Posts Tagged ‘Deep Red Sky’

Mrs Mackerel's Top Songs 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. Today it is the turn of Mrs Mackerel.

20. Steve Mason – A 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.

19. The 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?

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 18.  Junip – Line of Fire
Sold to me in wistful and reflective mode; there’s more than a kernal 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.

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17. 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.

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16. 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.

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15. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – 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.

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14. Head & the Heart – Shake
The bass drum kicks this one into action, then a little bit of clapping and 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 with the ink, pens, and prevailing wind and all that shaking.

13.  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.

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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.

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11.  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.

10. 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.

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9.   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)?

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8.   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.

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7.   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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6.   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.

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5.   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.

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4.   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…

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3.  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.

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2.   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.

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1. Phosphorescent – Song for Zula
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.

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Special mentions:

School Anthem 2013

Woody Pines – Hobo and his Bride
What’s a five mile trip to school without a bit of crooning about a hobo? It’s just me and the littlest Sprat in the Minner now and it’s often a power struggle over the play list. Joe, you win: your sing-along to this is top banana.

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Best Covers:

Deep Red Sky – Kids

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Eddie Berman with Laura Marling – Dancing in the Dark

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Jessica Lea Mayfield – I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)

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Best gig:

Phosphorescent, Village Underground, London (15 May 2013)
Fab acoustics and great sound, and, of course, the warm-up for his Muchacho tour. For me, there was no finer album of 2013. Perfect.

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Wooden Wand – Winter in Kentucky
Most. Favourite. Song. Ever.

If I had to explain, you wouldn’t understand.

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Round Up Time Again

Too many good songs, too little time to do them justice. Accept this offering as the best compromise we can muster, but explore these tunes – they are well worth it – even if we are a bit slow getting some of them to your attention!

Kicking us off are indie duo Big Deal and a new single from their much acclaimed album of dark, intoxicating, occasionally grungy delights,  June Gloom. Download Swapping Spit here, which is possibly our favourite track from the album.


[Click through for free download]

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Next up are Such Hounds and the title track from their new I Hate Summer EP, an excellent collection of raucous, ragged Americana with touch-points as diverse as Neil Young, the Misfits and The Replacements.

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Sweden’s Great Hare are offering up a free download of Like Flowers, an engaging excursion into dreamy, indie-pop.

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Lo Fine have been around for 15 years or so, playing their own brand of literate, thoughtful, slowcore tinged Americana and have a new album of the same called Want Is A Great Need due in November. Check out Lie In White from it.

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Beautiful Fools is an indie rock three piece band from Adelaide, influenced by bands like Radiohead, Band Of Horses, and Bon Iver. The sound they create is quite big and moody and featured single Small Town tackles the classic themes of being stuck in a rut and fading dreams.

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Sun Club deal in what they term, “dirty sunshine pop”, and new single Beauty Meat is well worth picking up on a pay-what-you-want offer via their Bandcamp page here.

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12 Dirty Lovers recent EP Eyeball Madness is a collection of feral sounding, outsider’s indie rock and art-punk – think Pavement, Sonic Youth and Devo fighting to the death in a sack.

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We’re rather late to the delights of September Girls who released this excellent slice of post-punk, noise pop for Cassette Store Day earlier in the month. However, the two tracks, Ships and Flesh are just too good not to post, and precede a new single in October and a debut album in January.

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The experimental feel to the ‘neo-Americana’ of Arrison Kirby is prominent on forthcoming new three track release, The Micro Jackson EP. Lead track Action features features Dustin Milotte (Star Mountain, Hypenkrunk) on guitar and the mysterious Brite Flowers on bass.

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Weird Owl are long standing residents of the New York psych-rock scene and have a new five track release Healing out on the 15th October. Try the cosmic karma and ambient trippiness of the title track.

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We’ve featured the punkish, sleazy blues of Burning Condors in the past and have been enjoying their most recent release Polka Dot Girl backed with Judgement – and available digitally or as a limited edition cassette.

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The dark, blistered lullaby that is Colonies by Battle Lines, is an intense soundscape of stark melodies and brittle, fractured guitars.

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Maths and the Moon are an alt-psyche three piece who release their debut album Night Train Daydream today. Mixing drone, shoegaze and good old fashioned space-rock, try the motorik euphoria of Polychrome.

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Miraculous Mule make rock ‘n’ roll infused spirituals, immersed in gothic Americana and this is their excellent single Dangerous Blues, released last week, and taken from forthcoming long player Deep Fried.

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We have surf-infused indie rock from LA based Hills, and a free download of their new track of garage-meets-beach-pop, Would You Love Me.

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It is another case of better late than never with Wake Up Lucid’s new 7″ I Want, which saw a release earlier this month as a part of a split with the Dead Ships. Scuzzy, grimy, garage blues of the very best kind.

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Cloud Person’s Monochrome Places long player is a haunting, sometimes whimsical, blend of folk, rock, gospel and psychedelia. Available from their Bandcamp page, this is a free download of Robber Barons.

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Lastly, for now, we have The Deep Red Sky and their introspective reworking of the MGMT classic Kids. It will be released as a digital single on the 7th October.

Round Up Time Again - Part 2

We’re still rounding up all those new releases, new tunes, good tunes, and more to keep your day as varied and joyous as ours…Ha!

And so we have another ‘cop-out” post prompted by another fearsome backlog, which has once again kickstarted our anxiety over (a) failing to keep up, and (b) failing to give the appropriate time and text that these releases deserve and (c) failing to deliver.

So while we worry about all that, here are some of those tracks for you to enjoy.

First up is the psych-pop trio Gospel Gossip who have just released a new self-titled album, and have made two tracks available for streaming from it. Listen to Except You and Simpler Times.

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Next is The Deep Red Sky whose Frightened Rabbit touchstone is clear from the moment you hear their impassioned Scottish brogue on Zombies (Things Don’t Stay The Same), heartfelt and epic, it comes from new album Plans out this month.

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Ghost Lights play a beautifully sweet, occasionally melancholic, blend of folk with jazzy undertones. Their six track EP is called Saltwater, and A Train Is Coming is our favourite track from it.

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Recently Ezana Edwards of Brooklyn’s Night Manager and Ryan Grubbs of Sacramento’s Ganglians formed a noisy, trash-pop trio, Blood Sister in San Francisco. Here are their two singles Bart Simpson and Why Would You, both available for free download.

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New Mexico indie rockers Sad Baby Wolf have featured on MM more than once, and have now announced the release of their debut album, Electric Sounds, out on the 9th April. Formed by lead singer Marty Crandall after ten years with The Shins, the band is a homecoming project with longtime friends that has steadily been building momentum. Have a listen to the title track and head to their Bandcamp page to order the album.

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British five-piece Treetop Flyers have also announced the release of their debut album, The Mountain Moves, out June 25th on Partisan Records. The album was recorded amidst the picturesque beaches and rolling hills of Malibu, at Zuma Sound, a studio originally built for Rick Rubin. With their quintessential vintage West Coast sound, it’s perhaps fitting that the band laid down their outstanding country soul debut in the canyons of Southern California. This is album opener, the driving Things Will Change.

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After relocating from Brooklyn to San Francisco, Flower Orgy is back with a new three-song 7″. Nate Luce assembled an entirely new cast of characters for this release and they’ve peeled off some of the fuzz giving us a window into Luce’s honestly sincere songwriting. Our Song is available May 14th as a limited run of 150 copies vinyl 7″ and digitally from Fire Talk Records. Pre-order here.

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We love this cover of The Cars Drive by Young Unknowns – it has been around for a good while, but we couldn’t resist a re-post. The b-side to this special digital covers single is a version of the Springsteen classic I’m On Fire. Visit their Bandcamp page for more tunes.

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Bat And Ball are a London five piece and their track We Prefer It In The Dark is a beguiling slice of indie rock that has insistently burrowed its way into our affections and bodes very well for the future.

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With sunny guitars and fuzzy synths, Brooklyn based power pop sextet Teen Girl Scientist Monthly (TGSM) released their debut full-length album Modern Dances last month. You can get it via their Bandcamp page here and they’ve also offered lead track Summer Skin as a free download.

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Oakland female garage pop duo, Upside Drown latest single is the simply titled, but naggingly catchy Go.

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My fear of horses comes from being savaged by a pony when I was small. However, the band Ponies Will Bite You! is thankfully a far more palatable offering, with a style that is folky with pop leanings – think The Lumineers, Nickel Creek, Ed Sheeran and Iron & Wine. They have released a debut EP called Argyle, which you can listen to and download for free on their Bandcamp page. This is the sweetly rolling title track.

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LI-ON GREVIER is a Toronto music collective, an assembly of musicians and artists who have recently released a self-titled debut album (name-your-price offer from Bandcamp here). From it, we have picked the oddly named When All Hope Has Wanned, which is simply a fabulous track of psych-folk.

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Drawing on influences as diverse as The Kills, Animal Collective, Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, and The Beach Boys, East London-based three-piece Les Mistons have announced that they will be releasing their new single Overcoming Fear on Monday 13th May.

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And finally, LA indie outfit Torches have announced the release of their new four track EP If The People Stare to be released on May 6th via Bandcamp and Soundcloud. The band has also offered up a free download of their new single When You Gonna.