Posts Tagged ‘Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo’

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo - Songs Beneath The River

For Record Store Day, Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo released a four track EP, recorded live to vinyl, consisting of some of their favourite covers. It includes Springsteen, Patti Smith, Tom Waits and Aretha Franklin.

Although the limited edition run of 500 has long since gone, it can still be purchased digitally via Bandcamp here for £3.79.

Have a listen to their versions of Easter and Tougher Than The Rest from Brooce’s 1987 Tunnel Of Love album.

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And so it was Wilderness again (or Wildness if you were the somewhat disconnected and over-excited John Newman) – this year even bigger (an increase in capacity to 15,000) and still sold out. It is surely the premier boutique festival on the circuit in the undeniably stunning setting of Cornbury Park, which happily lies within a short walk of Mackerel Towers.

By its nature it is not a festival with the emphasis primarily on the music – too much fine dining, fly fishing, horse riding, performance art, debates, and cookery schooling going on for that – and as one other local resident archly observed “they might all look like hobos in here, but the car park is crammed full of BMWs and 4x4s“. Indeed Mrs M herself noted with wry amusement a hunt for mussels in our local Co-op (for breakfast you understand) by one such floaty couple obviously not used to the constraints of a basic convenience store compared with your average Islington deli.

wilderness showNo matter, for music there was and for the most part it was damn good. Friday fare came from the slightly ominous, brooding neo-folk of Six Toes, somewhat at odds with the sunshine as they performed at the Bandstand. They were followed by a vibrant, energetic set from the Keston Cobblers’ Club, a long-standing favourite and discovery of Mrs M, they turned the rapidly swelling crowd into jolly, good-natured barn-dancers borne along on the infectious rhythms and pure joyousness of the set. Back on the main stage, Tom Odell pleased the mainstream as he hammered his piano and hollered out a set that firmly placed him in the box-seat as the new Elton John. In the folk tent Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo turned in one of the highlights of the weekend with a brilliant collection of country and folk, and amply demonstrated why their latest album has been receiving so much critical acclaim. A neon-filled spectacular finale of hippy inspired electronica from Empire of the Sun brought down the curtain on day one.

Saturday gave us more from the Keston’s, reprising their set in the folk tent to a similarly enthusiastic response and another highlight in the shape of Temples who delivered a fabulous selection of West Coast inspired psychedelia mixed with hypnotic rhythms and the occasional meaty glam-rock stomp. Sadly Melody’s Echo TrapezeChamber seemed somewhat flat, their orchestral and grandiose dream pop lacking the spark needed to elevate it above the merely average, and it took a typically quirky and idiosyncratic performance from Martha Wainwright to liven up the rapidly growing numbers making their way to the main stage for the headline act.

And that headline act was none other than Sixto Díaz Rodriguez, Sugarman himself. Now 71, helped on stage to his seat where a rapturous reception, a couple of bottles of water and an eminently sensible cup of tea waited for him. Despite his frailties, he did not disappoint, mixing self-deprecating humour (“All I want is to be treated like an ordinary legend“) with philosophical observations (“Be gentle with your anger, hate is too powerful emotion to waste on someone you don’t like“), political comments (“More women should run for office“) and even a gracious thank you to his Cornbury Park host Lady Rotherwick, he entertained for every moment he was on stage. From beneath an ultra stylish black Fedora, he delivered a sublime set of folk and soul that stirred the heart and set plenty of feet a shufflin’. A mass sing-a-long to Sugar Man in the dusk was extra special, as was Inner City Blues, but amongst a wonderful collection it was perhaps I Wonder, that was the show stealer, as even snoozing couples roused themselves for one final dance.

The Bees at Wilderness On Sunday, the day was stolen by the Isle of Wight’s very own pop-pysch rockers The Bees, who opened with A Minha Menina and included Winter Rose, Listening Man and a fab rendition of I Really Need Love from their last album (which Mrs M had to download immediately). Reggae undercurrents, soulful harmonies, tight musicanship – perfect festival fodder. Laid back rhythms had the crowd swaying in time. All the Bees seems to be multi-instrumentalists – just come along hang out and have a good time vibe.

Festival closers Noah and the Whale actually played quite a good set – all their most well known tunes including L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N., Life is Life, Blue Skies, Tonight’s the Kind of Night, and closing with Five Years Time. Then an encore of The First Days of Spring, which being quite orchestral, made a perfect match for all the fireworks going off at the end. Lovely.

Finally the walk home, avoiding the late-night exodus of all those too-fast BMWs and 4x4s urgently heading home for Monday’s 8am breakfast meeting, and down our rural country lanes too. Tsk tsk.

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Mad Mackerel's Best Of December 2012 Free Mix

As might be expected, slightly fewer tunes make up our final monthly mix of the best of the downloads from MM – no panic tho’, the quality of new tunes on offer more than makes up for it. And as always, some new ones for you too means a top banana mix of twenty cracking songs to play in the New Year.

The Cheatahs – The Swan
A swirling, smoking riff and a rough ‘n’ ready feel is mixed with 90s slacker indie influences and a bit of shoegaze – all to more than good effect.

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Beach Fossils – Careless
All sinewy jangle bouncing along on the back of hurtling, punk-ish drums.

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Criminal Hygiene – Rearrange Me
Skater-punk’s bitter ode to unhealthy relationships, full of rough and raspy vocals met with a charging bassline.

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Download Grave Babies – Over And Under Ground mp3 (from Crusher)
Catchy, but nevertheless slathered in their signature overdoses of distortion.

Split Screens – Deep Down
Pink Floyd style subtle psychedelia and Beck style emotion.

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Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Christmas Time Is Here
Sweetly harmonious festive version of a Christmas classic, also featuring Kristina Train, Rumer and Ren Harvieu.

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Download Fires – Untied mp3 (from Angels In The Dark EP)
Imagine the scuzz-rock blitzkrieg of Butthole Surfers, combined with the melody and songcraft of Urge Overkill.

Blackfeet Braves – Vicious Cycle
60s era psychedelia bathed in twangy reverb and infectious melody, resulting in lo-fi psych pop fitting for the most epic trip.

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Download Los Campesinos! – A Doe To A Deer mp3 (From A Doe To A Deer)
Indie popsters’ festive offering complete with alcoholic undertones.

Download Balto – Smokestacks mp3 (from Monuments EP)
Voices sail out in harmony over a dusty, spaghetti western guitar twang and heartfelt emotions are laid bare at your doorstep – tangled, delicate and rich.

James Yuill – Lost In California
New offering from folktronica master from as yet untitled new album.

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Download Tom Williams – Christmas (So Much Better When You’re Here) mp3 (from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas)
Another festive goody.

Jack Hardman – Plymouth
An ethereal and wintery song, filled with warm harmonies and covered in spring reverb – folk music with a psychedelic tint.

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American Royalty – Honey & Queen
Delivers a warm groove with a touch of Yeasayer / Little Dragon about it.

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Hero Jr. – Ann Boleyn
Indy-based foursome combine soaring vocals, stinging guitars and driving rhythms blurring the lines between ’70s classic rock, the angst of the Alternative Nation and modern indie-rock.

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And to finish off we have another raucous track from Criminal Hygiene. Next up is a new track from unique, otherworldly singger-songwriter Ólöf ArnaldsTreat Her Kindly is taken from the forthcoming album Sudden Elevation (out on One Little Indian US release 5th March, UK 4th February). We have Giant Giant Sand’s sage words and loungey rat-pack vibe on Not the End of the World with this track taken from the deluxe version of their excellent album Tucson. Then there is the Kinksian pop melancholy and Television Personalities wry punk disaffectedness of Campfires lo-fi weirdo musings – try the primitive pop of Fortune Teller from forthcoming album Tomorrow Tomorrow (just click through to download for free).

And lastly, hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Hawk and Dove is an indie rock band whose calm-before-the-storm sound has been described as the “loudest quiet band you have ever heard” and “the psychedelic country David Bowie never wrote.” On their forthcoming debut album, This Yesterday Will Never End, the band mixes hauntingly beautiful ballads with thunderous stoner grooves to create a sound quite unlike anything else. Download Things We Lost So Far.

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emily barker choir of angels

A few weeks ago, Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo were invited down to the BBC Maida Vale studios to take part in the annual ‘Choir of Angels’ session for Dermot O’Leary’s 2012 Christmas Show. It’s a Christmas affair involving three other singer-songwriters, those being Ren Harvieu, Rumer and Kristina Train. Each chose a Christmas song that they wanted to cover and headed into the studio for the day.

The Red Clay Halo arranged string, piano, flute and accordion parts whilst Kristina, Ren, Rumer and Emily worked on the harmonies. The song they chose to cover was Christmas Time is Here from the Charlie Brown cartoon. You can download it for free here…

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Read our 5:1 interview with Emily here.

Mad Mackerel 5:1 Emily Barker.

Hailing from Bridgetown, Western Australia, Emily Barker is a compelling songwriter with a gift for weaving folk-inflected melody and beautiful lyrics. Her talent is perfectly complemented by the elegant arrangements of her band The Red Clay Halo, whose ensemble playing underpins Barker’s agile vocal blend of strength and fragility. Together with her band, she has recorded three acclaimed albums: Photos.Fires.Fables. (2006), Despite The Snow (2008) and Almanac (2011). Her song Nostalgia become the Bafta-winning theme tune to BBC One drama Wallander while Pause was the theme for BBC Two’s The Shadow Line.

Five words to describe your music:
Atmospheric, harmonies, honest, poetic, dynamics

One book you’d recommend to an alien:
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you?Mad Mackerel Interviews Emily Barker.
Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, Gillian Welch, Low, Lal Waterson.

One Moment In Time You’d Like To Have Witnessed?
Not answered

Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
Patti Smith, Neil Young, Dave Rawlings, Nina Simone, Warren Ellis

One biggest regret in your career (to date):
I am proud to say that I have none!

Five things on your perfect rider:
Puppies, kittens, baby animals in general, Sauna, spa, steam room, pool, Massage therapist, A smorgasbord of local, seasonal delicacies, My husband

One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
Family, husband and closest friends to say thank you for all their support and laughs. I’d also try to fit in a gig so I could say bye to all our fans who’ve been so supportive along the way.

Five perfect songs:
This is what I’m currently listening to…
Young Man in America- Anais Mitchell || Tougher Than The Rest- Bruce Springsteen || For the record- Kathleen Edwards || The Grove- Chuck Ragan || Easter- Patti Smith

One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
A new song called Letters because it means so much to me.

Emily Barker plays the Union Chapel in London on the 21st November. Visit her website here for details, or purchase music from her Bandcamp page.

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Video of the Day: Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo.

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Huge Video Round Up...MM Has Square Eyes!

Videos seem to accumulate in our in-box faster than we have a hope of watching them. However, having sat and watched and watched and watched and then watched some more, this then is our selection of the best we’ve seen.

Wet Nuns are a band we like a lot singing songs as they do about women, death and beer. This is the video for Heavens Below, which will make up one side of an exclusive Record Store Day 7″ release.

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Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny have been featured on MM a lot this year. Lilliput is a firm Mrs M have and although some jerk keeps taking down the freely available Dodecahedron song, we’re at least able to give you the video for their latest, equally catchy single, Atlas.

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Equally the marvellous California by Delta Spirit is an enormously popular song in the Mackerel household and this is the video for it.

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Download Delta Spirit – California mp3 (from Delta Spirit)

Next is Emily Barker and her video for new single The Rains, inspired by Robert Creeley’s poem The Rain, in which small, perceived moments such as a walk in the forest, a bird in flight, rushing water, or a painterly sky inform a remembering of the self: “What am I to myself that must now remain?”. 

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The Wooden Sky have filmed the first of a five part series of haunting, live performances captured at the Grace on the Hill Church in Toronto. This one features the song Bald, Naked and Red. More are now available if you follow the links.

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Download The Wooden Sky – Malibu Rum mp3 (from Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun)

Download The Wooden Sky – Child Of The Valley mp3 (from Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun)

Falling Apple is the first single from Heaven who mix a paisley underground inspired psychedelia with a shoe gaze style noise pop to create something that appears effortlessly cool.

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Heyward Howkins is equal parts British tweed (Nick Drake, John Cale, The Smiths) and dusty American flannel (Bon Iver, M. Ward, Damien Jurado) and has crafted an album, The Hale & Hearty, with diverse sounds and surprising arrangements that compliment, but never overwhelm, his evocative melodies and lyrics. This is the video for Sugar Sand Stitched Lip.

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Dinowalrus release a much anticipated new album, Best Behavior, in June featuring guest appearances from Titus Andronicus, and treading somewhere between futurist psychedelia, jangle rock, No Wave, post-punk and even acid house. This is the video for the excellent Phone Home From The Edge.

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White Hills new video for You Dream You See is a suitably spaced out slab of alien inspired stoner rock from new release Frying On This Rock.

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Download White Hills – Pads Of Light mp3 (from Frying On This Rock)

And in a somewhat similar vein, The Pharmacy gets stoned and jams out at a river for new video Pines from their Dig Your Grave EP.

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Download The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave mp3 (from Dig Your Grave)

We have another exquisite cover from Town Hall for you too. Old Man Duff is a folk tune that the band found on an old 78 RPM record from 1931 by Frankie Marvin.

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Download Town Hall – Old Man Duff mp3 (Frankie Marvin Cover)

And lastly we have indie-gloom-pop solo project of Laura Kidd aka She Makes War, her album Little Battles is out April 9th. Driven by her bewitching, pastoral vocals and layered guitars and supported by a plethora of additional instruments from ukulele to autoharp, melodica, piano, violin, harp, saxophone and three part recorder ensemble, her songs are punctuated by a patchwork of field recordings from her global travels. Try Exit Strategy on for size.

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Download She Makes War – Exit Strategy mp3 (from Little Battles)

Frank Turner & Emily Barker Duet. Ahead of kicking off their UK Tour tonight in Bournemouth, Frank Turner and Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo have made a newly recorded duet available for free download.

Called Fields Of June, and taken from Emily Barkers’ 2008 ‘Photos. Fires. Fables.‘ album, they will be performing the duet during Barker’s set on each night of the tour. Grab it below.

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And the tour dates:

O2 Academy Bournemouth (November 22)
Newport Centre (23)
Birmingham O2 Academy (24)
Glasgow Barrowlands (25)
O2 Apollo Manchester (26)
London HMV Hammersmith Apollo (27)

Repost: Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: October 2011.To celebrate our downloads working again we thought we would re-post our best of the month mix from October – more than 20 great tracks selected from our October posts and six new ones too. This time you can download and dive in.

Download The Minks – Araby mp3 (from Araby 7″)

Endearingly gloomy slice of indie-pop.

Download The Bloody Hollies – Dirty Sex mp3 (from Yours Until The Bitter End)

The dark side of raw garage punk with touches of organ, violin and xylophone.

Download Bare Bones – Hope & Feather mp3 (from Bare Bones EP)

Gallops along on the back of perfectly judged fiddle and drums and calls to mind The Builders & The Butchers andElliott Brood.

Download Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Ropes mp3 (from Almanac)

Weaves folk-inflected melody and beautiful lyrics to perfect effect.

Download Forbidden Friends – Totally Low mp3 (from Totally Low 7″)

Bouncy guitar jangle to the fore on this sub two minute indie-pop gem.

Download Savaging Spires – Apostrophe Lake mp3 (from Savaging Spires)

Twinkling, sunlit folk and hazy melancholia.

Download Coke Weed – Not My Old Man mp3 (from Volume 1)

Velvets style chug, woozy, stoned vocals and raw production.

Download Last American Buffalo – I Know mp3 (from Last American Buffalo EP)

Mining a similar rich vein of dusty Americana as MM faves The Felice Brothers and the Roadside Graves with the slightly ragged and plaintive I Know – a gem.

Download The Owsley Brothers – Pure Lust mp3 (from Pure Lust)

Visceral blues with its bone shaking, primeval riff and reverb heavy vocals.

Download Brown Bird – End Of Days mp3 (from Salt For Salt)

Brilliantly sparse and hypnotic folk.

Download Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano mp3 (from The Ship’s Piano)

Subtle, drifting piano ballad like a modern day Ray Davies, it is filled with wry observation and no little pathos.

Download Timber Timbre – Do I Have Power mp3 (from Creep On Creepin On)

Folk with an eerie, dark hearted fairytale quality.

Download The Sunparlour Players – Green Thumb mp3 (from Us Little Devils)

Stomping bluegrass, anthemic country rock and impassioned lyrics from new album taster.

Download Batwings Catwings – Radio mp3 (from Radio 7″)

Cracking garage inflected indie rock.

Download Heavy Times – Skull Hair mp3 (from Jacker)

Propulsive percussion, sonic rumble and heavy reverb.

Download Son Cats – O’Dell mp3 (from O’Dell / 1971 single)

Prime slab of 60s tinged, sleazy rock’n’roll voodoo designed to make the sweat run down the walls and the neighbours bang on the floor in despair.

Download Only The Sea Slugs – She Said mp3 (from Street Music)

Irresistible dark, hypnotic indie rock.

Download Gang Violets – Black Clouds mp3 (from Black Clouds 7″)

Black Clouds rises up like a campfire despite moody lyrics, with its hook laden cadences, elated group vocals, whispery calls, gospel swagger, and swooning closure.

Download Tyler Ramsey – The Valley Wind mp3 (from The Valley Wind)

Lovely, evocative slice of countrified rock that recalls vintage Neil Young with its rustic imagery and sense of solitude and mystery.

Download Rocket From The Tombs – I Sell Soul mp3 (from Barfly)

Unreconstructed, unapologetic, re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock.

Download Mat Gibson – Yonder Burning Trees mp3 (from Forest Fire)

Gorgeous folk from Canadian troubadour.

And to finish off, we have a new tracks from the wonderful Thee Oh Sees in the shape of The Dream, which is possibly the standout track from their forthcoming new album, some Chills style power pop from The Sea Lions and a real treat in MM fave Marissa Nadler and three covers from her forthcoming Covers II album taking on Springsteen, Clinic and Dylan. Finally we have one more cover in the shape of the Miracles of Modern Science and their rather fetching take on Pumped Up Kicks.

Download – Thee Oh Sees – The Dream mp3 (from Carrion Crawler/The Dream)

Download – The Sea Lions – Grown Up mp3 (from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask)

Download – Marissa Nadler – The River mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Distortions mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Farewell Angelina mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – The Miracles Of Modern Science – Pumped Up Kicks mp3 (Foster The People Cover)

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: October 2011. Another month, more than 20 great tracks selected from our October posts and five new ones too. Download and dive in.

Download The Minks – Araby mp3 (from Araby 7″)

Endearingly gloomy slice of indie-pop.

Download The Bloody Hollies – Dirty Sex mp3 (from Yours Until The Bitter End)

The dark side of raw garage punk with touches of organ, violin and xylophone.

Download Bare Bones – Hope & Feather mp3 (from Bare Bones EP)

Gallops along on the back of perfectly judged fiddle and drums and calls to mind The Builders & The Butchers and Elliott Brood.

Download Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Ropes mp3 (from Almanac)

Weaves folk-inflected melody and beautiful lyrics to perfect effect.

Download Forbidden Friends – Totally Low mp3 (from Totally Low 7″)

Bouncy guitar jangle to the fore on this sub two minute indie-pop gem.

Download Savaging Spires – Apostrophe Lake mp3 (from Savaging Spires)

Twinkling, sunlit folk and hazy melancholia.

Download Coke Weed – Not My Old Man mp3 (from Volume 1)

Velvets style chug, woozy, stoned vocals and raw production.

Download Last American Buffalo – I Know mp3 (from Last American Buffalo EP)

Mining a similar rich vein of dusty Americana as MM faves The Felice Brothers and the Roadside Graves with the slightly ragged and plaintive I Know – a gem.

Download The Owsley Brothers – Pure Lust mp3 (from Pure Lust)

Visceral blues with its bone shaking, primeval riff and reverb heavy vocals.

Download Brown Bird – End Of Days mp3 (from Salt For Salt)

Brilliantly sparse and hypnotic folk.

Download Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano mp3 (from The Ship’s Piano)

Subtle, drifting piano ballad like a modern day Ray Davies, it is filled with wry observation and no little pathos.

Download Timber Timbre – Do I Have Power mp3 (from Creep On Creepin On)

Folk with an eerie, dark hearted fairytale quality.

Download The Sunparlour Players – Green Thumb mp3 (from Us Little Devils)

Stomping bluegrass, anthemic country rock and impassioned lyrics from new album taster.

Download Batwings Catwings – Radio mp3 (from Radio 7″)

Cracking garage inflected indie rock.

Download Heavy Times – Skull Hair mp3 (from Jacker)

Propulsive percussion, sonic rumble and heavy reverb.

Download Son Cats – O’Dell mp3 (from O’Dell / 1971 single)

Prime slab of 60s tinged, sleazy rock’n’roll voodoo designed to make the sweat run down the walls and the neighbours bang on the floor in despair.

Download Only The Sea Slugs – She Said mp3 (from Street Music)

Irresistible dark, hypnotic indie rock.

Download Gang Violets – Black Clouds mp3 (from Black Clouds 7″)

Black Clouds rises up like a campfire despite moody lyrics, with its hook laden cadences, elated group vocals, whispery calls, gospel swagger, and swooning closure.

Download Tyler Ramsey – The Valley Wind mp3 (from The Valley Wind)

Lovely, evocative slice of countrified rock that recalls vintage Neil Young with its rustic imagery and sense of solitude and mystery.

Download Rocket From The Tombs – I Sell Soul mp3 (from Barfly)

Unreconstructed, unapologetic, re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock.

Download Mat Gibson – Yonder Burning Trees mp3 (from Forest Fire)

Gorgeous folk from Canadian troubadour.

And to finish off, we have a new tracks from the wonderful Thee Oh Sees in the shape of The Dream, which is possibly the standout track from their forthcoming new album, some Chills style power pop from The Sea Lions and a real treat in MM fave Marissa Nadler and three covers from her forthcoming Covers II album taking on Springsteen, Clinic and Dylan.

Download – Thee Oh Sees – The Dream mp3 (from Carrion Crawler/The Dream)

Download – The Sea Lions – Grown Up mp3 (from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask)

Download – Marissa Nadler – The River mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Distortions mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Farewell Angelina mp3 (from Covers Volume II)