Watch the tripped out video for Secret Colours excellent track Blackhole and the unsettling and spooky video for Arrows of Love delicate yet blood-splattered murder ballad The Knife. We have more kaleidoscopic effects on Temples video for forthcoming single Colours To Life, and finally (via a heads-up from Slowcoustic) comes Bird Of Song from a Show Me Shows session by the wonderful Water Liars that was way too good not to re-post.
The kaleidoscopic psychedelia and space rock hymns of Secret Colours have been longstanding faves on MM since we first discovered them back in 2010. On May 28th the band will release sophomore album Peach and for now you can revel in the feedback and mind bending sonics of Blackhole and Blackbird (Only One).
Scottish Kate is a great friend of this blog and has often offered her (sometimes pithy) opinions on the world of music – and very good taste she has too.
She also runs the always excellent (sometimes pithy), and often provocative blog A Burdz Eye View for all things Scottish (of course), political and musical. Here are her aural selections for 2011.
The Burd’s Best Songs of 2011
Well it doesn’t get any easier. Though given that all my old schticks are in here aplenty – drums, noise, shoegaze, jingly jangly guitars, quirkiness, blues and reverb – it really should be a doddle. This girl is forever stuck in her groove and that’s just the way I like it.
10. Cashier No9 - When Jackie Shone
Gosh, why do I like this? It’s just got that whole throbbing bass line thing I like. Layers of sound. Odd vocals. And drums. Of course. Like it? Love it. The louder the better.
9. Other Lives – For 12
Nearly my choon of the year. Deceptively simple, soaring, swooping and positively swoonsome.
Download Other Lives – For 12 mp3 (from Tamer Animals)
8. Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide - Where Are You
It could so easily have been So it Goes, for both choons have been on a near constant loop at various times this year. But seeing as I have to choose – and I must, I cannot have the ignominy of a twelve instead of a ten two years in a row – then this one wins out. Not for nothing my Twitter bio suggests I’m not nearly as scary as I pretend to be.
7. Secret Colours – Faust
A late contender but a worthy one. This choon is the musical equivalent of a three course meal and therefore ticks all my bluesy-rock boxes. So long as you like your meat and potatoes with no veg.
See? Stomping, strummy, just a little shoogly and I’m sold.
5. We were promised Jetpacks – Medicine
Ye cannae beat a wee jangly Scottish band, especially one that throws everything but the kitchen sink into their music. It should be a mess but it so isn’t. After a difficult year out, with this track they exploded back onto the music scene and it was like they’d never been away.
4. Slow Club – Beginners
A knickerbocker glory offering of shoegaze. With a big dollop of retro on the side and some reverb sprinklings up top for good measure. Dreamy.
Boy Wonder’s favourite moshing/air guitar choon of the year. We have pogo-ed round the sitting room to this. Oh yes. For those who don’t know, he’s the eight year old, supposedly I’m the responsible adult.
2. William Elliott Whitmore – Field Song
The man with the voice that sends shivers down my spine is at the peak of his powers. Occasionally I have to lie in a darkened room to listen to this album – all the better to wallow y’see. The title track is truly a thing of beauty.
1. The Low Anthem – Matter of Time
They made it into 2009 and 2010’s list and here they are again. The grandmasters of less is more, of making a symphony out of a three minute track.
Favourite cover of the year
Barry-Sean and I share some bizarre commonalities. There are Killie fans in his family too, and it would appear, the influence of Buddy Holly on our musical heritage. The standout cover version for me this year? Patti Smith doing Words of Love and making it all her own.
Favourite discoveries of the year
Actually, this was a rediscovery. In reprising the career of the late, great Jackie Leven, I found myself falling in love with Doll by Doll all over again. Gypsy Blood is a great album, and only recently recognised as a modern rock masterpiece. Aye but it’s the punkish tendencies that make it so.
Diddy – Dirty Money Coming Home
Yes really. The year I discovered what makes the young folk tick. This far though and no further.
Close but no Cigar
O’Death – Bugs
This is a beautifully meaningful song on so many levels. Especially when you know the back story.
Despite the end of the year fast approaching, thankfully the quality of new music shows no signs of slowing. Here are the best of our November offerings, together with some tasty new tracks to round off the mix.Over thirty great songs – just right for the roaring fire and the cocoa!
Simply stunning excursion into a shifting, twilight world that slowly builds on the back of a sparse, plucked guitar and almost spoken vocals into a swirling, epic peak of rhythmic guitars and cracked vocal harmonies.
And there’s more. To round off the mix we have a gorgeous new one from MM faves, the folky Bowerbirds who will release a new album in March on Dead Oceans, the first taste of individual bubblegum garage from Hunx (as in & His Punx) solo effort appropriately called Hairdresser Blues, the effortlessly sleazy Black Bananas (formerly RTX) and Rad Times from their forthcoming album Rad Times Xpress IV and lastly former Dawes member Alex Casnoff has a new band Harriet and a new EP Tell The Right Story. I Slept With All Your Mothers is the brilliantly named and gripping lead track.
Secret Colours were one of our favourite discoveries of last year. The Chicago quintet channels the finest of the greats of late ’60s psychedelia, ’90s newgaze reverence, and a touch of driving, bucolic, no frills RnR straight from the greasiest of garages.
The band released their eponymous debut in the summer of 2010 with high praise from countless blogs (including this one) and alternative newsweeklies with acute tastes. They kept the momentum going with a series of digital singles, including a faithful yet distinct cover of The Beatles’Tomorrow Never Knows and the brilliant Follow The Drone, one of our favourite tracks of the year. After pummeling various audiences with their wall of sound at South By Southwest, they hit the studio to produce their new recorded statement to the world, EP3 – a five-song collection that showcases Secret Colours’ maturity and ability to hone in their craft.
Lead song Faust is as lush and dynamic as anything they’ve ever done. These guys are the real deal – you need this track.
For fans of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Roky, and Spiritualized, EP3 will be released on January 1st 2012.
Excellent appetiser from forthcoming album Smoke Ring For My Halo.
Download Pete & The Pirates – Winter 1 mp3Removed 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…
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.
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.
Secret Colours could very easily have made it onto our list best new discoveries of 2010 with their wonderfully authentic brand of 60s tinged psychedelia and modern krautrock.
In the wake of the band’s continuing success in their native Chicago and elsewhere from last August’s eponymous debut, the band are continuing their single series with Follow The Drone. This follows on from their crazy re-interpretation of The Beatles‘ Tomorrow Never Knows and the two-song In The Absence (both available on their Bandcamp).
While the debut payed homage to mercurial spirit warriors like Dead Meadow and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Follow the Drone sees the group digging deep into Texas-style psychedelia with a modern veneer. A touch of dusty swagger meets crystalline pop songwriting on the title track, followed by the slightly more sparse, yet superbly engaging Lust (Slow).
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.
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″)
We have posted previously about Chicago’s premier psychedelic rockers Secret Colours and their excellent self-titled debut record. They have returned with a digital EP, In The Absence, which is a more acoustic affair than we’ve previously been used to, but may well be our favourite track of theirs so far.
Once again we get the 60s influenced chiming guitars, hypnotic percussion and spaced out vocals, and this time there is some very pleasing Zombies style artwork too.
Download the outstanding title track from the EP below, and buy the debut album from their Bandcamp page here.
Here we are again. A round up of our favourite postings of the month. Twenty one outstanding songs from July plus three new ones to make the perfect mix tape. From folk to garage to stoner rock and summer pop it is all here for you. Download, burn to CD, play – groove!
Comes across like an outtake from Rust Never Sleeps – feedback buzz and a big fat riff powers from the speakers while the reedy, but determinedly unbreakable vocals fight to the finish to make themselves heard
And three more corking new ones. Enjoy the jangly, indie pop perfection of French Films and the breezy summer pop of The Knocks and then immerse yourself in rock ‘n’ roll’s sleazy underbelly that is Nick Cave’s brilliant Grinderman.