Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.
So here are MM’s ten favourite tunes from 2010 – no claims on them being the best, but for many different reasons, these are the tracks that most struck a chord (no pun intended).
10 Phosphorescent – The Mermaid Parade (Download Here)
Phosphorescent just seem to get better and better. A wonderful album provided this superb tale of failed love told in a resigned, accepting way and accompanied by mournful pedal steel and piano.
9 Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain (Download here)
Always loved a good dose of black hearted, downbeat, gothic country and Red Clay River deliver in spades with this skeletal gem.
8 Strand Of Oaks – Alex Kona
“Alex Kona was 12 feet tall, his mother was killed by a bowling ball“, how could you not want to know the rest of the story? A standout track from a wonderful album of sparse fingerpicked folk and occasional psychedelic wigouts…Fast forward to track 5 below, or just stream the whole wonderful record.
7 Local Natives – World News (Download here)
While others in the Mackerel shoal may have been seduced by Airplanes, it was the propulsive, upbeat rhythms and effortlessly catchy chorus of World News that claimed my ears.
6 Stornoway – I Saw You Blink
The runaway feel good hit of the summer. Catchy, uplifting and a perfect soundtrack to the setting sun at the Truck Festival.
5 No Age – Fever Dreaming (Download here)
This song steamed out of the traps like it had just been released from the punk heydey of 1977 – and there is no higher praise in my book. Turn up loud and abuse the neighbours – especially if they’re like some of ours. Wankers.
4 Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True
On a par with their classic Black River Killer – a wonderfully surreal and compelling story of murder, trains, truth and gardening. Exceptional.
3 Howling Owls – Family Tree (Download here)
My favourite new band discovery of the year. One after another they sent songs MM’s way and all could have been top ten contenders. In the end it was this majestically malevolent ode to a dysfunctional family life where nothing is at it seems, or as it should be, that won out.
2 Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill (Download here)
A wonderfully poignant and nostalgic paean to a relative who is casting a knowing eye over his nephew’s mistakes and while he knows, he doesn’t tell. With lyrics that cut to the chase and tell a story that is as warm as it is personal. In a different day and age Wooden Wand would be a household name.
1 Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride
Who cares if the riff is nicked from another song, or if it sounds like 1972. I don’t when it as good as this. Probably the one song in 2010 that I never ever skipped, that I always turned up to 11, and which, seen live at the End of the Road cemented its place as my number one.
1. Dr Dog – Later
2. Lumerians – Burning Mirrors
3.Tweak Bird – A Sun Ahh Ahh
4. Paleo – The King James Fakebook
5. Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu
Best Songs First Heard in 2010, but not 2010
1. Joe Pug – Hymn 35
2.The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer
3.Knife In The Water – Young Blood In The River
I’m with Dr Roddy. Pure Eurovision perfection…Lena Mayer and Satellite.