Nine Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

Regular as clockwork, here is our end-of-week catch-up of some of the best tunes released over the past seven days.

Enjoy.

1. Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want To Let You Down
2. The Telescopes – I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges cover)
3. White Reaper – Make Me Wanna Die
4. Stealing Sheep – Greed
5. Holydrug Couple – Baby I’m Going Away
6. Fake Palms – Sun Drips
7. Kenny Knight – Whiskey
8. Bully – Trying
9. Desaparecidos – City On The Hill

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Eight Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

Our regular round up of the songs you really should have heard already this week, chief among them a brand new song from MM fave Sharon Van Etten, a couple of cracking covers and a newly discovered Jason Molina song with Will Oldham and Alasdhair Roberts.

Enjoy.

1. Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want To Let You Down
2. The Smoke Fairies – Steal Softly Through The Snow (Captain Beefheart cover)
3. Jason Molina featuring Will Oldham & Alasdhair Roberts – September 11, 2001
4. Cheatahs – Sunne
5. JEFF The Brotherhood – Coat Check Girl
6. Happyness – Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones cover)
7. Moon King – Roswell
8. The Decemberists – A Beginning Song

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Best of the Year: Mrs Mackerel’s Top Twenty

Mrs M's Top 20 2014

Our penultimate offering comes in the shape of Mrs Mackerel’s favourite songs of 2014…

I think, being a fish of some advancing years now, I know what I like – but at least that ranges quite widely (she says, defiantly). As usual, though, I’m late to deadline, so without further pontification or procrastination, here are my favourite songs of 2014.

20. War On Drugs – Red Eyes

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19. Cate Le Bon – He’s Leaving

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18. Mark Lanegan Band – Sad Lover

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17. The Districts – Funeral Beds

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16. Simone Felice – Running Through My Head

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15. Wytches – Burn Out the Bruise

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14. Matt Kivel – Insignificance

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13. Smashing Pumpkins – Being Beige

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12. Water Liars – Swannanoa

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11. Shovels & Rope – Evil

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10. Dead Fingers – Twisted
Husband and wife duo, Dead Fingers, produce a finger-picking good sound here. It’s a hoedown with a twist that chases a thigh-slappingly quirky rhythm. Love it.

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9. The Vacant Lots – Mad Mary Jones
An infectious, upbeat intro to the Vacant Lots: guitar-led rock’n’roll with psychedelic undertones. I’m quite partial to a bit of pscyh-rock, as it goes. The lyrics are secondary but the driving foot-tapping rhythm means you’ll be humming this for the rest of the day.

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8. Royal Blood – Figure It Out
Play this loud – very loud, actually. And ramp up the bass while you’re at it. Led Zep meets The Darkness: just over three minutes of rock fest with a rousing finale of guitar versus drum duelling that builds and builds. Epic. My rock chick alter ego is sated.

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7. The Felice Brothers – Constituents
A move away from the usual rollicking, rootsy sound that’s trademark Felice Brothers. This weaves a slower, more brooding tempo with darker overtones: And all my constituents agree/I’ve been changed like a pebble in the sea/By the politics of time/But riddle me this: what happiness is mine?’

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6. Eels – Mistakes of My Youth
Sold to me on sentiment alone. Mistakes of my youth, of my 20s, of my 30s and so on: like a cat running at a closed cat flap, we are all stuck on repeat and yes, sometimes it really does hurt. A gentle melody that meanders through wistful moments of reflection, there’s nothing surprising or unusual in this Eels offering, but many could do worse than heed the quiet, cautionary wisdom of the gravel-voiced Mr Everett.

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5. Bombadil – Have Me
I’d forgotten all about this song until recently. One man, a piano and a cello: a sad, reflective, rather beautiful lament. You won’t be dancing in the kitchen, rather gazing out of the window. ‘You can’t have everything you want/Or even sometimes what you need/Even if you need it desperately.’

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4. Sharon Van Etten – Tarifa
Here’s my slow dance for this year, complete with saxophone, courtesy of the haunting vocals of Sharon Van Etten. Small moments captured like a photograph, a song about trying to hold onto a memory; lyrics filled with regret and longing. Everyone else/Hasn’t a chance, don’t fail me now/Open arms, rest.’ Aah.

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3. Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me?
You expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony.’ Archie does not want to get married, but hey (hey), she does. I sense trouble brewing there. Jangly indie guitars and plenty of reverb, means that if you’re dancing, I’m most definitely asking. I had to be told twice, no less, that I would (of course) love Alvvays. Obviously, I hate it when other people are right, so I’m off to see them next month with Nightshift.

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1= Jamie T – Limits Lie
Five years away is a long time musically but he’s a complicated creature Mr Treays, and all the better for it. As with many of his songs, the music belies the lyrical weight and depth; life observed with pin-sharp accuracy: Who knows where your limit, where your limit lies/ you’re given, what you’re given and now the giver must die.’ Without question, my gig of the year (Alexandra Palace), and Carry On the Grudge, my album of the year.

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1= Damien Jurado – Metallic Cloud
It’s a temporary fix/In case you don’t come down’ – and maybe it is. A lingering air of melancholy over a simple soaring musical arrangement, this is (in a way) the musical religion of Damien Jurado. All seeing, all knowing, quietly anthemic and ethereal. I played nothing but Brothers and Sister of the Eternal Son for at least the first six weeks of this year: endings and beginnings, beginnings and endings, sometimes you never know what you’re seeing.

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Special mentions:

School Run Anthem 2014:

The Felice Brothers – Cherry Licorice
Cos I’m high on Halloween candy again/And your lips are sweet as brandy.’ Yes, it’s absolutely true; I often operate in a sugar-induced trance, even while driving. This will be the last school run anthem (sniff), as primary school will be no more for my youngest after the summer. So we might as well go out on a high, with his favourite band, at their rambunctious best.

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Best Covers:

Phosphorescent – Tomorrow is a Long Time
Matthew Houck sings Bob Dylan: bellisimo.

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Low – I’m On Fire
I love Bruce Springsteen and I’ve been on fire a couple of times. Mainly because I used to wear hippy skirts, drink too much cider, and then light fragrant candles. It was a long time ago, but you know what they say about moths and flames.

Guilty Pleasure:

Lonelady – Groove It Out
Yeah, it’s disco – what of it?! I like dancing.

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And hello, hello; look who’s back…

Laura Marling – Short Movie

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Happy New Year, fishy friends.

Best of the Year – Dr Roddy’s Top Ten

Dr Roddy's Top Ten 2014

As always we round off our best of the year posts with the individual contributions starting with the newly manacled wed Dr Roddy and his personal top ten of 2014.

…This year has seemed to fly by, I got married, we had a little boy and we are now in the middle of building works involving having our roof off in mid-winter. So it has been a hectic time. Thank heavens I have music to help me through and give me markers to help plot the time line of the past year.

These are the ten tunes that are constant in that time line.

10. Alt-J – Left hand Free
This tune has such a swagger about it. I think that it may actually be too cool for someone like me to listen to, but hell I just love it and it’s roundabout way of offering to kill the husband of a woman you fancy. It is the musical equivalent of a southern drawl.

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9. Mac Demarco – Brother
There is such a carefree feel to this song and so there should be with it’s simple message of “what the hell are we all doing in this hamster wheel running all day and getting nowhere“. So we should just “go home and take it easy now brother”. I like this man’s thinking.

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8. Sharon Van Etten – Every Time the Sun Comes Up
Sharon Van Etten has such a beautiful, pure voice, it sits perfectly alongside her sharp intelligent lyrics “I washed your dishes / but I shit in your bathroom “ I mean, argue with that! There are wonderful harmonies on the choruses, the tune is soft and calming, which removes the anger from the song.

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7. Spookyland – The Silly Fucking Thing
I didn’t like this song at first listen, or second for that matter, it took some getting this tune, but when I did oh my God I was relentless with it. At first it sounds like nothing particularly new and I don’t argue that Marcus Gordon’s voice could be divisive, but invest some time in it and you will reap the rewards of a beautiful crafted lament to love.

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6. Dan Amor – Sister Anne
This song paints a picture of England that you may find on the lid of a chocolate box. It’s only a cricket match away from caricature. I bathe in that kind of dream. The melody has a haunting nostalgia about it echoing sounds from the 60s back at you.

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5. Mark Erelli – Ice Fishing
I love the inevitability in the lyrics of this song everything seems to be history repeating itself. Lyrics are a strong influence with me, but it’s the tune picked out on the banjo and the great harmonica work that are the real stars of the show here.

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4. Dust From 1000 Yrs – Smoke Em Up
I got a pack of smokes today / something to do whilst I waste my life away”, that is the way you open a song, with a nihilistic, going nowhere delivery. Despite the melancholic arrangement of the song he seems excited by this treat. That is the reason I love this song – I mean how perfectly hopeless.

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3, Sleaford Mods – Tied Up In Nottz
What can I say about this band – they have been a revelation to me this year, they just seem to tick all the boxes. Sharp, witty, intricate lyrics all delivered with passion and a suitable amount of venom. Driven, but not overshadowed by simple yet perfect beats that are as relentless as Jason Williamson’s quest to point out the contrived bellends in our society. Someone’s got to….

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2. Horse Thief – Little Dust
This simple yet vast song is dripping with anthemic intent, and it reaches those heady heights effortlessly. This blissed out piece of genius is best enjoyed towards the end of the night with a couple of bottles of wine behind you and perhaps a touch of melancholy in the air.

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1. Royal Blood – Little monster
These boys seem to have taken the world by storm and rightly so. This blistering piece of rock is without doubt the best thing I have heard this year. It is aggressive and hard hitting with a hook that could make the dead rock. All of that out of a bass guitar… We have to mention Ben Thatcher’s super tight drumming here – it’s a big ask to be a drummer in a two piece, there is nowhere to hide and he provides a beat badass enough to cope with that monster riff.

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And the best song I first heard this year, but not from this year:

Future Of The Left – Manchasm
A wonderfully surreal offering from the best thing to come out of Wales since Bara Brith.

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Gig of the year:

Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip
Myself and Chris T Popper went to see Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip, not for the first time I add. I was blown away by the energy and freshness that exudes from every show. These guys just get better (no pun intended).

Guilty Pleasure:

Meghan Trainor – All About The Bass
Sometimes I don’t know what is wrong with me. It’s like there is a 14 year old girl trapped in me (not like Joseph Fritzel) but I’ll tell you now I am all about that bass…..

Best song name (Usually best band name):
Melvins with….. Piss Pisstopherson. Genius!

Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Albums of 2014: Part 2

Here are our favourite twenty albums of 2014. Don’t forget to check out numbers 40 – 21 here.

20 Together PANGEA – Badillac

together badillac

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19 Meatbodies – Meatbodies

meatbodies

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18 Strand of Oaks – Heal

strand of oaks

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17 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Make My Head Sing

jessica lea mayfield

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16 Eagulls – Eagulls

eagulls

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15 Happyness – Weird Little Birthday

happyness

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14 Felice Brothers – Favourite Waitress

New From The Felice Brothers

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13 Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

mac demarco

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12 Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

New Album From Sharon van Etten

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11 Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Angel Olsen

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10 The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

War on Drugs

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9 Dream Police – Hypnotised

dream police

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8 Hurray For The Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

Hurray For The Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes

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7 Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

parquet courts

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6 Damien Jurado – Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son

damien jurado

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5 Pink Mountaintops – Get Back

More From Pink Mountaintops

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4 Sun Kil Moon – Benji

sun kil moon benji

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3 Water Liars – Water Liars

water liars

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2 Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads

amazing snakeheads

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1 Jamie T – Carry On The Grudge

jamie t

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Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Songs Of 2014 – The Top Twenty

MM's Best of 2014: The Top Twenty

So here we are, the favourite twenty tunes of 2014 as voted for by the MM contributors.

Enjoy!

20 Sharon Van Etten – Tarifa

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19 Dan Amor – Sister Anne

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18 Sleaford Mods – Tied Up In Nottz

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17 Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me

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16 Pink Mountaintops – North Hollywood Microwaves

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15 Elijah Ocean – Ride It Out

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14 Royal Blood – Little Monster

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13 Sleaford Mods – Smithy

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12 Jamie T – Limits Lie

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11 Parquet Courts – Ducking & Dodging

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10 Eels – Mistakes Of My Youth

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9 Royal Blood – Figure It Out

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8 The War On Drugs – Red Eyes

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7 Girl Band – Lawman

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6 Houndmouth – For No One

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5 Dust From 1000 Yrs – Smoke Em Up

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4 Water Liars – Swannanoa

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3 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife

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2 Horse Thief – Little Dust

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1 Damien Jurado – Metallic Cloud

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of the countdown – 100 – 81 here, 80 – 61 here, 60 – 41 here, and 40 – 21 here.

Tomorrow sees our favourite albums of the year, and from Sunday the MM contributors individual best-of lists.

Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Songs Of 2014: 40 -21

MM's Best of 2014 40-21

Day four of five – reaching the top of the MM charts for 2014. Here are our favourites from 40 down to 21.

40 Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves

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39 Dead Fingers – Twisted

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38 Alt J – Left Hand Free

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37 Screaming Females – Ripe

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36 Sleaford Mods – Tiswas

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35 Sun Kil Moon – Dogs

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34 Jamie T – Zombie

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33 Spookyland – Silly Fucking Thing

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32 Dream Police – My Mama’s Dead

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31 The Felice Brothers – Constituents

 

30 Jonah Tolchin – Mockingbird

 

29 Mac DeMarco – Brother

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28 The Vacant Lots – Mad Mary Jones

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27 Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Body Electric

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26 Sharon Van Etten – Everytime The Sun Comes Up

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25 Wooden Wand – Waveland

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24 Mark Erelli – Ice Fishing

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23 Bombadil – Have Me

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22 Faces On Film – Percy

 

21 The Felice Brothers – Cherry Licorice

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Don’t forget to check out numbers 100 – 81 here, 80 – 61 here, and 60 – 41 here.

New Video: Sharon Van Etten – Your Love Is Killing Me

With Are We There, Sharon Van Etten released an exceptional album this year, with a highlight (amongst many) being the dramatic Your Love Is Killing Me – a confessional that documents with unflinching honesty and intensity the final crumbling and disintegration of a relationship.

Already recognised as one of 2014’s most powerful songs we now have the long-awaited video directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and starring Carla Juri (Wetlands). More reminiscent of a short film than your typical music video, it is a striking visual accompaniment to one of the best songs of 2014.

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Six Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. She Keeps Bees (featuring Sharon Van Etten) – Owl
2. Slaves – Hey
3. Mazes – Salford
4. Itasca – Nature’s Gift
5. Allo Darlin’ – Romance And Adventure
6. Ausmuteants – Fed Through A Tube

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Favourite Albums of 2014 (So Far)

MM's Best of 2014 So Far

The longest day has come and gone, and halfway through the year we are. It seemed a good point to reflect and share thirty of our favourite albums of 2014 so far, and so here they are, in strictly alphabetical order of course…

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The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads

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Amen Dunes – Love

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Avers – Empty Light

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Dan Baker – Pistol In My Pocket

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Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

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The Drive-By Truckers – English Oceans

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Dune Rats – Dune Rats

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Simone Felice – Strangers

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The Felice Brothers – Favorite Waitress

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First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

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Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes

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Micah P. Hinson & The Nothing – Micah P. Hinson & The Nothing

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Hurray For The Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes

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Damien Jurado – Brothers & Sisters Of The Eternal Mind

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Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours

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Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – Chambers

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Jessica Lea Mayfield – Make My Head Sing

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Natural Child – Dancin With Wolves

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Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

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Orwells – Disgraceland

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Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

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Pink Mountaintops – Get Back

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Strand Of Oaks – Heal

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Sun Kil Moon – Benji

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Together Pangea – Badillac

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Vacant Lots – Departure

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Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

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The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

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Water Liars – Water Liars

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Wooden Wand – Farmers Corner

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