Posts Tagged ‘Agnes Obel’

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Our third Best Of listing comes from the ever lovely Mrs Mackerel. Listen on Spotify here.

2016 turned out to be fairly music-light by my standards in that I didn’t listen to nearly as much as I usually do, partly in response to spending so much time driving up and down the country. For this, I need the spoken word rather than the sung one, hence a dirty dozen from me rather than the usual 20.

12 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gamma Knife

 

11 Fat White Family – Breaking into Aldi

 

10 Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

This was my favourite Jamie T song from his new album, Trick, even before last month’s gig in Brixton. It’s the second time I’ve seen him live and if you ever get the chance, just do it. Even if you find yourself in an isolated demographic. There was a young chap dancing to this track in the aisle of the balcony, trance-like; he was lost to the song and I was mesmerised. Music: it gets you like that sometimes.

It’s times like this I feel tricked into waking up.’ There’s a reflection for the past 12 months if ever I heard one.

 

9 Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree

Although I believe that all the songs from the Skeleton Tree album were recorded prior to the tragic death of his much-loved son, grief and loss resonate across every note. More than anything, I feel grateful that I cannot feel what he feels.

 

8 Joseph Coward – Peanut Girl

I hear the sound – or at least the influence – of Belle and Sebastian with a peanut topping. I love this slightly retro-sounding bouncy ode to feeling young and lusty.

 

7 Van William with First Aid Kit – Revolution

This has all the hallmarks of a Mrs Mackerel fave written all over it, and when the familiar harmonies of those youthful Swedish warblers kick-in, I’m sold. I love a slightly mournful lyric juxtaposed with a jaunty, foot-tapping tune, said the fish as she swam away upstream.

 

6 The Lumineers – Gale Song

A familiar annual scenario: top ten compiled, a song is returned by MM to moi as ‘not being 2016’. But as we all know, I ain’t a fish wife for nothing. So here it is, originally recorded some time ago (tsk), released on Cleopatra in 2016. I played this short, poignant song an awful lot this year. And I love a Wesley Schultz vocal, so really, don’t argue.

 

5 Pixies – Um Chagga Lagga

My other alter ego also resurfaced this year: rock chick. Or perhaps gnarly old hen. Anyway, the Pixies back to making new music like they bloody mean it. Play loud, with attitude: But I’ll just keep on walking/It’s starting to hit me/ They’re coming to get me.

 

4 Agnes Obel – It’s Happening Again

A song for when you’re swimming with the algae, trapped with your own thoughts and unable to escape the malady of ever-revolving mental anguish. Hypnotic, bleak and maudlin. For those days when you don’t feeling like rocking out but hunkering down.

 

3 She Drew the Gun – Since You Were Not Mine

Tell me I’m just dreaming won’t you wake me up? Sadly not. The nightmare that has been 2016 is real but still, new bands, new music, new earworms. I sang this to the dog relentlessly in what seemed like some huge Freudian slip. Fortunately, he’s the strong silent type. Psych-pop with a shade of darkness.

 

2 Mitski – Your Best American Girl

Young love: sometimes life, love and relationships don’t work out quite as simply as you think it might do at the time, so she sings. Ah, but how great wisdom comes with age! This song builds, climbs and then explodes into a great big wall of sound. Heavy on the guitar and absolutely brilliant.

 

1 Damien Jurado – Exit 353

A big song with big meaning and a wide expansive sound that splits right open about a minute and half in. It’s that exact moment that clinched its numero uno spot for me. The moment I wish for really expensive speakers that can do its majesty justice. Sigh.

 

A change of school and routine means no school anthem this year, unless you count Thought For the Day. Not really.

 

Best gig of 2016:

Damien Jurado, Islington Assembly Hall, London, April 2016

Just edged it over Jamie T; a phenomenal gig, worth the midweek trek to the Big Smoke. Despite being surrounded by people over seven feet tall, every bit of neck ache was worth it when he played a beautiful version of one of my favourites, Museum of Flight.

 

Tomorrow we have Mad Mackerel’s top twenty of the year. To check out the Italian Job’s top 20 click here or here for Chris T Popper’s selections. Click for the full run down of our 100 favourite tracks (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and albums.

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Inside the top fifty of our favourite songs of the year now. Check numbers 50 – 26 and come back tomorrow for the final countdown…

50 BAIT – I’m Still Here

 

49 Big Thief – Paul

 

48 Kyle Craft – Before The Wall

 

47 Staches – Total Commitment

 

46 Arborist – I Heard Him Leaving

 

45 Hooded Fang – Dead Battery

 

44 Yowl – The Imminent Return

 

43 Quiet Hollers – Broken Guitar

 

42 Ultimate Painting – Bills

 

41 Mind Spiders – Cold

 

40 Flat Worms – Petulance

 

39 Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

 

38 Old Sea Brigade – Sleep In The Park

 

37 Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree

 

36 Jacuzzi Boys – Lucky Blade

 

35 Fat White Family – Breaking Into Aldi

 

34 The Cave Singers – That’s Why

 

33 Neighbors – Angel O

 

32 The Lumineers – Gale Song

 

31 The Julie Ruin – I Decide

 

30 The Bones Of J.R. Jones – Hammers And Nails

 

29 PJ Harvey – Guilty

 

28 Joseph Coward – Peanut Girl

 

27 Magic Potion – Milk

 

26 Agnes Obel – Its Happening Again

 

Check the full list so far: 100-76, 75-51.

Videos of the Day

Videos from the Americana, folk and singer-songwriter stables this morning – kick back and enjoy the lovely sounds and sweet melancholia of Tom Brosseau, Agnes Obel and Kevin Devine, and Turchi’s footage from one of the trippiest, most reviled/beloved cult films of all time, The Terror of Tiny Town – an ideal fit for their fuzzy, gritty, black and white lensed take on Americana.

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Download TURCHI – Mind’s Eye mp3 (from My Time Ain’t Now EP)

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Perhaps unusually, this year seemed a better one for albums rather than individual tracks with some fabulous releases over the past twelve months. There were many contenders for our end of year list, but here, after much deliberation, is Part One of our favourites of 2013.

50 Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

More From Daughn Gibson

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49 The Men – New Moon

MM Shorts 331: The Men - New Moon

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48 Pissed Jeans – Honeys

Pissed Jeans - Honeys

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47 The Dodos – Confidence

dodos

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46 Holograms – Forever

holograms forever

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45 Colleen Green – Sock It To Me

colleen green 500x500

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44 Blank Realm – Go Easy

Blank Realm Go Easy

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43 Night Beds – Country Sleep

night beds

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42 Agnes Obel – Aventine

agnes obel aventine

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41 Grass House – A Sun Full And Drowning

Grass House Debut Album

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40 The Oblivians – Desperation

oblivians

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39 Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Any Port In A Storm

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - New Single & Album

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38 No Age – An Object

no age an object

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37 Public Service Broadcasting – Inform – Educate – Entertain

public service broadcasting

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36 Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum

cate le bon mug museum 500

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35 Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

okkervil river

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34 John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

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33 Fuzz – Fuzz

fuzz

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32 I See Hawks In L.A. – Mystery Drug

New Album From I See Hawks In L.A.

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31 Savages – Silence Yourself

Savages Silence Yourself

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Polly Pocket's Best Of 2013
As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. The fourth instalment comes from Polly Pocket – thanks for putting them arse backwards Poll!

1 Junip – Line Of Fire
This has been in the top spot since the beginning of the year. Beautiful vocals courtesy of Jose Gonzalez, it all sounds so effortless whilst building up to that epic finish. Unfortunately, this song also reminds me of seeing Junip this Autumn where, having got Mr Gonzalez to sign my album I then proceeded to tell him that he and the band were ‘awesome’. He was a gentleman about it but it remains embarrassing.

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2 Cash Savage and The Last Drinks – Hypnotiser
Full of attitude and lots of swagger. This is definitely a Friday night cocktail favourite (goes particularly well with a Dirty Martini). If you don’t end up singing along with the gospel choir you are not listening to it right.

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3 Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic.

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4 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
It has taken me longer to love Nick Cave than it should and I am sorry to those who have tried to show me the right path in the past. Thankfully I have learnt the error of my ways and it is Jubilee Street that helped me see the light. Storytelling at its best.

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5 Telekinesis – Ghosts and Creatures
There is something familiar and comforting about this indie tune. Love all that distortion and a beat that makes me want to dance, or at least sway a little in a kind of early 90’s way. Turn it up and you will feel uplifted.

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6 Agnes Obel – Fuel To Fire
This beautiful song stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it a couple of months ago. All a bit haunting and full of melancholy. The album is a treat but Fuel To Fire stands out at the front for me.  A great find for 2013. Lovely.

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7 Deptford Goth – Union
It’s the simplicity of this tune that first got me hooked.  Its also a song I would have been in love with as a teenager. It might be electro pop but there is a fair amount of misery and sorrow in there too so what’s not to love?

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8 HAIM – Falling
A last minute change around has put HAIM into the top ten, every time I hear this song I am reminded of just how good I think it is. Very polished, really well produced, love those harmonies and that retro feel. HAIM are like marmite. I like marmite.

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9  Tired Pony – All Things All At Once
Boasting quite a line up Tired Pony have got it all going on. All Things All At Once has a pure, unpolished feel to it, like they all just happened to be together and decided to start playing and recording and here it is. Country? Folk? Americana? Who knows. Whatever it is it sounds bloody good to me.

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10 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
I couldn’t have a top ten without Ms Marling featuring in it somewhere (23, how can she be just 23 and getting better with every album?).  I love the exotic, dark sound to this song. Once I Was An Eagle is a very fine album, if you don’t own it you should.

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11 Half Moon Run – Full Circle

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12 The Cave Singers – Canopy

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13 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days

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14 Barbarossa – The Load

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15 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey

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16 Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten – Lady Luck

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17 Jules Larson + AG  – Bend To The Break

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18 PHOX – Noble Heart

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19  Shadows At Play – Into The Sun

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20 Dim Peaks – Reason

MM's Best of 2013 - 50 - 26

Part three of our favourite 100 tracks of 2013. Today we’re counting down from 50 – 26.

50 Hanni El Khatib – Nobody Move
In Hanni El Khatib’s biog on Wikipedia he says that his “…music is for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train“. I think that this is a good way to describe this tune as it hits you flat out, ballsy, raw and aggressive in its lunge for your ears. Cracking bit of uptempo rock with a good nod at 70s punk. (Dr R)

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49 Vandaveer – Omie Wise
From Vandaveer’s outstanding reinterpreting of traditional murder ballads came the tale of the particularly nasty Omie Wise. He gets his comeuppance in the end.

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48 Waxahatchee – Swan Dive
The rhythmic drumming and finger picking guitar counter balance Katie Crutchfield’s rich, husky vocal in this short, melancholic lament: you hold on to the past, you make yourself miserable/and I’m ruled by seasons and sadness that’s inexplicable. So there. (MM)

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47 Public Broadcasting Service – Signal 30
Brilliant and mesmerising combination of high octane guitar riffage, retro public information film samples and electro beats. (MM)

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46 Tired Pony – All Things All At Once
Boasting quite a line up Tired Pony have got it all going on. All Things At Once has a pure, unpolished feel to it, like they all just happened to be together and decided to start playing and recording and here it is. Country? Folk? Americana? Who knows. Whatever it is, it sounds bloody good to me. (PP)

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45 Caroline Rose – Six Foot Woman
You don’t get more honky tonk than Caroline Rose’s self-effacing tale of the mighty six foot woman. Sounds like it was dug up in a 1970s Tennessee roadshack.

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44 Parquet Courts – You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now
Stoned and Starving would have been our song of the year, but for its minor self-release in 2012. No matter scrappy, swaggering, nihilistic NY punks Parquet Courts gave us this gem instead. A highlight of their performance at the Green Man festival and our undoubted gig of the year. (MM).

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43 Jus Post Bellum – It’s A Shame
Cowboys! Gunfight! This is an upbeat folky number with a wicked drum backbeat that pulls it all together like a rolling canter. He’s a bad ‘un and it’s a shame. (Mrs M)

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42 Haim – Falling
A last minute change around has put Haim into my Top Ten for the year. Every time I hear this song I am reminded of just how good I think it is. Very polished, really well produced, love those harmonies and that retro feel. Haim are like marmite. I like marmite. (PP)

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41 Drenge – Backwaters
I love this powerful two piece out of Derby. Sort of Henrys Funeral Shoe meets The Smiths. I have always been a sucker for this sort of sound – you’re just towed away on the riptide of noise. This is the kind of song you turn up to eleven when people are in the middle of talking to you about some inane shit. (Dr R)

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40 Alela Diane – Colorado Blue
Sharply observed lyrics float over a gently strummed backdrop, this song is plumbed from the emotional depths of her divorce album. Might not get you in the Christmas spirit but is sure to bring a lump to your throat. (Mrs M)

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39 Willie Nile – Life On Bleecker Street
Second entry for Mr Nile and another evocative ear worm, this time the observations on life on a certain street in Manhattan that was once a major center for American bohemia.

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38 Deptford Goth – Union
It’s the simplicity of this tune that first got me hooked. It’s also a song I would have been in love with as a teenager. It might be electro pop but there is a fair amount of misery and sorrow in there too, so what’s not to love? (PP)

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37 Wooden Shjips – Everybody Knows
Channeling Neil Young by way of Hawkwind, Wooden Shjips gave us this hypnotically evocative and brilliant slab of psych rock on latest album Back To Land (MM).

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36 Night Beds – Even If We Try
It starts off acappela, and finishes somewhere around dawn. Yes, this is indeed a late night/wee small hours tune if ever there was one. Recorded Bon Iver-style in a self-built studio, this is an intimate song of longing and reflection:  As you watch the colours/Fleeting with the cover/Nature set on fire/Truth found in the mire. There’s space under my wing, Winston.

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35 Shovels & Rope – Johnny 99
Yes, it’s a Bruce Springsteen cover, but quite frankly, so what? This is a damn fine tune and that’s one hell of a Marlboro red voice she’s got there. And did I mention the piano (again)? (Mrs M)

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34 Water Liars – Fake Heat
I kind of loved this song despite trying not to if you know what I mean? In the end I gave in gracefully (which wasn’t difficult, there’s a fair bit of imploring in this one) as the heart should always overrule the brain when it comes to music. It does have an undeniable glory to it as well though which can’t help stirring even this most cynical of souls. (CP)

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33 King Krule – Easy Easy
My friend bought me the King Krule album for my birthday this year. It was an inspired choice that lived in the CD tray for some weeks, I think they had started to bound molecularly. A gruff and untempered voice guides you through a cultural landscape that sounds empty and barren, all emphasised by the production on the lonely guitar that accompanies King Krule’s lament. (Dr R)

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32 Agnes Obel – Fuel To Fire
This beautiful song stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it a couple of months ago. All a bit haunting and full of melancholy. The album is a treat but Fuel To Fire stands out at the front for me. A great find for 2013. Lovely. (PP)

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31 Laura Marling – Master Hunter
A raging calm of Dylan referencing vitriol set to a rollicking backdrop.

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30 Telekinesis – Ghosts And Creatures
There is something familiar and comforting about this indie tune. Love all that distortion and a beat that makes me want to dance, or at least sway a little in a kind of early 90s way. Turn it up and you will feel uplifted. (PP)

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29 The River Has Many Voices – If You Gotta Go (Go With Me)
Poetically beautiful song of love, loss, sorrow and melancholy. 

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28 Big Haunt – Burn Me Up
We received an e-mail. It said, “We are a Portland, Oregon band called Big Haunt. We play spooky, gospel infused big beat indy folk. This is our first single, “Burn Me Up.”  It’s a song about ritualistic fire sacrifice and murder. We thought you might like it.“ We did. We liked it very much. (MM)

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27 Savages – She Will
Highlight from their Mercury Prize nominated album Silence Yourself. She Will is a peerless combination of icy post-punk cool and brutal hardcore.

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26 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster
With a opening sound filthier than a night out with Jimmy Saville, this track has been a staunch favourite since my first listen. The bass line and guitar riff are simple, but massively addictive and unwavering in ferocity as the song crescendos during the chorus. It is the one song this year that, whenever anyone hears it for the first time, they sit there quiet then at the end, without fail say “That was awesome. Who was that?” (Dr R)

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Why not check out our picks for 100 – 76, and 75 – 51 too.

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Agnes Obel

We have been utterly entranced by Agnes Obel’s session on Radio 6 today.

A Danish singer-songwriter possessed of the most affecting and haunting voice, we missed her 2010 debut release Philharmonics completely, and we have only just discovered the follow-up Aventine that was released at the end of September.

It is a record conceived for the angels. Strings and piano are much to the fore, but the music is stripped back to its purest form, gentle and melancholy like ripples from a lake or wisps of smoke curling into the night sky. Combined with nigh-on perfect vocals that range from sultry to weary to elegiac to wistful, the results are both as stirring and as poignant as you could ever wish for.

Listen to two superb examples from the album – The Curse and Fuel To Fire. We defy you not to fall under Agnes Obel’s spell…

Order from her website here.