Archive for the ‘Pop’ Category

Chris T Popper has been with MM from the very first post. Every year he produces his own list of favourite tunes and here are his selections for 2019. This year he was helped by Stan the greyhound. Next year I’m hoping we get Stan’s choices…

 

10. She Keeps Bees – Kinship
Never got bored of that opening drum groove. Backed up by Jessica Larabee’s smooth intonations it’s aural ketamine for the ears. Her voice really is something special, giving the song an affecting, unique quality.

 

9. Water Music- It Ain’t Over…
As time went by I got proper gripped up by this tune. It’s dreamlike; alternating between the plaintive wonderfully sparse vocal to a splendid guitar pay-off three quarters through. ‘Everyone’s a leader but no one’s got a plan’ warbles Matty Barker, the creative force behind Water Music. Which seems to nail it, the year 2019 summed up in 9 words.

 

8. DJ Shadow (feat Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe, Daemon) – Urgent, Important, Please Read
Over Shadow’s gnarled chords and clashing drum breaks, Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe and Daemon take turns to administer the warnings. Angry and bleak it also feels kind of uplifting which is what makes it so interesting for me. Buried inside is a glimmer of hope, somewhere. A properly brutal record when played loud, which is always an added bonus.

 

7. Baxter Dury – Slumlord
Every time I sit down at the laptop to write about this song I play it, quite loud to be fair, to help my creative juices flow. Transfixed I listen to the whole song and by the end I haven’t written a single word. Just listened to it. Again. Baxter Dury has a way with words, a sort of analgesic to the unremittingly dull male solo artists currently filling the airwaves. Baxter’s world is shadowy betting shops, dodgy landlords, grimy comedowns and all the other type of things I readily relate to.

 

6. Lightning Dust – Led Astray
From the album Spectre, their first in four years comes this absolute gem. I’ve kept an eye on Lightning Dust since I heard I Knew, which I think was 2009ish when LD were more of a side project for Amber Webber and Josh Wells. Since the beginning Webber’s vocals have had me under a bit of a spell and the arrangement on Led Astray feels utterly flawless, including some groovy tremolo guitar. This year’s earworm for me, just couldn’t get it out of my noggin.

 

5. Siskiyou – Unreal Erections///Severed Heads
Another four year hiatus for Siskiyou’s Colin Huebert before releasing this mini epic. Whatever is happening in those four years seems to work. There is a sense of wretchedness to the whole song which appeals to my darker inclinations. Although half way through it almost gets upbeat with a wonderfully maniacal ‘ha ha’ thrown in for good measure. It ends up feeling quite playful, horns blaring out but… but… it still feels like it’s simply masking the futility of it all. Echoes of one of my favourite artists Howling Owls, which is as big a compliment as I can pay.

 

4. Hideous Sun Demon – Cheap Association
A deep bassline coupled with a sneering Australian accent is right up there on my list of ‘musical triggers I like’. It’s one of those tunes that hits you square between the eyes at first listen. It’s so damn accessible I was singing along with the ‘Mac DeMarco’ bits from the get-go. With each passing year I find myself getting a little more cynical and disappointed. When I do, I just put this on and I instantly know someone else understands.

 

3. Sleaford Mods – OBCT
I’m in a love/hate relationship with Sleaford Mods (mainly love) and this song encapsulates the problem. The authenticity of what you carp on about. Well everything changes and you can’t be a gobshite forever. Cognitive dissonance with a kazoo. And Fearn’s banging bass line which is guaranteed to get my jaw grinding along. Favourite line of the year is Williamson’s guilty admission ‘You know, now I just fantasiiiissse in a house 3 times the sizzzzzze… of my old one’ A belter of a tune and probably the song I have played the most this year.

 

2. Dry Cleaning – Magic of Meghan
Tackling the complexities of the UK’s relationship with Meghan Markle using a belter of a guitar lick (just like Meghan ‘it’s a smasher!’) and Florence Shaw’s superbly droll narration this is perhaps the only lens to view the chaos through. Considering recent events I like Meghan more and more. Maybe she’ll bring down the monarchy. Fingers crossed.

 

1. hd hausman – a modern weight
So my favourite song of the year… Many a time my greyhound Stanley has pricked up his ears as I whistle the whistling bit from a modern weight for the 9,000th time. He fucking hates this song now. It never grows tired to my ears though. The catchy melody shimmers about your lugholes with multiple layers of instruments and Liam Palmer’s brilliant vocal combining to make a song so packed with emotional punch I can get a bit teary. And I have no idea why. The power of music eh. Stan still hates it though.

 

 

And here we have the final part of our favourite tunes of 2019… Discover and enjoy.

25 UV Race – Mr Blame
A brash, unapologetic race through proto-punk stomp and malodorous glam-punk aesthetics.

 

24 Lonesome Shack – The City is a Desert
Anchored by an insistent country blues refrain that has a touch of something primal about it, and sounds like it could almost be a lost take from the Doors’ LA Woman.

 

 

23 Sudakistan – Automaton
A storming, irresistible slab of psych infused garage rock. Prepare to be pounded into submission.

 

22 Siskiyou – Nothing Disease
Hushed, twilight folk matched with a macabre, ironic pathos. Gorgeous stuff.

 

21 Ezra Furman – Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone
Vicious. A fast and furious thrash. Like an amphetamine fuelled Lou Reed for our own desperate times.

 

20 The Felice Brothers – Special Announcement
I’m saving up my money / To be president / I can promise more berries / On Blueberry Hill / I can promise you this / Charlie Parker on the ten dollar bill
Classic Felice Brothers ramshackle Americana and our favourite lyrics of the year – mobsters eating lobsters in dim-lit rooms!

 

19 The Lumineers – Gloria
A song about addiction and love. The catchy uptempo folky strum is perfectly juxtaposed with the resigned sadness of the lyrics.

 

18 DIIV – Blankenship
Capitalist greed, climate destruction. Explosive riffs and distortion sets off the condemnation perfectly.

 

17 Lightning Dust – Led Astray
A haunting reflective ballad set to cosmic synths.

 

16 The Tallest Man On Earth – I’m A Stranger Now
A poetic, heartbreaking rumination on growing apart. A little drop of poison in the rain / a little drop of madness in my heart

 

15 FEWS – More Than Ever
More Than Ever takes FEWS’ propulsive menace and aligns it once more to themes of estrangement and alienation. It is a song about apathy and pointlessness, and is a brilliant, unrelenting anthem for the disenfranchised.

 

14 Water Music – It Ain’t Over Yet…
Outsider folk of the very best kind. Dark, melancholic and lyrical.

 

13 Fontaines DC – Big
Dogrel was album of the year for many, and a host of Fontaines DC’s tunes from it featured in our round up last year. However, Big was one of the new tracks, and it was another crackerjack of short, snappy, irresistibly catchy punk rock.

 

12 Baxter Dury – Slumlord
Slumlord is a tale of the unpleasant, the tainted and the grotesque, whilst still retaining a sense of something despairingly romantic about it. It is the musical equivalent of a bare lightbulb swinging in a dingy bedsit, casting sickly light on things you might not want to see, and then suddenly illuminating something that might break your heart. Musically there are echoes of The Clash, of Straight to Hell perhaps, and some Nile Rodgers style funk that just settles into a groove that quickly becomes irresistible.

 

11 She Keeps Bees – Kinship
Drum heavy, hypnotic folk. A meditative hymn to mother nature.

 

10 Hideous Sun Demon – Cheap Association
Savage, scuzzy slab of punk rock that is so good it would give Buddha a migraine.

 

9 Ohtis- Runnin
Beautifully dark country-Americana taking us through songwriter Sam Swinson’s autobiographical journey of indoctrination and addiction. Has a touch of Lord Huron about it.

 

8 Ian Noe – Meth Head
Stark, brutal and unforgettable folk. A despairing, unflinching story of prowling junkies that are way beyond hope or redemption. I just kept pacing by / Swattin’ through the flies / And her stench, rancid and stout / While she stood there cryin’ “Please!” / With her fist between her knees / And the sores drainin’ ’round her mouth

 

7 Dry Cleaning – Magic of Meghan
A sparkling, effervescent joy of shimmering guitars and indie jangle. And prophetic to boot…

 

6 Party Hardly – Rats in the Kitchen
A rousing indie anthem that is the musical equivalent of waking a guard dog – a bit woozy in places, but equally likely to suddenly tear your ears off with no warning and no apology! 

 

5 WIVES – Servants
Like the Rolling Stones seen through the prism of New York’s seediest underside, a perfect bass-driven combination of menacing modern blues and post-punk rumble.

 

4 Deliluh – Lickspittle A Nut In The Paste
By equal measure propulsive and laconic, it hums along at a fair old pace with something of classic era Sonic Youth about it.

 

3 The Murder Capital – Feeling Fades
Intense, brooding post-punk par excellence, a song with menace aforethought…

 

2 Guru – Ltd
Reminiscent  of the best of Traams, Brighton punks Guru deliver a brilliantly tense, propulsive anthem that builds to a frenzied crescendo.

 

1 hd hausmann – A Modern Weight
Taking in elements of folk and Americana but ultimately producing a kind of outsider pop, hd hausmann recall the early works of The National or David Kitt crossed with Leonard Cohen’s poetic charms. Anchored by a deep, velvety vocal the gently hypnotic A Modern Weight surreptitiously wormed its way into our consciousness and would not be dislodged. A slow burner that creeps up and grips like a vice.

 

 

 

50 Sleaford Mods – O.B.C.T 

 

49 Deliluh – Freeloader Feast

 

48 The Paranoyds – Hungry Sam

 

47 Cherry Pickles – Lily Is A Spy

 

46 The Warlocks – Disfigured Figure

 

45 Silverbacks – Pink Tide

 

44 Marika Hackman – The One

 

43 Lonesome Shack – Too Bad

 

42 FEWS – Anything Else

 

41 Darrin Bradbury – So Many Ways To Die (Frozen Pizza)

 

40 Drahla – Stimulus For Living

 

39 The Mountain Goats – Cadaver Sniffing Dog

 

38 Purple Mountains – All My Happiness Is Gone

 

37 Iguana Death Cult – Nude Casino

 

36 WIVES – Waving Past Nirvana

 

35 DZ Deathrays – Year Of The Dog

 

34 Black Futures – Me.TV

 

33 Siskiyou – Unreal Erections /// Severed Heads

 

32 Guru – Suntrap

 

31 Spray Paint – Squeaker’s Theme

 

30 Guru – Don’t Talk

 

29 The Murder Capital – Don’t Cling To Life

 

28 Squid – Houseplants

 

27 JOHN – Future Thinker

 

26 Working Men’s Club – Bad Blood

 

We’ve decided to do things a bit differently this year – too many times in the past we’ve posted our favourite songs of the year and then discovered late releases we wished we’d added! And also 2019 was a shit year for the world – Brexit, Johnson, Trump, the world burning… at least there is music.

So, way after everyone else has done theirs, here is MM’s countdown of top 100 tunes for 2019 – part 1!

 

100 Chupa Cabra – Violent Urges

 

99 Metz – Dry Up

 

98 Youth Sector – Renting Spaces In My World

 

97 Some Bodies – TV Show

 

96 Tummyache – Median

 

95 Dr. Dog – Can’t Catch Me

 

94 Amyl & The Snifters – Monsoon Rock

 

93 DITZ – Gayboy

 

92 Phobophobes – Blind Muscle

 

91 B Boys – I Want

 

90 Big Thief – Not

 

89 Matt Shapiro – Rockaway Girl

 

88 Pile – The Soft Hands of Stephen Miller

 

87 Port Juvee – Hope to Lose

 

86 The Murder Capital – Green & Blue

 

85 Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas

 

84 Oh Sees – Heart Worm

 

83 Spectator – Weight

 

82 Fat White Family – Feet

 

81 Hurt Valley – Apartment Houses

 

80 Bambara – Serafina

 

79 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – At The Back Of The Pit

 

78 Crows – Chain of Being

 

77 WIVES – Hit Me Up

 

76 Cate le Bon – Daylight Matters

 

75 Slaves – One More Day Won’t Hurt

 

74 B Boys – Instant Pace

 

73 LIFE – Moral Fibre

 

72 Catholic Action – People Don’t Protest Enough

 

71 Black Adidas – Be Cool

 

70 Panik Attaks – Terror

 

69 FEET – Outer Rim

 

68 The Dream Syndicate – Put Some Miles On

 

67 Purple Mountains – Margaritas At The Mall

 

66 Lightning Dust – Competitive Depression

 

65 Comet Gain – We’re All Fucking Morons

 

64 LIFE – Excites Me

 

63 Hotel Lux – Tabloid Newspaper

 

62 Sunflowers – Dreamweaver

 

61 Sleep Eaters – Bad Love

 

60 Frog – Black Friday

 

59 Patio – Boy Scout

 

58 Working Men’s Club – Teeth

 

57 The Stroppies – Cellophane Car

 

56 Brooke Bentham – All My Friends Are Drunk

 

55 IDLES – Mercedes Marxist

 

54 Bee Bee Sea – Be Bop Palooza

 

53 Sleep Eaters – Life of Sin

 

52 Field Medic – The Bottle’s My Lover, She’s Just My Friend

 

51 Squid – Match Bet

 

 

Shopping – Initiative

Posted: December 16, 2019 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Post Punk, Rock
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Shopping have announced details for All Or Nothing, their new album out on the 7th February via FatCat Records, and have shared the lead single, Initiative, which serves as an excellent example of their confident, elastic, streamlined grooves that crackle with energy and intention. The trio’s vision – deeply queer; political by default – place them in a radical lineage of dance, a continuum connecting disco and post-punk to Chicago house.

Dive in here. Pre-order the album here.

 

Sam Doores – Let It Roll

Posted: December 12, 2019 in Americana, Folk, Music, Pop, Psychedelic, Soul
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Sam Doores, formerly of The Deslondes and Hurray for the Riff Raff will release his self-titled solo debut on 13th March via New West Records.

The thirteen song set blends traditional southern roots, New Orleans R&B, and psychedelic landscapes into a cinematic and infectious whole that reckons with heartache and loss, love and gratitude, fresh starts and, ultimately, a whole lotta change.

For now we have the video for the album track Let It Roll. Sounding like a soulful lost classic from the 60s, it is simply gorgeous.

Watch it below.

 

Cathedral Bell’s new single, Ephemeral is taken from upcoming debut album, Velvet Spirit, out on the 6th March.

It is  propulsive mix of synthy shoegaze and bedroom-dream-pop that recalls the halcyon days of the 80s and bands like The Cure or OMD.

Check it out here.

 

Basic Plumbing – Bad Mood

Posted: December 3, 2019 in Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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In 2016 Patrick Doyle relocated from London to LA, midway through writing his new album – the follow up to his acclaimed release as Boys Forever. The self-titled album was Patrick’s debut as a solo artist after years of playing in well-loved indie bands including Veronica Falls, The Royal We and Sexy Kids.

Tragically, after completing the recording of the follow-up, Keeping Up Appearances, Patrick passed away aged just 32. With the support of his family and bandmate and friend Helen Skinner, Keeping Up Appearances will get a full release in January, with profits from sales going to charities chosen by Patrick’s family – LA’s LGBT Centre and UK’s CALM.

The album perfectly captures the live and punchy sound he had set about to achieve and is full of timeless indie pop hooks and effortlessly catchy melodies, whilst lyrically it tackles the end of a relationship, capturing the feeling of growing apart from the person you were once closest to with an unflinching directness.

Listen to Bad Mood from the record, and pre-order it here.

 

Ead Wood – Skin

Posted: November 29, 2019 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Psychedelic
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Bristol’s Ead Wood has shared a breezy, kaleidoscopic slice of sun-dappled psych-pop. Skin came out yesterday via Leisure Records.

After his previous summer single Plum Cake, Skin adds grit and guts to Wood’s shimmering guitars and is an ode to the thing that unites us all: skin. But despite its relaxed demeanor, the track grapples with plenty of anxieties just below its surface.

Check out the video for the new single below, and you can also stream Plum Cake too.

 

 

Baxter Dury – Slumlord

Posted: November 26, 2019 in Alternative, Disco, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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Slumlord is the brilliant first taste from Baxter Dury’s new album The Night Chancers, which will see a release in March next year.

As one of the UK’s most interesting songwriters, he once again inhabits the song like a second skin, waxing lyrical in a literate and sharply observed way that very few can even hope to emulate let alone match. It is a tale of the unpleasant, the tainted and the grotesque whilst still retaining a sense of something despairingly romantic about it. It is the musical equivalent of a bare lightbulb swinging in a dingy bedsit, casting sickly light on things you might not want to see, and then suddenly illuminating something that might break your heart.

Musically there are echoes of The Clash, of Straight to Hell perhaps, and some Nile Rodgers style funk that just settles into a groove that quickly becomes irresistible.

Best thing he’s ever done as far as we’re concerned and Slumlord has some tough competition.

Great video too.