Archive for July, 2012

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Jenee Halstead.

Jenee Halstead’s album Raised  By Wolves is released on 13th August.

It has taken us a while to get round to listening to it, and in all honesty part of that was overcoming the terrible cover, which unfortunately looks like something from Narnia. Perhaps a rejected promo for a straight-to-DVD version of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

However like the wardrobe and the treasures it hides, such it is with Raised By Wolves. Get past the cover and it is actually a record of dark-hearted Americana with plenty of twists and turns of its own. Mysteries abound throughout, as does grief and melancholy, obsession and passion and frustrated emotions. There is folk, surf guitars, synths and reverb, electronics and banjos, and it all combines into a most deceptively enjoyable and compelling listen.

The album is available from her Bandcamp page here.

Download Jenee Halstead – Bitten By The Night mp3 (from Raised By Wolves)

Download Jenee Halstead – Raised By Wolves mp3 (from Raised By Wolves)

Download Jenee Halstead – So Far So Fast mp3 (from Raised By Wolves)

Video of the Day: Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo.


Introducing >>> JAWS

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock


Despite being from the Midlands and not San Diego, JAWS still manage to play a charming and sparkling lo-fi blend of synth led, surf pop with some added guitar jangle and a splash of reverb.

Their new single Toucan Surf is released on Rattlepop on the 27th August. Have a listen.


Video of the Day: Pond

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Music, Psychedelic, Rock

Video of the Day: Pond.


Introducing...The Wild Leaves.

This post is about the single biggest reason we blog – for that wonderful moment when you get a discovery of a new band.

A new band like Wild Leaves.

The band’s e-mail simply said, “We are 5 friends who moved to Brooklyn, from the midwest. That distance is recalled in our songs. Each one, a look back at what we left behind. The sound is something nostalgic, something with history – like a record rediscovered in your attic. The hazy melodies and washed-out reverb recall memories not yet lost.

The tracks, Sister and Drifter were recorded this past winter in whatever kitchen, bedroom, or living room we could set up a mic in. They are homemade, handmade, with love from Wild Leaves.”

Both tracks are utterly wonderful. Evocative and poignant, the notes sweetly swirling around the room like dust mites in the sunlight. Both songs have a timeless quality – as though the stories they tell and the gorgeous melodies they offer could have been hummed on back porches for decades gone by.

Take me down to the river
let the current wash me over
Tell my mother that I miss her
Tell my father I’ve gone missing

Treat yourself to both below and keep your ears peeled for more from Wild Leaves.

Download The Wild Leaves – Sister mp3 (from Sister)

Download The Wild Leaves – Drifter mp3 (from Sister)

Video of the Day: Torche

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Punk, Rock

Video of the Day: Torche.


Mrs Mackerel's TFI Sunday (29th July).

After having badly bruised or sprained my toe in another half-witted and clumsy accident Tom and Jerry styley, I was unable to follow my usual sporting pursuits for most of the week so decided it would be a great idea to cycle to Big Sair’s for a glass or two of Pimms a couple of nights ago. Me and my great ideas!

A lovely summer evening, an eight mile round trip in full safety gear by appointment of my newly cycling proficient daughter sprat – what could possibly go wrong? How lovely it all was on the way there and would have remained so had I remembered two things. Firstly, the rural road has virtually no street lights at all for the most part, and secondly, my pathological fear – the dark. The pitch black, can’t see your hand in front of your face dark. As I cycled home, my anxiety, shortly to turn to utter terror, was compounded by my utterly deficient bicycle lights.

The front light would not point straight. It started off facing due east which was just dandy if I was turning right, and entirely useless in any other direction. I cycled frantically until I reached a lone street light and then jiggled around with it until I made it much worse. It now pointed skywards like something from Stalag 13, illuminating the treetops which was frankly bugger all help. Thank god for my life long obsession with chowing on carrots I thought, my night vision should be tremendous. What utter bollocks. I couldn’t see a damn thing but sensed danger everywhere. In one particularly dark, dark bit of the road I could feel my bottom lip begin to wobble. And I wanted my Dad. Tragically, all that I had to defend myself against any would be assailants, monsters or giant badgers was a two kilo bag of rhubarb freshly hewn from BS’s neighbour’s garden.

While being no Bradley Wiggins, my journey time home was rather fast. I burst into the kitchen, burst into tears, clutching my rhubarb and feeling about eight years old.

What a soft lass I am.

Mrs Mackerel x

Download Gram Parsons – In My Hour Of Darkness mp3 (from Grievous Angel)

Download Marissa Nadler – Damsels In The Dark mp3 (from The Saga Of Mayflower May)

We thought we’d bundle these two together – the latest free Vinyl mix download from Insound and Uncut magazine’s latest free cover disk. Both offering a mighty enticing slice of new music of all shapes and sizes.

MM Shorts 200: Insound & Uncut Freebies.

The Insound mix can be got for free for a limited time, and features The Family Band, Niki & The Dove, Hot Panda, and Chain & The Gang amongst others. You can grab the whole thing here.

Mad Mackerel Free Mp3sUncut is available from any decent newsagent in the UK and as well as featuring the incomparable Joe Strummer on the cover, has an eclectic CD with tracks from Ry Cooder, Bill Fay, Race Horses, Jesca Hoop and The Dirty Projectors and more.

As always, here are a couple of our choice picks from both. Another from Balmorhea’s experimental folk leanings (also see our massive Friday mix posted yesterday), and a taste from John Murry’s recent acclaimed release, the emotive and soul-wrenching mix of Americana and electronica, The Graceless Age.

Download Balmorhea – San Solomon (Rivers Arms Bonus Tracks) mp3 (from Insound Vinyl Mixtape 7-26-12)

Download John Murry – Southern Sky mp3 (from Uncut 2012.09 & The Graceless Age)

Video of the Day: Heartless Bastards.


A Massive Friday Mix.

The number of new releases has cranked back into top gear recently with a whole host of tasty ear ticklers coming our way. So what could be even better than an Olympic opening ceremony than a massive Mad Mackerel Friday mix – twenty four tracks handpicked especially for you.

We light the flame with buzzworthy punked-up noiseniks Fidlar and in the same vein another from Vancouver-bred trio Nu Sensae. We have new songs from instrumental folk experimentalists Balmorhea, another from Blitzen Trapper led country rock supergroup Denver, a third track of trademark guitar distortion from Thurston Moore’s new project Chelsea Light Moving, Jason Lyttle covering 80s pop experimentalists Talk Talk, and some lo-fi goodness from R Stevie Moore.

We have some infectiously angst inspired riffage from Big Scary, some infectiously synth inspired indie rock from Letting Up Despite Great Faults and some infectiously beguiling electro-indie pop from Scraps. We have a brilliant psych-pop nugget of mellotron led drone from The Most Powerful Telescope In The Universe and a couple of tracks of Woodpecker’s indie folk and banjo ramble including occasional bloodcurdling zombie screams.

We have the new Lowpines dustily defiant Americana single via the excellent EardrumsPop label, and the slow moving gospel melancholy and honeyed velvet vocals of Padraig Whelan. There is melancholy too in Eli Mardock’s atmospheric, but slightly more upbeat indie-pop, and Fountains give us a taste of epic, brooding indie rock that tips a wink to 90s shoegaze and is as good as anything new we’ve heard in a good while – play this baby loud!

We have Delta Spirit’s brilliant Tear It Up from their recent self-titled album, and the new one from prolific and quirky indie rock royalty Mountain Goats. There is singer-songwriter’s Sondre Lerche’s out-take from his soon to be reissued album Phantom Punch, and a new taste of Crystal Castles gothic dance moves with Plague.

And lastly we have the angular, jerky and irreverent new wave of The Modern Airline, the hypnotic pummelling of psych-dance-rockers Turing Machine and Mac DeMarco’s My Kind Of Woman, a brilliant driving anthem of garage-pop.


Download Fidlar – The Punks Are Finally Taking Acid mp3 (via Rollo & Grady)

Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3 (from Delta Spirit)

Download Balmorhea – Pyrakantha mp3 (from Stranger)

Download Denver – Reno mp3 (from Denver)

Download Jason Lyttle – Tomorrow’s Started mp3 (from Spirit of Talk Talk)

Download R Stevie Moore – Pop Music mp3 (from Lo Fi High Fives)

Download Nu Sensae – 100 Shades mp3 (from Sundowning)

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)

Download Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Visions mp3 (from Untogether)

Download Lowpines – Give Me A Horse mp3 (from Lowpines Single)

Download Chelsea Light Moving – Frank O’Hara Hit mp3

Download Turing Machine – Lazy Afternoon Of The Jaguar mp3 (from What Is The Meaning Of What)

Download Scraps – Secret Paradise mp3 (from Secret Paradise 7″)

Download Eli Mardock – Everything Happens For The First Time mp3

Download Woodpecker – Married To The Movies mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)

Download Woodpecker – Every Boy In New York mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)

Download Padraig Whelan – What I Know, I Know With You mp3 (from Never Be So Wicked, No More As You Once Were EP)

Download Sondre Lerche – Boxing Day mp3 (from Phantom Punch)

Download Crystal Castles – Plague mp3 (from Plague)

Download The Modern Airline – Monster On The Campus mp3 (from The Modern Airline)

Download Mac DeMarco – My Kind Of Woman mp3 (from Mac DeMarco 2)