Posts Tagged ‘Conor Oberst’

Into the top half of our favourite songs of the year. Here are tracks 50 through to 26.

50 Murder By Death – True Dark

 

Murder By Death have built a career on gothic country rockers and sun-baked desert folk, yet even after all these years they still manage to surprise and True Dark is them at their twangiest best.

 

49 Fontaines DC – Too real

 

The second entry for Fontaines DC. The band’s latest single, Too Real is another storming track of undeniable power and swagger that just begs to be played loud, and on repeat.

 

48 Frog – American

 

Stripped back, insistently sparse folk and a lyrical gem, “Yes by God I’m American, God is great he’s hilarious, What the fuck y’all staring at? Tall, dark, bald and arrogant”

 

47 Shame – Gold Hole

 

We know this isn’t strictly a new song this year but we’re claiming editorial immunity and sneaking it in anyway as it does feature on London punks Shame’s debut long player that came out at the beginning of 2018. Gold Hole is an uncomfortably close-to-the-bone story of a lecherous older man buying the affections of a young girl – it is seedy and sordid and brilliantly observed. “Sweat stains the wrinkles/Tongue touches the hole, She feels so dirty, she knows that it’s wrong, But she feels so good in Louis Vuitton.

 

46 Conor Oberst – No One Changes

 

Is there anyone else who can make melancholia sound so stunningly gorgeous? No One Changes is an introspective, sombre beauty, as elegant as it it fragile.

 

45 Oldermost – The Danger Of Belief

 

Creating era-blending Americana-infused rock & roll with a more indie rock vibe, rollicking, anthemic  single The Danger of Belief was made for a long straight highway with the windows down and the volume up.

 

44 Kurt Vile – One Trick Ponies

 

A highlight from his most recent album, One trick Ponies has all the trademark Kurt Vile ingredients: woozy guitar lines, mumbled stream-of-consciousness lyrics, sly humour and a touch of the surreal. But this is a generous, big-hearted song and the hazy sheen he coats it in just adds the prefect amount of gentle bonhomie.

 

43 Cass McCombs – Sleeping Volcanoes

 

Almost without noticing Cass McCombs has become one of our most influential and important songwriters. Sleeping Volcanoes, the thematic centrepiece of his upcoming album, is a delight of pensive, dreamlike rock, albeit anchored by a rumbling groove and his world-weary vocals.

 

42 Wing Defence – Stuck

 

Aside from the netball connotations, Aussie duo Wing Defence delivered a sublime single of indie pop with Stuck, the infectious melody is of major earworm quality, and shot through with a core of wonderfully bitter lyrics.

 

41 Sunflowers – Castle Spell

 

The pulverising riffing and chanted lyrics of Castle Spell combine into a freakbeat spectacular of psyched-out space rock – like Silver Machine on speed.

 

40 Mary Gauthier – The War After The War

 

Rifles & Rosary Beads was an album that was four years in the making, it is a collaborative record in the sense that the eleven songs were co-written with wounded veterans in the SongwritingWith: Soldiers retreats. Taken from the album, the heartbreakingly poignant and evocative The War After The War, with its gorgeous violin backdrop and insistent guitar had one of our favourite opening verses of any song we heard this year.

Who’s going to care for the ones
who care for the ones who went to war?
There’s landmines in the living room
and eggshells on the floor

 

39 Death Valley Girls – Disaster (Is What We’re After)

 

Awash with a swirling riff and Thor-like percussion, Disaster (Is What We’re After) is a churning, boiling psych-punk rocker that rides its undeniable, repetitive groove like a drunken cowboy at a rodeo.

 

38 DBUK – In San Francisco Bay

 

DBUK, a side project of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club will return early in the new year with their second album. The first single In San Francisco Bay is a southern gothic four-de-force. Hypnotic, mesmerising and menacing – think of it as the musical equivalent of a naked preacher sat in a box full of venomous snakes.

 

37 Cabbage – Arms Of Pleonexia

 

Blending social comment with mordant black humour and a keen eye for detail, Arms Of Pleonexia was a savagely frenetic addition to Cabbage’s rapidly growing collection of brilliantly observed post-punk anthems

 

36 American Wrestlers – Ignoramus

 

Described by American Wrestlers (aka songwriter Gary McClure) as “a weird little country song with hokey lo-fi strings that bent into black memories“, Ignoramus is all that and more – in fact we’d go as far as to say it is a snidely understated masterpiece.

 

35 Stick In The Wheel – Over Again

 

Over Again is classic British folk story-telling. Hurtling along on the back of an irresistible melody, it begs to be sung along to (and there’s even room for some handclaps).

 

34 Laura Gibson – Tenderness

 

Laura Gibson’s album Goners explored themes of grief and loss and a standout was the haunting and beautiful Tenderness. An intimate and somewhat pensive fable that reflects, almost dreamlike, on how we project pain and lash out, holding on to each other’s trauma and sorrow. “Certain men can smell a wound a room away, you are melancholy well, beauty only made you lonelier

 

33 FEWS – Paradiso

 

Paradiso from brilliant Anglo/US/Swedish noiseniks FEWS was yet another example of their slashing, incandescent guitars and ferocious, pummelling percussion.

 

32 Yves Tumor – Lifetime

 

We’re allowing Polly Pocket this one… a multi-faceted tune of bright, crisp synths, ethereal backing vocals and relentless, unforgiving drums that call to mind Disintegration era Cure.

 

31 Lost Brothers – Come Tomorrow

 

A gently insistent folk song complete with the duo’s trademark tender harmonies and sense of bruised heartache. It is an absolute gem of a tune.

 

30 She Makes War – Undone

 

She Makes War (aka Bristol based artist and multi-instrumentalist Laura Kidd) wrote Undone in a daze the day after her grandmother Constance died last May. The song’s monster guitars deliver palpable rage at the bad things that happen to good people, acting as an openhearted rallying cry against the British stiff upper lip brigade. “We need to give ourselves a break”, she says. “Giving ourselves time to feel devastated doesn’t make us weak.

 

29 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Bellarine

 

A brilliant debut album and a brilliant rolling track of jangling guitars and driving motorik percussion.

 

28 Interpol – The Rover

 

The Rover opens with ringing guitars and percussion taken directly from Krautrock’s halcyon heyday. It is a relentless, menacing rush of pure rock’n’roll.

 

27 Gretchen Peters – Wichita

 

Where would we be without a good murder ballad? This is classic country story-telling given a contemporary twist as Gretchen Peters brilliantly sketches a tale of a woman driven to desperate measures to protect her little sister from a predatory male.

 

26 Parquet Courts – Tenderness

 

Ever since the brilliant Stoned and Starving, Parquet Courts have shown an uncanny ability to create some of the catchiest, toe-tappers around, whilst still managing to diversify their sound into new genres and styles. Tenderness is up there with the best of them – surprisingly slinky, jaunty and knowingly insecure, “Like a junkie going cold, I need the fix of a little tenderness“. We can all relate to that.

 

Check out tracks 100-76 here, and 75-51 here.

  1. Conor Oberst – No One Changes
  2. Deer Tick – White City  (Pogues cover)
  3. Deer Tick – Strange, Awful Feeling
  4. Sufjan Stevens – Lonely Man Of Winter
  5. The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Gun To The Head
  6. Drenge – Bonfire Of The City Boys
  7. Cherry Glazerr – Daddi
  8. J Mascis – Elastic Days
  9. Iceage – Balm Of Gilead
  10. Nancy – I’m Not Getting Sober, I’m Just Getting Older (Helluva Guy)
  11. Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Painter of Tygers
  12. Lydia Loveless – Do What You Have To Do  (Sarah McLachlan cover)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

best of the weekHere we are again, but with lighter nights, spring flowers beginning to bloom and eight songs from the past week rounded up for your listening pleasure.

From a new benefit single for the Southern Poverty Law Center, we have wonderfully spectral folk from Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and some equally wonderful psych-folk from a re-issue of a long-lost 70s classic by Philip Lewin. There is a excellent video for Conor Oberst’s muzzy new drinking song and some rousing, full-on punk rock from Whips. We also have Speedy Ortiz’s contribution to the Our First 100 Days project, a blast of classic power-pop from veteran indie royalty Robyn Hitchcock, and classic indie rock from The New Pornographers. Rounding us off is a chugging new Bleached track with some enjoyably hefty power chords.

All yours.

  1. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Treasure Map
  2. Conor Oberst – Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out
  3. The New Pornographers – This Is The World Of The Theater
  4. Whips – Goldmine
  5. Philip Lewin – Watercolours
  6. Speedy Ortiz – In My Way
  7. Robyn Hitchcock – Mad Shelley’s Letterbox
  8. Bleached – Flipside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

best of the weekWe’ve already had a pretty good week of new releases (Ty SegallTimber Timbre, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Surfer Blood, Adam Torres, Cloud Nothings,Ha Ha Tonka and Hurray for the Riff Raff amongst others, but to kick off the weekend we’ve gathered up a few (ten!) more tunes that have been shared over the past seven days.

So, check out new offerings from Angel Olsen who kicks off the anti-Trump Our First 100 Days campaign with all profits raised going directly to organisations working on the front lines of climate, women’s rights, immigration and fairness. On a similar theme we have case/lang/veirs’ live cover of Patti Smith’s classic People Have The Power and new singles from Seattle’s indie-rock trio Dude York, Swedish indie band Hater, punk rockers Grim Streakers and Damaged Bug’s mind-melting psych-rock. Also new songs from forthcoming albums from Conor Oberst, Strand of Oaks, Ryan Adams and Menace Beach.

I know, we spoil you. Dive in.

  1. Angel Olsen – Fly On Your Wall
  2. Damaged Bug – Bog Dash
  3. Ryan Adams – Doomsday
  4. Hater – Had It All
  5. case/lang/veirs – People Have The Power  (Patti Smith cover)
  6. Menace Beach – Maybe We’ll Drown
  7. Conor Oberst – Napalm
  8. Grim Streaker – Guts
  9. Strand Of Oaks – Rest Of It
  10. Dude York – Tonight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mms-best-of-2016-header

Here are our favourite albums of 2016. We have to go against the flow a bit and say up front there is no place for David Bowie. Great though he was, and tragic that he died two days after the release of a good album, for us that was what it was, a good album, but not a great one. And besides he is topping damn near every other list.

30 Adam Torres – Pearls To Swine

adam-torres

 

29 BRONCHO – Double Vanity

broncho

 

28 Communist Daughter – The Cracks That Built The Wall

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27 Cold Pumas – The Hanging Valley

cold-pumas

 

26 Hooded Fang – Venus On Edge

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25 Jamie T – Trick

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24 The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

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23 Goat – Requiem

goat

 

22 Kevin Morby – Singing Saw

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21 The Cave Singers – Banshee

cave-singers

 

20 Conor Oberst – Ruminations

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19 Black Mountain – IV

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18 Pixies – Head Carrier

pixies

 

17 Big Thief – Masterpiece

big-thief

 

16 Wilco – Shmilco

wilco

 

15 Velcro Hooks – Velcro Hooks

velcro-hooks-cover

 

14 Terry Malts – Lost At The Party

terry-malts-cover

 

13 Terry – Terry HQ

terry-hq-cover

 

12 PJ Harvey – Hope Six Demolition Project

pj-harvey

 

11 Mind Spiders – Prosthesis

mind-spiders

 

10 Angel Olsen – My Woman

angel-olsen

 

9 Lucy Dacus – No Burden

lucy-dacus

 

8 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity

king-gizard

 

7 Cass McCombs – Mangy Love

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6 Damien Jurado – Vision Of Us On The Land

damien-jurado

5 Dr. Dog – Psychedelic Swamp

 

4 The Felice Brothers – Life In The Dark

felice-brothers

 

3 Great American Canyon Band – Only You Remain

great-american-canyon-band

 

2 Parquet Courts – Human Performance

parquet-courts

 

1 Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial

car-seat-headrest

 

Check out our favourite 100 tracks of the year here (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1) and look out tomorrow for the start of our individual lists…

mms-best-of-2016-header

Part 2 of our rundown of our favourite tracks of the year. Today we have tracks 75 through to 51.

 

75 The Julie Ruin – Mr. So And So

 

74 Beach – Donuts

 

73 exmagician – Job Done

 

72 W.H. Lung – Inspiration

 

71 Wilco – If I Ever Was A Child

 

70 Dune Rats – Bullshit

 

69 Meatbodies – Valley Girl

 

68 Conor Oberst – Gossamer Thin

 

67 Big Thief – Masterpiece

 

66 Elizabeth Cook – Tabitha Tuders’ Mama

 

65 Goat – Union Of Mind And Soul

 

64 Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me

 

63 Lucy Dacus – Strange Torpedo

 

62 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – People Vultures

 

61 Golden Suits – Is It Wrong

 

60 Cass McCombs – In A Chinese Alley

 

59 Wooden Indian Burial Ground – Spazz Pony

 

58 Kevin Morby – Dorothy

 

57 Las Kellies – Celebrate Life

 

56 Cold Pumas – Severed Estates

 

55 BRONCHO – Fantasy Boys

 

54 Parquet Courts – Berlin Got Blurry

 

53 The Felice Brothers – Triumph ’73

 

52 Gooch Palms – Ask Me Why

 

51  M. Ward – Girl From Conejo Valley

 

Check out tracks 100-76 here.

best of the weekThis is our final regular round-up of new releases from the past week. Seven days, eight songs.

To finish 2016 we have the pleasure of sharing the return of the Jesus & Mary Chain and the announcement of their first new album for 18 years. The single is actually pretty damn good too.

We also have new tracks from Moon Duo, Six Organs Of Admittance, Little Scream, Yucky Duster and Sarah Bethe Nelson, a new lament from Conor Oberst taken from his time recording most recent album Ruminations, and a new collaboration of Sam York, Carson Cox & Austin Brown (respectively of WALL, Merchandise and Parquet Courts).

Enjoy.

  1. Moon Duo – Creepin’
  2. Conor Oberst – Afterthought
  3. Sam York, Carson Cox & Austin Brown – Rene
  4. Yucky Duster – Elementary School Dropout
  5. Little Scream – People
  6. Six Organs Of Admittance – Taken By Ascent
  7. Sarah Bethe Nelson – Hazy
  8. Jesus & Mary Chain – Amputation