Archive for the ‘Folk’ Category

Started in conjunction with Secretly Group and 30 Songs, 30 Days, Our First 100 Days aims to raise funds for organizations supporting causes that are currently under threat by the Trump administration. We’ve already featured a few songs from the project, which has raised over $80,000 so far.

For their contribution, Courtney Marie Andrews and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have collaborated on a cover of I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free is an amazing gospel tune that the incomparable Nina Simone covered and it became an important song for the civil rights movement in the 60s. A lot of these issues are still relevant today and I wanted to sing a song that had a palpable voice for those issues. I’ll never know what it was like to walk the rocky path that Nina did, but her power and unyielding strength was and is something to aspire to. “ – Courtney Marie Andrews.

We figured to make a song that would keep folks’ minds, tongues and fingers in motion. James Baldwin: ‘This is not the land of the free. It is only very unwillingly and sporadically the home of the brave.’” – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Sold in a subscription format for a minimum contribution of $30, fans receive one song per day across the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. All profits from Our First 100 Days will benefit organisations that stand in opposition to a Trump presidency: All Above All, Cosecha, Hoosier Action, People’s Climate Movement, and Southerners On New Ground.

Listen below. Visit the Bandcamp page here.


Here is a second track from Portland folk-rockers the Builders & The Butchers upcoming long player The Spark.

Singer Ryan Sollee describes it as “…a pretty simple call and response folk tune about desperation. On its face its a old story song, but a lot of the themes can be related to today. The inspiration for this came from my Leadbelly library of congress recordings

Listen below. The album is out on the 19th May via Badman Recording Co.


  1. Julien Baker – Good News (Piano Version)
  2. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Hope The High Road
  3. BNQT – Unlikely Force
  4. Bonnie Prince Billy & Nathan Salsburg – Wallin Creek Girls
  5. Kevin Morby – Come To Me Now
  6. Diet Cig – Link In Bio
  7. The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
  8. Marissa Nadler – Rosemary
  9. W.H. Lung – Nothing Is
  10. Soccer Mommy – Be Seeing You












MM Shorts 931: Tors

Posted: March 24, 2017 in Folk, Indie, Music, Pop

With comparisons to the likes of Fleet Foxes, Bombay Bicycle Club and Villagers, Devon-based outfit folk outfit Tors have announced latest EP Merry Go Round.

Fronted by Matt and Theo Weedon, grandsons of the legendary guitarist Bert Weedon, the new release features their harmony-rich singles Now We Fall and Hold Me as well as the title track which you can stream below.


MM Shorts 929: Mount Song

Posted: March 16, 2017 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock

Listen to the lovely, melancholy sweetness of Halo by Swedish singer-songwriter, Mount Song, that takes its inspiration from the likes of Elliott Smith, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Jose Gonzalez.

The track is about the sadness that accompanies dealing with life’s demons.

I stepped into the dark
Because my eyes are filling up with empty things

Stream it here.


A rare treat then to go to a gig with Mrs Mackerel, and also Movie Mate and the Mother of Kittens too.

Also a rare treat to not be the oldest swingers in town, judging by the clientele as we entered Oxford’s gloomy Carling Academy. Laura Marling has that rare capacity to attract those from all ages – from the intent young girl on my left silently mouthing along to virtually every song to the middle-aged, too-loud blokey blokes behind me (“when I’m walking the dog in the morning with a hangover you need a bit of mellow“) and the suited, slightly creepy silver haired older gentleman in front of us intently watching Ms Marling through a pair of binoculars.

It is all too easy to remark on Laura Marling’s incredible maturity for one still so tender of years, or to fall into the wise head on young shoulders cliche, or comment on her innate ability to absorb, adapt and possess the influences of so much of what has gone before and restlessly turn it into something fresh and unique – yet it is hard not to re-tread these well trodden paths because it so damn striking each and every time she does something.

With a stage presence and quiet confidence that I hadn’t witnessed before, her performance was one that contrasted sharply with the narrow, oppressiveness of the venue and the often shocking sound – the regular drop outs akin to randomly jumping from rich stereo to weedy mono (or listening with only one ear-bud for younger readers).

Despite their regular efforts, the amateur acoustics could not detract from the songs. As expected, many came from outstanding new release Semper Femina, in fact, the opening five mirrored exactly the album track list – the faintly tropical, sinuous Soothing, the calm, nylon-string acoustics of The Valley, and the rich crackle of Wild Fire set a tone, and a standard that was effortlessly sustained on the wry Don’t Pass Me By and the gorgeous Always This Way.

With six albums in nine years, she now has a wealth of material to draw on. As well as Semper Femina, we were treated to much from 2011’s A Creature I Don’t Know (Salinas, Night After Night, Don’t Ask Me Why and a particularly powerful version of Sophia) and finished with a trio of tracks from I Speak Because I Can, the title track sandwiched between a rapturously received Darkness Descends and a triumphantly challenging Rambling Man.

Laura Marling has a way with words that can make others in the same game seem clumsy and cack-handed. She takes the classic singer-songwriter ingredients of melancholy introspection and self-reflection and balances them exquisitely against wit and candor without being obvious or blatant. Here in Oxford, we had further evidence, if it were needed, of her ability to question and ponder on heartfelt subject matters with a rare lightness of touch and deftness that in turn separates songs from the merely good to something much more special.

And yes, she is old beyond her years.






This week our round up includes a brilliantly angry and frustrated single from Swedish sisters First Aid Kit for International Women’s Day, another track from the prolific Ty Segall’s upcoming EP, the first taste from Bonnie Prince Billy’s Merle Haggard covers record with a version of the classic Mama Tried.

This week’s offering from the Our First 100 Days Project comes from Self Esteem (none other than Mikal Cronin and Kim Gordon), and there is some woozy, easy-going psychedelia from Moon Duo, and the title track from Woods’ new mini-LP Love Is Love. finishing up with cracking new singles from Black HoneyChastity Belt and the punky Dream Wife.

Over to you…

  1. First Aid Kit – You Are The Problem Here
  2. Ty Segall – Black Magick
  3. Bonnie Prince Billy – Mama Tried  (Merle Haggard cover)
  4. Woods – Love Is Love
  5. Moon Duo – Lost In Light
  6. Self Esteem – War / Golden God (Demo)
  7. Chastity Belt – Different Now
  8. Black Honey – Somebody Better
  9. Dream Wife – Somebody




<p><a href=”″>Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Mama Tried – 360 version</a> from <a href=””>evenardt</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>








Happy days! After too many years of silence, Portland, Oregon folk-rockers The Builders and the Butchers are back with a new record, Spark.

Name checking influences for the new album as later Tom Waits and White Blood Cells era White Stripes, they’ve shared Older Than Sin, a singalong rush of rumbling guitars and anthemic vocals.

Listen below and check out that album art too – always fabulous.


best of the weekPart two of our weekly round up of the best tracks from the past seven days kicks off with another fine track from Laura Marling’s new album, and an excellent new single from The Districts.

We have another brash slab of riotous rock from Charly Bliss and something equally propulsive from Hiccup (should keep the indie kids happy). Trance Farmers slow things down with their ominous new single, while Cotillon’s new track is a masterclass in hazy slacker rock. Finally, White Reaper round things off with the title track from new album The World’s Best American Band.

  1.  The Districts – Ordinary Day
  2. Laura Marling – Nothing, Not Nearly
  3. Trance Farmers – Witches
  4. Hiccup – Neverwhere
  5. Charly Bliss – Percolator
  6. Cotillon – Alex’s Room
  7. White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band








best of the weekOnce again some cracking tuneage for you today in Part 1 of our regular weekly round-up of some of the best new releases.

We are ultra excited by the return of Justin Townes Earle and Champagne Corolla, which comes from forthcoming album Kids In The Street,  T. Hardy Morris who has shared a new track NY and Sharon Van Etten who reimagines the Skeeter Davis track End of the World for a new soundtrack compilation based around The Man In The High Castle TV series. Bonny Doon have also shared some more rolling, meditative Americana with Relieved and for the folkies we have the first taste of Keston Cobblers Club’s new album.

Big Walnuts Yonder is a new band that consists of members from Wilco, Deerhoof, Tera Melos and Minutemen and Raise The Drawbridges? is suitably manic while Sam Amidon is suitably surreal for just over 90 seconds on his First 100 Days Offering that also features Inga.

Enjoy. Check out Part Two tomorrow.

  1. Justin Townes Earle – Champagne Corolla
  2. T. Hardy Morris – NY
  3. Sharon Van Etten – The End Of The World  (Skeeter Davis cover)
  4. Big Walnuts Yonder – Raise The Drawbridges?
  5. Keston Cobblers Club – Almost Home
  6. Sam Amidon (featuring Inga) – Correspondence
  7. Bonny Doon – Relieved