Archive for the ‘Folk’ Category

Lots of tasty covers this week…

  1. The Devil Makes Three – Bad Idea
  2. Jacuzzi Boys – Song For The Man  (Beastie Boys cover)
  3. D.A. Stern – I Don’t Know  (Beastie Boys cover)
  4. The Dirty Nil – Pain Of Infinity
  5. Beak> – Brean Down
  6. William Elliott Whitmore – Fear Of Trains  (Magnetic Fields cover)
  7. Phoebe Bridgers – The Gold  (Manchester Orchestra cover)
  8. David Bazan – Thread  (Now Now cover)
  9. Ty Segall & White Fence – Body Behaviour
  10. Claw Marks – Swallow U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quiet Hollers are back with an excellent new single, Addicted.

It is their first release since last year’s sophomore album Amen Breaks, and carries on that record’s theme of tackling important socio-political issues.

Addiction is a powerful rumination on opiate addiction – frontman Shadwick Wilde has struggled with addiction since adolescence. Although he didn’t intend for it to be a “drug song” necessarily, its inception came at a time when his family was struggling with the loss of his mother’s brother, who died of a fentanyl overdose so he felt it was important to acknowledge how deeply vulnerable we all are to these things, and how serious that problem really is.

Have a listen – it is a perfect mix of alt-country shot through with grungy guitars and a frank, world weary vocal.

 

Another From Oldermost

Posted: June 29, 2018 in Americana, Country, Folk, Music, Rock
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Same To Me is the second single Philadelphia’s Oldermost have shared ahead of the release of their new album How Could You Ever Be The Same? (out 13th July).

It follows the rollicking lead single The Danger of Belief, which we posted back in May. This introspective new song was one of the first written for their new album, and is a gorgeous, hazy stand-out, highlighting the bands’ penchant for creating era-blending Americana-infused rock & roll with a more indie rock vibe in the vein of The War On Drugs (their Philly contemporaries!) or Wilco.

Have a listen.

 

Emerging from the darkest depths of Hackney Wick in London comes garage-rock outlaws Sleep Eaters with their brilliantly catchy debut single Ghost on Fire out on Strong Island Recordings via digital and a limited run of handmade tapes.

It is just over two minutes of cacophonous, fuzzed out, desert, cowboy garage-rock, that sounds like a feral cross between The Black Lips, The Stooges and the Screaming Blue Messiahs – imagine all three dropped into a sun-baked, spaghetti western playing to a whiskey bar full of gunslingers on speed.

Fabulous – stream it here.

 

Old Sea Brigade (aka Nashville-based, Atlanta-born singer/songwriter Ben Cramer) featured in our Best of 2016 lists, and after a long period of quiet, has released a new single, Hope, which will be featured on his upcoming full-length debut, Ode To A Friend.

Listen to the single below, a fingerpicked ode to yearning.

 

  1. Mountain Goats – Song For Sasha Banks
  2. Saintseneca – Frostbiter
  3. Purling Hiss – Out Tonight
  4. Marissa Nadler – Where Do I Go  (Happy Rhodes cover)
  5. Beak> – Alle Sauvage
  6. Tuung – Crow
  7. Henrik Appel – Struggle
  8. Dirty Nil – Bathed In Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Slaves – Cut And Run
  2. Low – Quorum
  3. Protomartyr (feat. Kelley Deal) – You Always Win
  4. Jon Spencer – Do The Trash Can
  5. M. Ward – Miracle Man
  6. Menace Beach (feat. Brix Smith) – Black Rainbow Sound
  7. Muncie Girls – Picture Of Health
  8. Culture Abuse – Dip
  9. Interpol – The Rover
  10. Jason Isbell – The Assassin  (Patterson Hood cover)
  11. Lumerians – Space Curse
  12. Death Cab For Cutie – Gold Rush
  13. Juanita Stein – Easy Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Wooden Shjips – Already Gone
  2. Oh Sees – Overthrown
  3. Israel Nash – Rolling On
  4. Goon – Choke Throat
  5. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – Save Me
  6. Sons of Bill – Easier (feat. Molly Parden)
  7. Liars – Liquorice
  8. Gurr – Hot Summer
  9. Mommy Long Legs – Bridezilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Mackerel is ten years old. Who would have believed it.

So, thanks to everyone who has ever visited the blog, listened, commented, submitted music, sent e-mails, sent CDs, t-shirts and even vinyl, and given us a guest list pass. We really do appreciate it.

Thanks too to our regular contributors over the years – too numerous to mention all, but extra special thanks to the sprats (of course), Barry-Sean, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, The Italian Job, Chris T Popper and the fishily fabulous Mrs Mackerel.

And most of all thanks for letting us discover some truly great tunes. Here are ten of them – our favourites of the past ten years of Mad Mackerel.

Cheers!

 

10 The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun (2008)

 

Untarnished, unpolished, unadorned. Heavy on rhythm, accordion and piano. Frankie’s Gun is a stomping, beer-swilling square dance with the grim reaper hovering in attendance. This brilliantly evocative song packs enough into three verses and a beer-hall singalong chorus to create its own Netflix series.

 

9 Grinderman – Palaces Of Montezuma (2010)

Unhinged list of over-the-top romantic promises set to a loose, funky bassline and with a subtle, gospel style shuffle that is simply sublime.

 

8 Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer (2008)

 

A darkly pensive tale of multiple murder that emerges from Dylan’s shadow to tramp from the bright lights of LA to the desolation of the prairies and the desert in search of more victims. Black River Killer drips with the authentic haunted quality of an old, gothic murder ballad and we can’t give it higher praise than that.

 

7 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed (2008)

Eerily reminiscent of the drugged up haze of a Johnny Thunders with possibly the bleakest lyrics we’ve ever come across. “Friend of mine drank something fine, choked to death before his time last night / He said, “Found that thing you really need, cough it on down ’til you can’t breathe alright / Everyone’ll be there at the burial in your head, and a tear or two they’ll shed / Then they’re gonna go digging in your hole and find: someone else instead” or “Oh, he didn’t like people much at all, tasted better with alcohol, you know how that one goes / Realized he’d missed his whole life; kissed his dog, and shot his wife last night.

Buriedfed is anguished circular verses of regret, dependency and death, slowly building up from the twang of a lone acoustic guitar to soundtrack a rollicking daydream of Robinson’s own death and ensuing funeral.

 

6 The Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur (2015)

 

The unbearably poignant and dark tale of Côte d’Azur – about those memory markers that resurface in the depths of your dreams and the half way stage when the sun warms your face, and what’s real and what’s not – the journey and the destination – merges into one; always searching. This song breaks my heart at every single listen, so I turn up the white noise.

 

5 The Roadside Graves – Far And Wide (2009)

 

A seamless fusion of country and classic rock, with just a hint of punk’s reckless abandon. Kicking off with a great riff and whiskey raw vocals, this wonderfully ramshackle Americana is like musical heroin.

 

4 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’ (2015)

So, it takes Kurt a little while to recognise himself as the “man in the mee-rah”. Wakey, wakey son. But after a minor identity crisis and a bit of a teeth mix-up, everything’s pretty pimpin. It is a fingerpicked earworm where a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection, and a very well-loved tune amongst Team Mackerel.

 

3 Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive (2012)

 

With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with this outstanding tune, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on. Swaying along to this beauty in a large field clasping an overpriced (but comfortingly strong) cider is what summer should be all about.

 

2 Middle Brother – Portland (2011)

Shared a cigarette for breakfast? More than one I reckon. John McCauley of Deer Tick has a voice that was made for this song. One for the road, sung in chorus, gives me the warmest, fuzzy feeling all over. Stick me on a greyhound bus with Middle Brother playing to the open road and I reckon I’d be a happy girl. Just about the best darned cover (yes, I know but don’t care) I ever heard. Pure magic.

 

1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA (2013)

 

It is Matthew Houck’s ragged, yet fragile vocals that stitch together Zula’s imagery, which cuts far and deep. Intensely poignant lyrics, sweeping strings, pulsing drum machine: it all weaves together to form an emotional testament to the end of a relationship. Ever had your heart broken? This is what it feels like.

 

So there we have it, 200 of our favourite songs since 2008. Everyone a gem, everyone a memory. Enjoy!

 

Check out the full countdown here: 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-3130-21 and 20-11.

So here we are, the penultimate day of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs marking ten years of MM. Today, we’ve hit the top twenty…

 

20 The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park (2008)

Wonderfully rootsy swagger of earthy, organic folk-rock set to a loose Stones like honky tonk rumble.

 

19 Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky (2011)

 

Set against a backdrop of rolling, countrified rock, Winter In Kentucky is peerless narrative songwriting. A story of bone-weary resignation written from the perspective of a meth addict on a reality show after his girlfriend left him for rehab.

 

18 Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes (2015)

 

Possesses a rhythmic simplicity that transports the listener off somewhere else, and throughout Emil Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when we stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.

 

17 We Are Augustines – Juarez (2011)

Much like Airborne Toxic Event before them, We Are Augustines flamed brightest with one exceptional debut album. Juarez comes from it, a beautiful slow burner and impassioned confessional that somehow finds redemption in an epic climax.

 

16 Dr. Dog – Shadow People (2010)

 

Perfect blend of sweet Americana, country twang and oddball pop, dashed through with a touch of their hometown Philly soul.

 

15 Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

 

Ah, the echo laden MBV influenced guitar, the pummelling drums, the droning organ, the quiet / loud / quiet structure. Just glorious noise-pop.

 

14 Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008)

 

A simple vocal round to start, some trebly guitar and confident percussion, but it is those voices, and those harmonies, that blows White Winter Hymnal wide open.

 

13 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife (2014)

If a song could musically define menace this would be it. Set to an ominous, tribal rhythm, it thrums throughout with quivering, barely surpressed fury and threat. With vocals that start I’m gonna show you if it takes all night / We’re staying here till you get it right / It’s been three whole days with no end in sight. Things don’t get any better either.

 

12 Richard Buckner – Willow (2012)

 

This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember.

 

11 The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)

They have many imitators, but none can ‘do’ the National like the National. Typically hypnotic offering, and with a voice as deep as the night, Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Sad, atmospheric and uplifting at the same time.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-31 and 30-21.