Posts Tagged ‘Du Blonde’

We’ve followed the chameleon like career of Beth Jeans Houghton with great interest ever since we saw her supporting Phosphorescent in London a few years ago. Since then she’s had the Hooves of Destiny and, more recently, the Du Blonde moniker – complete with an altogether heavier, grittier sound.

She will be releasing her second album as Du Blonde titled Lung Bread For Daddy via Moshi Moshi on the 22nd February, and it is described as a meeting in which her previous two albums, 2015’s Welcome Back To Milk and her debut Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose, take a seat at the table and make amends. Veering wildly between proto-punk, psych rock and the wholesome song writing of the 1970s.

The first single is the autobiographical Angel, referencing the end of a relationship with someone who promises a lot, but delivers very little.

Watch the self-directed video for it below. Pre-order the album here.

 

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  1. Yak – Bellyache
  2. Du Blonde – Buddy
  3. Speedy Ortiz – DTMFA
  4. FIDLAR – Can’t You See
  5. Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – Life After Youth
  6. SAVAK – Nature Erased
  7. Slaves – Magnolia
  8. Cloud Nothings – So Right So Clean
  9. Wasted Cathedral – Smoked, Out Somewhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MM Best of 2015 no guitarOur Best of the Year posts are coming to a close and for the penultimate list we hand over to the ever fragrant Mrs Mackerel.

Over to you Mrs M…

Another year banked. As ever, I look at my list and think yes, there are some that are keepers and others that maybe were just a mirage. A little like life really.

 

20 The Tulips – Winter Winds

19 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight

18 Jamie T – Marilyn Monroe

17 Amason – Moon as a Kite

16 Haunted Hearts – Something That Feels Bad Is Something That Feels Good

15 Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best

It’s a blistering guitar-led onslaught that plays out against a searing vocal style. Lyrically, it’s very much a commentary on her new found fame: Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you. She’s learning fast, is Courtney.

 

14 Mutual Benefit – Not For Nothing

A very gentle tune with lulling melody and meaningful lyrics; throw in a bit of violin to the mix and it ticks all the boxes for me. The lyrics are sung very quietly, but if you listen hard, you can catch every word. Often the quietest people have the most to say.

 

13 The Decemberists – The Harrowed and the Haunted

Vintage Decemberists: lots of maritime imagery and a dark, sad tale of longing. Will you be there waiting/Or is your heartbeat fading?/ Fading from the time/ Still miles to go til I arrive.

 

12 Laura Marling – I Feel Your Love

You must let me go before I get old/I need to find someone who really wants to be mine/I feel your love. A change of musical style, but the sage words and usual lyrical dexterity remain a constant from the enigmatic Laura Marling, here in rock chick mode.

 

11 Harrison Storm – Sense of Storm

Storms, hurricanes, water: you sense a theme building in my top twenty this year. A really beautiful piece of acoustic folk about losing your sense of home from this talented Australian troubadour. Enough said.

 

10 Houndmouth – Sedona

A tribute to the city of Sedona, when it was known as ‘Arizona’s Little Hollywood’ and home to three decades of A-list movie making, before it all headed west (Hey little Hollywood/You’re gone but you’re not forgotten). The band’s four-part harmonies peppered throughout gives this bit of classic Americana an extra layer.

 

9 Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach

I like a heavy bass line I do, and this one sucks you in and pulls you along. I like it to steer me round the kitchen, dancing while I work. Rhythmically, Whitest Boy demands some sort of production line movement: mince pie making, possibly. Have another listen – get it now?

 

8 Du Blonde – Chips to Go

So BJH ditched the hooves, went blonde and hitched her wagon to a brand new edgier sound. Good for her, so it seems. Sold to the fish in the corner on the chorus alone, with it’s epic drum/guitar mash-up, she’s got one hell of a vocal range that wallops a whole range of emotions into orbit.

 

7 Marika Hackman – Drown

The unusual and subdued musical arrangement suits the hypnotic (almost lethargic) vocals, and floats around the brooding darkness of the lyrics. It’s easy to be swept away by the prevailing sense of emptiness and loss; guaranteed to send me into sad reflective mode, even if I’m high on sugar and caffeine.

 

6 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

So, it takes Kurt a little while to recognise himself as the “man in the mee-rah”. Wakey, wakey son. But after a minor identity crisis and a bit of a teeth mix-up, everything’s pretty pimpin. Finger-picking guitar, foot tapping rhythm and a rasping vocal drawl made this a very well-loved tune amongst Team Mackerel.

 

5 Ezra Furman – Haunted Head

A one-off original, Mr Furman. And if the youngest Sprat had written a top ten, Ezra would be there, one to ten. Here we meander downtown, with lyrics that evoke the mania of being bipolar, under the influence of Velvet Underground and a vocal nod to Bowie. Haunted head? Frankly, I know how he feels.

 

4 Calexico – Follow the River

Calexico has a special place in my heart, and the familiarity of a beloved old friend, albeit one who lives on the US/Mexico border. We sync well, Calexico and myself: Follow the River is a sad, wistful song that offers hope, despite itself. I’ll take that, thanks lads.

 

3 Tracey Thorn – Goodbye Joe

I just love this song; I go to bed listening and wake up humming this tune. Do I care that it was originally released in 1982, or that it’s a COVER? Zut allors, MM had a bit of a fishy fit. He is now lying on his side. I am, of course, a stroppy fish wife. And always right. Ahem.

 

2 Lord Huron – Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)

Oh little darling/don’t you look charming/here in the eye of a hurricane – well you know, with a good hat, soft lighting and the right amount of blusher, anything is possible. Upbeat, up-tempo, lots of gee-tar: my top twenty sort of needed this – and the album is an overlooked gem of 2015.

 

1 The Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

And here with me lies my song for 2015, by a very long country mile: the unbearably poignant and dark tale of Côte d’Azur as my own private metaphor for everything from life and death, loss and yearning – and all that lies in between. About those memory markers that resurface in the depths of your dreams and the half way stage when the sun warms your face, and what’s real and what’s not – the journey and the destination – merges into one; always searching. This song breaks my heart at every single listen, so I turn up the white noise.

 

Best gig of 2015:

The Decemberists, O2 Academy, Bristol

En famille. Colin Meloy is a magnificent raconteur, in addition to his musical prowess and distinctive vocal style. I’d waited a long time to see the Decemberists and they did not disappoint, closing the set with a magnificent rendition of The Mariner’s Revenge Song. Again, please.

 

School Anthem:

The Decemberists – A Beginning Song

Played out the final primary school assembly for smallest Sprat. Anthemic and emotional, this builds to epic finale that despite the best efforts of the pantomime horses, played out a celebration of the joy, achievements and idiosyncrasies that all our bright lights gave to us.

 

New to me in 2015: Dr Dog – It

I loved this at first listen, meandering through a blistering heatwave in rural Spain. Such well observed lyrics, for really, it truly is all in how you look at it: It’s real and it’s a lie/It’s the answer and the question when you wonder why. Yeah; ain’t that so.

 

You can see our full countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).

MM BEST OF 2015

It’s the third instalment of our end of year list of our favourite tracks of 2015. Today we enter the top half of the chart with numbers 50 through to 26.

 

50 Mutual Benefit – Not For Nothing

 

49 Rats On Rafts – Last Day On Earth

 

48 Slaves – Ninety Nine

 

47 Diet Cig – Harvard

 

46 Decemberists – The Harrow And The Haunted

 

45 Laura Marling – I Feel Your Love

 

44 Elephant Stone – The Devil’s Shelter

 

43 Harrison Storm – Sense Of Home

 

42 Protomartyr – Dope Cloud

 

41 Noah Gundersen – Slow Dancer

 

40 Karen Meat & The Players – Pizza & Beer

 

39 Du Blonde – Chips To Go

 

38 Bjork – Stonemilker

 

37 Chaika – The Mirror

 

36 Marika Hackman – Drown

 

35 Gun Outfit – Gotta Wanna

 

34 Traams – Silver Lining

 

33 Fat White Family – Whitest Boy On The Beach

 

32 Abandoned Delta – I Never Lived In New Orleans

 

31 Jeffrey Lewis + The Bolts – Scowling Crackhead Ian

 

30 Fritjof Norrmo – Set Me On Fire

 

29 James McMurtry – Copper Canteen

 

28 Tow’rs – The Kitchen

 

27 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight

 

26 Gaz Coombes – 20/20

 

Check in tomorrow for the final countdown to our number one choice of the year. Click here for numbers 100-76 and here for 75-51.

Time for one of our sporadic video round up posts. Lots of new musical films and songs to enjoy – here are a selection of some of our favourites from Fidlar and the Sewer Rats to Samantha Crain and Ruby The Rabbitfoot via Du Blonde and all stops inbetween.

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We have already shared the first two excellent singles from Du Blonde’s forthcoming album Welcome back To Milk which sees the light of day on the 18th May.

Now we have a third, Hunter shows the other side to Beth Jeans Houghton’s reinvention – this time we have a heartbreaker ballad complete with massive emotional chorus that contrasts dramatically with the riff-heavy aggression of her previous singles.

Listen here.

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Du Blonde has unveiled the latest track to be taken from her forthcoming album, Welcome Back To Milk, out on 19th May.

Mind Is On My Mind (also featuring Samuel T Herring of Future Islands) is the second brilliant taste of Beth Jeans Houghton ripping it up and starting again. Call it what you will – evolution or revolution – as she strips everything back in one massive release of pent up aggression.

Her new persona and her new album is all about heavy riffs, loud drums and vocal snarls which contrast beautifully with poignant balladry and tenderness that fans of her previous work will recognize.

Try it on for size here.

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We posted a few days ago about the return of Beth Jeans Houghton, her new moniker of Du Blonde and her change of direction musically.

Here is Black Flag, a super-charged sonic change of direction that kicks off her new sound with thunderous drums, rumbling bass, heavy guitars and a vocal that burns with visceral rage.

Listen below (turn it up to 11), and get a free download here.

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Beth Jeans Houghton will release a brand new album this spring on Mute under the name Du Blonde. The new moniker announces a fresh start for Beth whose forthcoming album is a big change in musical direction – as evidenced by the short taster video below.

Her 2012 album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose was a standalone piece of polymath pop, and a big favourite of Mrs M (who became an honorary hoof of destiny). However, 25-year-old Houghton has always been something of a musical chameleon always playing by her own rules so it probably no surprise that she has taken another sharp left turn away from the predictable.

We await the album with interest…

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