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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Six Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. Delta Spirit – From Now On
2. She Keeps Bees (featuring Sharon Van Etten) – Is What It Is
3. Lilac Daze – Knives
4. Woods – Tomorrow’s Only Yesterday
5. Destruction Unit – Dust
6. The Cambodian Space Project – Here Comes The Rain

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Five Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. Sharon Van Etten – Your Love Is Killing Me
2. Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly
3. Peter Matthew Bauer – Philadelphia Raga
4. Big Search – Role Reversal
5. Lydia Loveless – Mile High

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Videos of the Day: Sharon Van Etten || Archie Bronson Outfit || The Ukiah Drag || Bleech || Sleepy Sun

Videos of the Day

An absolute plethora of cracking new music videos for you today from the brilliant Sharon Van Etten, the welcome return of the rumbling Archie Bronson Outfit, the desert-burnt junkyard indie of The Ukiah Drag, the super trippy Sleepy Sun, and a satirical sex-education video from Bleech.

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New Album From Sharon Van Etten

New Album From Sharon van Etten

The wonderful Sharon Van Etten’s new album Are We There is out at the end of May via Jagjaguwar.

The first taste is the hazy dream-pop of Taking Chances, her gorgeous vocals drifting over a smooth, polished rhythmic backdrop. It is as close to Beach House as anything else and perhaps heralds a slightly different direction for the album.

Listen for yourself.

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Polly Pocket’s Top Songs Of 2013

Polly Pocket's Best Of 2013
As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. The fourth instalment comes from Polly Pocket – thanks for putting them arse backwards Poll!

1 Junip – Line Of Fire
This has been in the top spot since the beginning of the year. Beautiful vocals courtesy of Jose Gonzalez, it all sounds so effortless whilst building up to that epic finish. Unfortunately, this song also reminds me of seeing Junip this Autumn where, having got Mr Gonzalez to sign my album I then proceeded to tell him that he and the band were ‘awesome’. He was a gentleman about it but it remains embarrassing.

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2 Cash Savage and The Last Drinks – Hypnotiser
Full of attitude and lots of swagger. This is definitely a Friday night cocktail favourite (goes particularly well with a Dirty Martini). If you don’t end up singing along with the gospel choir you are not listening to it right.

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3 Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic.

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4 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
It has taken me longer to love Nick Cave than it should and I am sorry to those who have tried to show me the right path in the past. Thankfully I have learnt the error of my ways and it is Jubilee Street that helped me see the light. Storytelling at its best.

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5 Telekinesis – Ghosts and Creatures
There is something familiar and comforting about this indie tune. Love all that distortion and a beat that makes me want to dance, or at least sway a little in a kind of early 90′s way. Turn it up and you will feel uplifted.

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6 Agnes Obel – Fuel To Fire
This beautiful song stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it a couple of months ago. All a bit haunting and full of melancholy. The album is a treat but Fuel To Fire stands out at the front for me.  A great find for 2013. Lovely.

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7 Deptford Goth – Union
It’s the simplicity of this tune that first got me hooked.  Its also a song I would have been in love with as a teenager. It might be electro pop but there is a fair amount of misery and sorrow in there too so what’s not to love?

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8 HAIM – Falling
A last minute change around has put HAIM into the top ten, every time I hear this song I am reminded of just how good I think it is. Very polished, really well produced, love those harmonies and that retro feel. HAIM are like marmite. I like marmite.

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9  Tired Pony – All Things All At Once
Boasting quite a line up Tired Pony have got it all going on. All Things All At Once has a pure, unpolished feel to it, like they all just happened to be together and decided to start playing and recording and here it is. Country? Folk? Americana? Who knows. Whatever it is it sounds bloody good to me.

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10 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
I couldn’t have a top ten without Ms Marling featuring in it somewhere (23, how can she be just 23 and getting better with every album?).  I love the exotic, dark sound to this song. Once I Was An Eagle is a very fine album, if you don’t own it you should.

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11 Half Moon Run – Full Circle

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12 The Cave Singers – Canopy

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13 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days

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14 Barbarossa – The Load

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15 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey

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16 Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten – Lady Luck

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17 Jules Larson + AG  – Bend To The Break

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18 PHOX – Noble Heart

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19  Shadows At Play – Into The Sun

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20 Dim Peaks – Reason

Mad Mackerel’s Best Covers Of 2013

MM's Favourite Cover Songs of 2013

Here are our favourite covers of the year.

Marissa Nadler & Angel Olson – Frisco Depot
(Original by Mickey Newbury)

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Shearwater – Fucked Up Life
(Original by the Baptist Generals)

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
(Original by Otis Redding)

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Betse Ellis – Straight To Hell
(Original by The Clash)

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Jessica Lea Mayfield – I’m In A Hurry (And I Don’t Know Why)
(Original by Alabama)

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Shovels & Rope – Johnny 99
(Original by Bruce Springsteen)

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Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
(Original by Frightened Rabbit)

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Milo Greene – Parents
(Original by The Descendents)

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Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten – Lady Luck
(Original by Richard Swift)

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Natural Child – White Light/White Heat
(Original by the Velvet Underground)

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Phosphorescent – Storms Never Last
(Original by Waylon Jennings)

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Phosphorescent – Ya Hey
(Original by Vampire Weekend)

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The Avett Brothers – Hammer Down
(Original by Jason Molina)

MAD MACKEREL’S TOP TRACKS OF 2013: 75 – 51

MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 75 - 51

The countdown of our one hundred favourite tracks of 2013 continues…today we reach halfway as we bring you 75 down to 51.

75 GRMLN – Summer Days
Thrashy, catchy, singalong rock’n’roll with platform shoes and ridiculous flares.

Download GRMLN – Summer Days mp3

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74 Sisters – Clearhead
Here are my shoes. See how I gaze at them. It says 2013 on the label, but I’ve gone back to the early 90s. Lovely. (Mrs M)

 

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73 Courtney Barnett – History Eraser
Deadpan, conversational, charming, funny, literal and literate – a drunken night’s tale told with an upbeat lo-fi jangle and amiable vocal delivery.

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72 Pickwick – Lady Luck
Gorgeous cover of the Richard Swift tune, and featuring Sharon Van Etten.


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71 Holograms – A Blaze On The Hillside
Most thrilling riff of the year?

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70 Willie Nile – American Ride
The best roadtrip song we’ve heard in many a moon, impassioned and infectious.

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69 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey
Moonshine Americana straight from the back porch.

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68 Mickey Gloss – Are You Happy
Wry social commentary meets punk DIY and garage psychedelia in a distillation of antipodean sun and London melancholia.

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67 Nick Cave – Wide Lovely Eyes
Oh clever, clever Nicholas Cave and his voice so hypnotic, deep and dark. You could imagine this as part of a recruitment drive to join a cult (yes you, with your wide lovely eyes). With a teasing yet subdued musical arrangement, this is the gospel according to St Nick. (Mrs M)

 

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66 Barbarossa – The Load
A sparse and delicate ballad, undercut by a distorted organ refrain, and constructed around remarkable and tender vocals.

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65 The Orwells – Who Needs Who
Roaring drums and aggressive, snapping vocals gave us the most thrilling garage punk single of the year.

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64 Fuzz – Sleigh Ride
Heaviest riff of the year?

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63 Cass McCombs – Big Wheel
Hypnotic, rumbling, country-dirt travelogue.

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62 Arcade Fire – Reflektor
We are right in the mix here: a bit of dance therapy needed. Remember the hypnotic triangle of cooker/fridge/sink? Throw some shapes, make a curry, go knock yourself out; I didn’t want to dance, but they made me. (Mrs M)

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61 Chelsea Light Moving – Lip
Hardcore anthem of the year.

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60 The Cave Singers – Canopy
Sun-drenched, mellow indie folk opener from their Naomi album.

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59 Coma Cinema – Virgin Veins
Spare and haunting. Talking of quiet suffering, loneliness, ugliness and confusion, “The heart is a monument / to a childhood of abuse.

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58 Dune Rats – Stoner Pop
In a parallel world somewhere, this was the smash hit of the summer.

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57 Wooden Wand & The World War IV – I Hate The Nightlife
On Wooden Wand’s wrist is a tattoo: WWNYD – What Would Neil Young Do? Our guess? Buy this record. Epic, taut, tense, and full of the fiery guitar so beloved of NY.

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56 The Head & The Heart – Shake
The bass drum kicks this one into action, a little bit of clapping and then, hello, the rest of the band follows. There’s a sweet change of tempo for the chorus: ‘And the memories we made will never be lost, no.’ Maybe not, but watch out for that prevailing wind. (Mrs M)

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55 Half Moon Run – Full Circle
A captivating blend of exquisite guitar lines and delicate folk melodies.

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54 Quiet American – Wild Bill Jones
Old time folk for modern times, Quiet American bring new light to the many faceted tale of all-American bad boy Wild Bill Jones.

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53 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days
Heartfelt, beautiful melancholia set to a piano and strings and a pulsing bass line.

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52 Blitzen Trapper – Feel The Chill
That old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink and never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery.” That’s where Feel the Chill takes place.

 

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51 Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Gammy Leg
I underestimated this offering from Australia’s finest when I first listened to it. Essentially a tale of the immense bad luck befalling the protagonist and his ‘gammy leg’ it’s easy to dismiss. That would be a mistake. The wonderful deadpan, matter of fact delivery is laced with some brilliant throwaway lines and the black humour never wavers for a second. (CP)