Posts Tagged ‘Best of 2013’

And to complete our Best of Year postings, we have our favourite ten albums from 2013. Every single one is superb…

10 Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

New Song From The Black Angels

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9 Wooden Wand – Blood Oaths Of The New Blues

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8 Vandaveer – Oh, Willie, Please

More From Vandaveer

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7 Jus Post Bellum – Oh, July

Another Track From Jus Post Bellum

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6 Wooden Shjips – Back To Land

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5 T. Hardy Morris – The Audition Tapes

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4 Water Liars – Wyoming

New Track, New Album From Water Liars

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3 Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

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2 Jesse Woods – Get Your Burdens Lifted

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1 Phosphorescent – Muchacho

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Check out numbers 50 – 31 here, and 30 – 11 here.

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Here is the second instalment of our favourite albums of 2013, counting down from 30 to 11.

30 Nick Cave – Push The Sky Away

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29 Caitlin Rose – The Stand-In

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28 Coke Weed – Back To Soft

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27 Georgia’s Horse – Weather Codes

Georgia's Horse Release Weather Codes

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26 Alela Diane – About Farewell

MM Shorts 333: Alela Diane's New Album

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25 Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

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24 Quiet American – Wild Bill Jones

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23 The National – Trouble Will Find Me

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22 Torres – Torres

MM Shorts 289: Torres

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21 Bill Callahan – Dream River

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20 Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt

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19 Wooden Wand & The World War IV – Wooden Wand & The World War IV

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18 Various Artists – Divided & United The Songs Of The Civil War

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17 Blitzen Trapper – VII

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16 Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

New Album From Laura Marling

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15 Mark Mulcahy – Dear Mark J Mulcahy, I Love You

More From Mark Mulcahy

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14 Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

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13 Cass McCombs – Big Wheel And Others

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12 Low – The Invisible Way

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11 Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

New Album From Terry Malts

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See numbers 50 – 31 here.

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

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46 Holograms – Forever

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45 Colleen Green – Sock It To Me

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44 Blank Realm – Go Easy

Blank Realm Go Easy

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43 Night Beds – Country Sleep

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42 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

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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

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37 Public Service Broadcasting – Inform – Educate – Entertain

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36 Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum

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35 Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

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34 John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

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33 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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Best Of 2013: Dr Roddy's Choices

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. Today we kick off with Dr Roddy…

MM has, again filled my musical cup until it brimeth over, making it another year of anguish and sleepless nights over whether X should be higher in my Top Ten then Y. I know that may not seem like a massive problem in the grand scheme of things but for me it is, trust bruv. So after much wrangling here are my decisions.

10 Hanni El Khatib – Nobody Move
On 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 – it hits you flat out, ballsy, raw and aggressive in it’s lunge for your ears. Cracking bit of up tempo rock with a good nod at 70s punk.

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9 Wild Child – Crazy Bird
Never whistle in songs goes the old adage, well tell that to Otis Redding and these guys, fuckos! This tune has a such a feelgood factor to it, it positively bristles with fun and bounce. The melancholy sound of the fiddle in the background gives it some real gravitas, so you can feel serious when you are whistling along to it. You know you will!

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8 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.

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7 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
You were a Nazi hunter, I was a cockney punter” sings Mathias Kom. After hearing that opening line I thought, “Hello, that’s different,that’s got my attention“. A wonderful sing along track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in the list.

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6 King Krule – Easy, Easy
My friend bought me the King Krule album for my birthday this year. It was an inspired choice and it 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, which is emphasised by the production on the lonely guitar that accompanies King Krule’s lament.

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5 Water Liars – Linens
I don’t think I have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of this song, so I’m not going to try. If you know this song then you will know that at some point everyone has or does share this song’s wants, needs and ideology. If you don’t know the song, catch yourself some quiet time, a good whisky and indulge…..

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4 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster
With a opening sound filthier than a night out with Jimmy Savile, 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?

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3 Cave Singers – Have To Pretend
What a groove this song has – it chugs away happily down the line, the drums are pounded relentlessly, their only company a bass line that seems to have the demeanour of a drunken Sunday afternoon. Pete Quirk’s voice is a wonderful accompaniment and his lackadaisical delivery of lyric, it’s as if it would kill him to pronounce any word properly. This just adds to the songs swagger.

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2 John Grant – GMF
This song was a real grower upon first hearing it I thought “Oh that’s alright” then I carried on about my business. Then one day I properly listened. Any song that has the line “Half of the time I think I’m in some movie / I play the underdog of course / I wonder who they’ll get to play me, maybe / they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse” is a winner in my book. This song really is a lyric driven tune, the melody underneath is a vehicle for some wonderfully arrogant word play but what would you expect from a song entitled GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker).

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1 Low – Plastic Cup
From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and vast yet warm soundscape. I love the song’s theme of having to piss into a plastic cup then it being dug up in a thousand years and heralded as the cup the king drank from every night. It is the kind of faux pas that wouldn’t look out of place in a Python sketch. A truly wonderous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in.

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Best song I have heard this year, not from this year.

Future of the Left – Small Bones, Small Bodies
Don’t have a Scooby what this song is about, just know that I adore it. It has more front than Brighton and just rocks my world everytime I hear it. If it was this year it would defo have been my number one. I’m a bit late to the Future of the Left party, but now I’m here lets turn the music up and ‘ave it.

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Favourite cover song of the year

Quiet American – Gallows Pole
I am a massive Led head, Zeppelin are idolised because of this ridiculous pedestal that I have them on. I believe that you should never try to cover any of their tunes (the same goes for Aretha Franklin). This song however is the exception that proves the rule. A great re-work of the track without damaging it.

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Best gig of 2013

Hudson Taylor – East Oxford community church (Gathering Festival)
I have seen some great bands this year and my God I have seen some dross too. This year my girlfriend and I attended Gathering festival, which is on our doorstep in Oxford. We were lucky enough to catch Hudson Taylor. Four guys stepped on to the stage with no ego or pretence – they just exuded fun and merriment. Soon this had spread like wildfire through the crowd. Pretty soon the measly 40/50 people who had come to see these guys where whipped up into a fervour and carried away with the band’s thunderous performance, as if we were packed into a pub in their native Ireland. They supported Kodaline on their UK tour and sold out every show they played with them. If you want to see a awesome live band, see these guys.

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Guilty pleasure

Chloe Howl – Rumour
I am far too old to like this kind of power pop but Rumour is just such a well crafted piece of music and deftness of lyric. Chloe Howl was another revelation from Gathering. If you have teenage kids take them to see this girl, then sneak out the next day and buy her album for yourself.

MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 25 - 1

So this is it, the final countdown of our favourite tracks of 2013…

As voted for by MM luminaries: the luminous Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), the newly teenaged Middle Sprat (MS), Marston’s Mr Big, Chris T Popper (CP), the criminally insane Dr. Roddy (Dr R), and patricide obsessive Polly Pocket (PP). A motley crew it is true, but all united by their love of a damn good tune.

So, here then are their final selections from 25 down to top spot.

25 Big Sun – Pants
Quirky, frothy and sardonic. Sung with tongues so far in cheeks it should have sounded funny. Instead we got idiosyncratic indie-pop genius.

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24 James Yorkston – Just As Scared
Every couple of years I seem to find the perfect smoky bar song. Here’s just such a tune: a cheek-to-cheek intimate duet that shuffles around the piano with a bluesy feel that gets my foot a-tapping. Now where’s your shoulder, let me very gently lay my head…(Mrs M)

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23 Martha’s Vineyard Ferries – Blonde On Blood
Like the best ever Fall single played at 78rpm. This is, of course, a very good thing indeed. (MM)

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22 I See Hawks In L.A. – One Drop Of Human Blood
Hypnotic, trippy, country rock par excellence.

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21 Augustines – Cruel City
Of course Augustines feature in my Top Ten again – how could they not? Their voices are my favourite of all. The music fits with the lyrics and their voices, and the whole of it captures the mood of the song perfectly! I can’t wait for to hear more songs by them! (MS)

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20 Cave Singers – Have To Pretend
What a groove this song has – it chugs away happily. Down the line the drums are pounded relentlessly, their only company is a bass line that seems to have the demeanour of a drunken Sunday afternoon. Pete Quirk’s voice is a wonderful accompaniment and his lackadaisical delivery of lyric, it’s as if it would kill him to pronounce any word properly. This just adds to the song’s swagger. (Dr R)

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19 Southerly – Desolation Low
Now I mean this in a good way, but I just love the damn ‘seriousness’ of this song. Serious without being shit that is. And for that Southerly must be congratulated and lauded. Instead we have a climatic build up and an epic finale that gave it a deserved top 3 status in my songs of the year. It just picks me up and carries me away no matter how many times I hear it. (CP)

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18 Cash Savage & The Last Drinks – Hypnotizer
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. (PP)

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17 Georgia’s Horse – Thistlebomb
Tales from the battlefield: an unusual, almost discordant arrangement with sublime vocals. If I was looking for an influence, maybe a hint of Kate Bush? Quite unique and utterly brilliant. (Mrs M)

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16 Nick Cave – 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. (PP)

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15 Phosphorescent – Ride On/Right On
While I might be at odds with my shoalmates, this track from Phosphorescent’s peerless Muchacho album was my tune of the year. A little bit of funky rhythm and a whole lot of country grit combined to make the most compelling and enduring song of 2013. (MM)

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14 Houndmouth – Casino
This song is my favourite of the year, only just though. It always has me awkwardly singing and bopping when I can! With the country twang in their voices and the electric guitar in the background, I can’t help but love this song. (MS)

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13 Wooden Wand – Southern Colorado Song
I could rename this Southern Devon song: late July, lying on the beach with the waves rushing into my ears.  Can you hear the cymbal tremor throughout this song? Nowhere seems the only place to go; aye, Captain. (Mrs M)

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12 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
There’s menace and a brooding darkness in this devil’s resting place as LM returns to the pared back sound of Alas I Cannot Swim.  But there are many layers to this music and her latest album has an intensity and intelligence that means she’s still my number one gal. (Mrs M)

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. (PP)

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11 Junip – Line Of Fire
Sold to me in wistful and reflective mode; there’s more than a kernel of truth in these insightful lyrics: You realise it’s just a whim/And you notice it matters/Who and what you let under your skin. (Mrs M)

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. (PP)

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10 John Grant – GMF
This song was a real grower upon first hearing it I thought “Oh that’s alright”, then I carried on about my business. Then one day I properly listened. Any song that has the line “Half of the time I think I’m in some movie / I play the underdog of course / I wonder who they’ll get to play me, maybe / they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse” is a winner in my book. This song really is a lyric driven tune – the melody underneath is a vehicle for some wonderfully arrogant word play but what would you expect from a song entitled GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker). (Dr R)

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9 Wild Child – Crazy Bird
Never whistle in songs goes the old adage, well tell that to Otis Redding and these guys, fuckos! This tune has a such a feelgood factor to it, it positively bristles with fun and bounce. The melancholy sound of the fiddle in the background gives it some real gravitas, so you can feel serious when you are whistling along to it. You know you will! (Dr R)

I love this song. The catchy, tuneful whistling and always get stuck in my head and the harmony in their voices when they sing together are my favourite factors of this song. This means that this song is placed at number two in my top ten. (MS)

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8 Jesse Woods – Cold Blood
This one’s a bit of a swayer and despite the title, Cold Blood is lyrically beautiful and uplifting. You can drift into the rise and fall of the music and the harmonies – and, like the man says, we’ve got places to be and nothing to prove. (Mrs M)

As traditional as the aching sadness of yet another year wasted Christmas always brings, there will undoubtedly be a latecomer to my top 10. Step forward Jesse Woods. I was listening to this song in the car when I first got the CD and when I finally heard to it on a ‘proper’ music system it blew me away. Woods has great timing to his delivery and an even better voice. It’s bloody magnificent. (CP)

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7 Water Liars – Linens
Pull up a chair, I wanna tell you a story about tormented man. To be honest, he’s too much trouble for me (cook your own bacon, change your own sheets boyo), but I like a good yarn and a telling verse: The mind is a place unto itself/ And in it makes a heaven of hell/And a hell of heaven. Quite. (Mrs M)

I don’t think I have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of this song, so I’m not going to try. If you know this song then you will know that at some point everyone has, or does, share this song’s wants, needs and ideology. If you don’t know the song, catch yourself some quiet time, a good whisky and indulge….. (Dr R)

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6 Terry Malts – I Was Not There
As my previous top 10’s bear out I do like a proper modern punk song. Terry Malts can do that. Heavy drums and a real hurry-up guitar combine to great effect. It’s an enjoyably unforgiving song.  And ‘I was not there’ are four words that have constantly come in useful throughout my own life. (CP)

To do simple, balls-to-the-floor, screw-you punk rock this brilliantly well takes real talent. Terry Malts have it. (MM)

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5 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
An instant hit. From the very start Grown Ups is a treat, with the most arresting opening lyric I’ve heard for some time. Guitar meanders along as the tale unfolds about nostalgia and the joy of hanging around graveyards being ‘little goth idiots’. I had a goth stage in my teens – trench coat, skinny black jeans, miserable outlook and an utterly appalling haircut. The quintessential goth you might say and a really great effort from me. (CP)

You were a Nazi hunter / I was a cockney punter” sings Mathias Kom. After hearing that opening line I thought, “Hello, that’s different, that’s got my attention”. A wonderful singalong track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in my list. (Dr R)

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4 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral
Sad, sad songs eh? Love ‘em myself and T. Hardy Morris delivers a tour de force with OK Corral. You can’t help it as you’re dragged in to the drowsy chorus and it’s tangible sense of sorrow. It’s also another song from this year with a great opening line, “Swear me in / I’m pretty good at making promises“…(CP)

The sound of a ghost town set to song. (MM)

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3 Foxygen – No Destruction
It’s the lazy, laconic drawl and the finger-clicking rhythm – just one hand if you’re me, as the other doesn’t seem to work – and the way you can sing along to ‘No destruct-shaan’ quite happily, even in modest company. (Mrs M)

This was pretty much nailed on. With the opening line of “I’m sending you this photograph / Of me in my new car“, I had already signed up on the Foxygen dotted line and was awaiting further instruction. A subversive laid back and slightly peculiar song. Kept me thinking all year, as I never knew where I really had it. (CP)

We may have lost Lou Reed this year, but his spirit lives on in No Destruction, a natural pretender to his throne, and this song has the best use of “weaseled” in any song we’ve heard. (MM)

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2 Low – Plastic Cup
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like this song after the very first listen. I think Low may have cracked it. There’s a dreamy kind of stillness to it and a perfect example of the genius of simplicity. It never tries too hard because it doesn’t need to. (CP)

One of those few songs that feels like it could have been written any time in the past 40 years. Timeless is over-used, but this really is that good. (MM)

From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant, accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and a vast yet warm soundscape. I love the song’s theme of having to piss into a plastic cup then it being dug up In a thousand years and heralded as the cup the king drank from every night. It is the kind of faux pas that wouldn’t look out of place in a Python sketch. A truly wondrous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in. (Dr R)

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1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA
Matthew Houck
Matthew Houck’s ragged voice was not always to my taste. But time has altered us both and it’s his strong 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. (Mrs M) 

In a recent interview Matthew Houck talked about Song For Zula and how he felt he had achieved something with the song that he thought was beyond his ability. An almost unconscious level of quality he hadn’t perceived was there. I know exactly what he means… apart from never having achieved anything to my ability or beyond it. But I can imagine, so I won’t let it hold me back. Just the best song I’ve heard in ages. (CP)

What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic. (PP)

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Check out the rest of our top 100 here: 100 – 76, 75 – 51, 50 – 26.

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.

MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 75 - 51

The countdown of our one hundred favourite tracks of 2013 continues…today we reach halfway as we bring you 75 down to 51.

75 GRMLN – Summer Days
Thrashy, catchy, singalong rock’n’roll with platform shoes and ridiculous flares.

Download GRMLN – Summer Days mp3

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74 Sisters – Clearhead
Here are my shoes. See how I gaze at them. It says 2013 on the label, but I’ve gone back to the early 90s. Lovely. (Mrs M)

 

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73 Courtney Barnett – History Eraser
Deadpan, conversational, charming, funny, literal and literate – a drunken night’s tale told with an upbeat lo-fi jangle and amiable vocal delivery.

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72 Pickwick – Lady Luck
Gorgeous cover of the Richard Swift tune, and featuring Sharon Van Etten.


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71 Holograms – A Blaze On The Hillside
Most thrilling riff of the year?

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70 Willie Nile – American Ride
The best roadtrip song we’ve heard in many a moon, impassioned and infectious.

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69 Cerny Brothers – Whiskey
Moonshine Americana straight from the back porch.

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68 Mickey Gloss – Are You Happy
Wry social commentary meets punk DIY and garage psychedelia in a distillation of antipodean sun and London melancholia.

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67 Nick Cave – Wide Lovely Eyes
Oh clever, clever Nicholas Cave and his voice so hypnotic, deep and dark. You could imagine this as part of a recruitment drive to join a cult (yes you, with your wide lovely eyes). With a teasing yet subdued musical arrangement, this is the gospel according to St Nick. (Mrs M)

 

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66 Barbarossa – The Load
A sparse and delicate ballad, undercut by a distorted organ refrain, and constructed around remarkable and tender vocals.

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65 The Orwells – Who Needs Who
Roaring drums and aggressive, snapping vocals gave us the most thrilling garage punk single of the year.

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64 Fuzz – Sleigh Ride
Heaviest riff of the year?

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63 Cass McCombs – Big Wheel
Hypnotic, rumbling, country-dirt travelogue.

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62 Arcade Fire – Reflektor
We are right in the mix here: a bit of dance therapy needed. Remember the hypnotic triangle of cooker/fridge/sink? Throw some shapes, make a curry, go knock yourself out; I didn’t want to dance, but they made me. (Mrs M)

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61 Chelsea Light Moving – Lip
Hardcore anthem of the year.

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60 The Cave Singers – Canopy
Sun-drenched, mellow indie folk opener from their Naomi album.

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59 Coma Cinema – Virgin Veins
Spare and haunting. Talking of quiet suffering, loneliness, ugliness and confusion, “The heart is a monument / to a childhood of abuse.

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58 Dune Rats – Stoner Pop
In a parallel world somewhere, this was the smash hit of the summer.

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57 Wooden Wand & The World War IV – I Hate The Nightlife
On Wooden Wand’s wrist is a tattoo: WWNYD – What Would Neil Young Do? Our guess? Buy this record. Epic, taut, tense, and full of the fiery guitar so beloved of NY.

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56 The Head & The Heart – Shake
The bass drum kicks this one into action, a little bit of clapping and then, hello, the rest of the band follows. There’s a sweet change of tempo for the chorus: ‘And the memories we made will never be lost, no.’ Maybe not, but watch out for that prevailing wind. (Mrs M)

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55 Half Moon Run – Full Circle
A captivating blend of exquisite guitar lines and delicate folk melodies.

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54 Quiet American – Wild Bill Jones
Old time folk for modern times, Quiet American bring new light to the many faceted tale of all-American bad boy Wild Bill Jones.

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53 Gaz Coombes Presents – One Of These Days
Heartfelt, beautiful melancholia set to a piano and strings and a pulsing bass line.

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52 Blitzen Trapper – Feel The Chill
That old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink and never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery.” That’s where Feel the Chill takes place.

 

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51 Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Gammy Leg
I underestimated this offering from Australia’s finest when I first listened to it. Essentially a tale of the immense bad luck befalling the protagonist and his ‘gammy leg’ it’s easy to dismiss. That would be a mistake. The wonderful deadpan, matter of fact delivery is laced with some brilliant throwaway lines and the black humour never wavers for a second. (CP)

MM's Top Tracks of 2013: 100 - 76

It is that time of year again. The votes have been polled from our MM contributors, the results collated and without further ado, here are Mad Mackerel’s favourite hundred tracks of 2013.

Today, we’re counting down the first twenty five, from 100-76.

100 Woody Pines – Hobo And His Bride
Classic, ramblin’ country blues, where songs are filled with characters fighting to climb up or sliding their way back down – wandering broken hearts, swaggering pimps, crusty hobos – and all inhabiting rundown roadhouses, juke joints and the dusty backroads. Have a listen to the epic tale of young love, The Hobo And His Bride.

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99 The Dodos – Confidence
Warm and wiry indie rock.

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98 Blessed Feathers – Real Song For Emily
Fiercer harmonies and a tenser, more urgent feel than this duo usually give us. Despite being only two and a half minutes long, the song’s plaintive coda has a bitter air of finality.

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97 Bill Callahan – The Sing
Well the only words I said today are “beer” and “thank you” / Beer, thank you / Beer, thank you / Beer

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96 Best Coast – Fear Of My Own Identity
The best fuzzed up pop single of the year.

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95 Eula – I Collapse
Seething, fractured, post-punk blues.

Download Eula – I Collapse mp3

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94 Torres – Honey
A single distorted guitar strum, unsupressed tension, and a raw, slow-burning payoff.

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93 Mark Mulcahy – Let The Fireflies Fly Away
Penguins, a hitch-hiking chicken, a donkey in a Chevrolet and a monkey family feud.

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92 Coke Weed – Sunseekers
A woozy, narcoleptic trip through the realms of psychedelia, indie rock and hazy Americana.

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91 Water Liars – Sucker
The first of three entries from Water Liars. Sucker is the buzzing opener to one of our albums of the year.

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90 The Oblivians – Run For Cover
Garage punks first album for 16 years didn’t disappoint. Run For Cover was a high octane highlight.

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89 Grass House – Spinning As We Turn
Cascading guitars and a hypnotic rhythm section that channels the spirits of Joe Meek and the Velvets.

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88 Ooga Boogas – Sex In The Chillzone
Featuring members of long time faves Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Sex In The Chillzone is an eight minute psych-rock lockdown into the year’s grooviest bass line that sounds like a blend of the Velvet Underground and Parliament.

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87 Of Montreal – Imbecile Rages
Your folks, they are such lovely people / I can’’t understand where you came from“, one of the best opening couplets of this or any other year.

 

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86 The Acquaintances – Paramounts
Tremolo’ed and reverby guitars and echoed out vocals wash over a top-notch rhythm section creating spaced-out garage-influenced rock with a melodic sensibility.

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85 Dim Peaks – Reason
Laid back, folk infused Americana.

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84 Colleen Green – Heavy Shit
Totally infectious, stoned punk.

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83 Shadows At Play – Into The Sun
Upbeat, ethereal folk song that alludes to the Greek mythology story of Icarus, exploring the notion that a man is free once he is defeated.

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82 Harmed Brothers – Love Song For The Assumed
Mixing folk and bluegrass with a wistful twist of poignant melancholy, Love Song For The Assumed was as sweet and as simple a song of heartbreak and longed for resolution as we heard in the whole year.

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81 Villagers – Nothing Arrived
I’m loving the piano this year and there’s a good bit of gutsy playing here. What were we hoping to get out of this boys? Nothing actually. People are so bloody disappointing aren’t they? (Mrs M)

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80 Phox – Noble Heart

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79 Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Tribal drumming, 60s Hammer-Horror organ, and reverb.

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78 The Coathangers – Adderall
A propulsive, jittery, slice of post-punk agitation, borne in on the back of tribal drums and a perfect match for a commonly abused drug used to stimulate the central nervous system!

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77 Steve Mason – Lot Of Love
Love the piano on this song and the catchy, sing-a-long chorus – a guaranteed earworm if I had any (ears that is… being a fish, of course.) Steve Mason’s gentle vocals reflect on love lost and the hope of finding it again. (Mrs M)

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76 Jules Larson & AG – Bend Into The Break

Check back tomorrow for tracks 51-75.