emerging acts they were particularly excited about. The poll wasn’t intended to criticise the BBC’s Sound of list, but to simply represent the tastes of the voting bloggers.
The 2013 Blog Sound long list contained 7 acts that were also then revealed to be on the BBC Sound of List (AlunaGeorge, Chvrches, Haim, Laura Mvula, Palma Violets, Savages and Tom Odell) and 8 that weren’t (Curxes, Daughter, Mo, Pins, Randolph’s Leap, Rhye, Seasfire and The Neighbourhood).
In total just over 170 acts received at least 1 vote in the poll, but Haim and Chvrches were way ahead of the chasing pack when it came to the final count. Pins and Savages tied for third place, with The Neighbourhood, the second US act on the list after Haim in fifth.
Of the five most voted for acts all of them are bands and four of them have lead female vocalists. Two of the bands (Haim and The Neighbourhood) are from the USA.
The winners Haim have been one of the most talked about bands of the last few months and were the second most blogged act by UK Hype Machine listed bloggers in 2012. Haim consist of three sisters from California and were originally in a band with their parents called Rockinhaim. They signed a record deal earlier in 2012 and will release their debut album in 2013. Their sound fuses elements of classic rock, R’n'B and pop and they have been compared with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, TLC and Wilson Phillips.
Have a listen – tell us what you think…Follow @madmackerel
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.Follow @madmackerel
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.
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
MØ – 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 Day, A Pocket Full Of Seeds, All Noise, Alphabet Bands, Both Bars On, Brapscallions, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Details Of My Life So Far, Don’t Watch Me Dancing, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Eaten By Monsters, Electronic Rumors, Faded Glamour, Folly Of Youth, Flying With Anna, God Is In The TV, Harder Blogger Faster, Howl, In Love Not Limbo, Just Music That I Like, Killing Moon, Kowalskiy, Love Music : Love Life, Mudkiss, Music Broke My Bones, Music Fans Mic, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, My Bands Better Than Your Band, Not Many Experts, Peenko, Real Horrorshow, Scottish Fiction, Skeletory, Song By Toad, Sounds Good To Me Too, Storm’s Brewing, Sweeping The Nation, The Blue Walrus, The Electricity Club, The Mad Mackerel, The Metaphorical Boat, The Music Hoarder, The Recommender, This Must Be Pop, Von Pip Musical Express, 17 SecondsFollow @madmackerel
Here are a few streams of some of the latest singles and tracks to be creating a buzz round these parts. Worth the hype or not…you decide!
This is Anthem from King Tuff’s self titled album – full-on glam rock revival anyone? Order the record and/or grab yourself a free download of Bad Thing from SubPop here.
This is Husbands by Savages, part of a double A-side single release (along with Flying To Berlin) and from the very first ominous percussion and insistent guitar line you know you are in for a treat. We’re really enjoying this viciously nihilistic tune.
Another all-female band very coolly and confidently mining a rich seam of punked-up garage rock are Pins. This is Shoot You taken from their debut cassette which is now available again after a second run.
Spector have released a new single, Celestine is another catchy indie anthem to follow in the footsteps of Chevy Thunder and Never Fade Away.
Electric Chair by lo-fi slacker Bleached has been around for a while, but is the epitome of subterranean garage punk, all calculated swagger and sneer. This song could almost own its own scuffed leather biker jacket…
Prissy Clerks have a sound that is a bit sweeter, with guitars that jangle more than buzz, and a mellower vocal that gives their track No Sir a 90s indie vibe, but delve beneath the surface and the sound is suffused with reverb and a hitherto unseen heaviness that contrasts perfectly with the poppier upside.
The Dune Rats new single is titled Fuck It, thus guaranteeing them absolutely no radio airplay whatsoever. It sees an official release in July and is every bit as brattish, scuzzy and insolent as you could possibly have hoped for.
Lastly another all-girl group Haim, have built themselves quite a reputation and this track Better Off, from their new EP shows why. In fact you can download the whole EP for free from their website here.