Posts Tagged ‘Ezra Furman’

The second instalment of our favourite tracks of 2018. Enjoy…

75 Holly Miranda – Golden Spiral

 

This wonky, horn-led track taken from her excellent Mutual Horse album, dips its toes into the swirling whirlpools of off-kilter indie pop with a buoyant rhythmic pulse and nods to glam rock and funk.

 

74 Ezra Furman – Suck The Blood From My Wound

 

Suck The Blood From My Wound is a choppy, hook filled indie rocker that dials up the intensity and paranoia from the outset (check the horror film opening sample) to create a visceral, desperate dash from government pursuers. Throughout the narrator’s pain and defiance remain constants, “Angel, don’t fight it – to them, you know we’ll always be freaks.”

 

73 Fontaines DC – Boys In The Better Land

 

Fontaines DC are our favourite discovery of 2018. Boys In The Better Land, the b-side to the excellent Chequeless Reckless, is a resolutely retro nod to classic Irish rock’n’roll – a concise, gritty and utterly irresistible slice of indie-punk that conjures up images of the Stooges jamming with the Fall.

 

72 Flat Worms – Melt The Arms

 

Furious, buzzing, magnificent, garage-punk that will put hairs on your chest and then melt them off again – all in just over two minutes.

 

71 First Aid Kit – It’s A Shame

 

There isn’t much that sounds better than the gorgeous harmonies created by Swedish sisters First Aid KitIt’s A Shame is a perfect case in point. Simply lovely.

 

70 Deaf Wish – FFS

 

FFS erupts out of the speakers like a runaway train and over the next 130 seconds or so simply picks up the pace even further – unstoppable. A fizzing, furious, outburst of potent punk rock.

 

69 Eric Church – The Snake

 

Built on a sinewy, swampy acoustic riff, The Snake is classic country protest. America’s two polarised parties are portrayed as two serpents greedily preying on the electorate. Church’s wonderful spoken drawl vocals add just the right tinge of bleak menace and give extra depth to the bitter lyrics, “Rattlesnake said to the copperhead / Ain’t no way they win / ‘Cause the mice are sheep / And the shepherd’s asleep / And the copperhead said “amen

 

68 Drahla – Twelve Divisions Of The Day

 

A naggingly insistent earworm of a tune, blending the band’s wiry art-rock with krautrock inspired experimentalism, all underpinned by singer/guitarist Luciel Brown’s captivating spoken drawl.

 

67 Dr. Dog – Buzzing In The Light

 

Dr. Dog have long been the purveyors of perfectly judged psych-tinged Americana that draws on elements of pastoral folk, soul and jazz. Buzzing In The Light is wonderfully mellow and laid back, hazily meandering to a dreamy conclusion on the back of a slow drumbeat and keyboards.

 

66 Big Joanie – Fall Asleep

 

A fabulous amalgamation of Ronettes style bubble-gum pop and Sleater-Kinney wig-out. The high speed Fall Asleep is an instantly hummable, toe-tapping frolic through the highs and lows of dreams and nightmares.

 

65 Queen Zee – Victim Age

 

Queer-core punks Queen Zee’s energetic, politically charged call to arms – anarchic and borne of a deep frustration with the status quo. Another to play loud!

 

64 Dunes – Mountain

 

Mined from the same sonic territory that hosts the Black Angels, Warlocks and Wooden Shjips, Mountain is thick with reverb, fuzz and deliciously dark undertones.

 

63 Slaves – Bugs

 

Bugs is a classic Slaves staccato stomper. Anthemic call and response vocals and thumping percussion deliver a savage verdict on our collective politicians’ utter failure to do anything but look after their own porcine interests whilst the country slides down the drain with barely a whimper. “Two arms, two legs, two faces, That’s what they got” Exactly.

 

62 Freschard & Stanley Brinks – Going To The Bar

 

Stanley Brinks is one of indie music’s true one-offs. Amongst many other things he has recorded more than 100 albums, been part of the New York Antifolk scene, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures. On this wonderful collaboration with Freschard, the pair deliver a wistfully off-kilter and woozy gem of a tale that takes in drinking alone, the bedridden Fred (with the big round head) and broken hearts. A rueful and poignant tune for the dead of night.

 

61 Goat Girl – The Man

 

A stand-out from Goat Girl’s self-titled debut, The Man is perfectly observed garage-punk that comes wrapped in delightfully sleazy guitar and a rattling sing-a-long chorus. Seedy never sounded so alluring.

 

60 Goat – Let It Burn

 

Let It Burn was written specifically for the climatic scene in the short movie Killing Gävle, a film about the famous Gävle Goat in Sweden – every year local custodians try to protect a giant straw goat (built for the town every Christmas) being burnt down by mischievous pagans. It all sounds very Wicker Man (no doubt our very own folk horror aficionado Chris T Popper would approve) and to which the epic nature of the song – six minutes of Goat’s unstoppable hypnotic fuzzy groove – does complete justice.

 

59 Dunes – (Just Because You’re Not Being Followed Doesn’t Mean You’re Not) Paranoid

 

Another from the Aussie psych-rockers. Spacier, woozier, but just as hypnotic.

 

58 Cash Savage & The Last Drinks – Pack Animals

 

Pack Animals is a the grubby, cheeky nephew of a union between classic early 70s pub-rock and punk. Underneath it’s cheery, pumping exterior and chugging refrain is a searing indictment of the inherent arrogance of gig-goers giving the girls in the band some “helpful” advice, almost always prefaced with the opening “The gig was great, but…

 

57 Amen Dunes – Miki Dora

 

A song about the iconic 60s surfer and lifelong criminal, Miki Dora is a haunting pop gem that evokes the shimmering, untouchable horizon with its gorgeous blurry vocals and shifting, restless tones, like waves endlessly rolling up the shore.

 

56 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Bike Lane

 

Kick off your jackboots, it’s time to unwind”. Unsurprisingly there have been many political songs this year and Lord knows from Trump to the insanity of Brexit there has been plenty of material to work with. But none have quite the impact of Bike Lane, a song dealing with the death of Freddie Grey, a victim of police brutality in Baltimore. It is unflinching and straightforward and set to a classic chugging riff. “The cops, the cops that killed Freddie, Sweet, young Freddie Gray, Got behind him with their truncheons, And choked the life right out of him“.

 

55 Young Fathers – Toy

 

Confidently and gleefully leaping between genres with nary a backwards glance, Toy effortlessly bridges a gap between rap and full on sing-a-long indie anthem.

 

54 Eels – The Deconstruction

 

A laid-back wander through some classic rock territory. Echoes of Pink Floyd and Massive Attack burble and hum behind Mark Oliver Everett’s understated vocal, “The deconstruction has begun. Time for me to fall apart.” Sometimes funky, sometimes elaborate and always unpredictable, The Deconstruction is the sound of a revised world view and a weary philosophical acceptance of the nebulous state of things.

 

53 The Callas with Lee Ranaldo – Acid Books

 

A post-punk burner brimming with frenzied energy. Opening with a swirl of droning ambiance and the rhetorical question, “Do you sleep at night?”, the track quickly launches headlong into a fever of activity. With the anxious pulse of a hard-driving bassline to lead the way, and punctuated by terse outbursts of hypnotic, scuzzed-up guitar lines.

 

52 Slaves – Cut And Run

 

Everything about Cut And Run is ridiculous. The spoof workout video, the high pitched guitars and the “You’re looking unwell” mantra, yet it still all combines to create another infectiously catchy, sledgehammer punk song.

 

51 Idles – Love Song

 

Idles somehow manage to pair howling, horror-flick guitars and thumping percussion with fierce, redemptive lyrics on the complexities of relationships and love.

 

Check out tracks 100 – 76 from yesterday here.

Here is Part 2 of our countdown of our favourite songs from the past ten years…

180 Strand Of Oaks – Alex Kona (2010)

“Alex Kona was twelve feet tall, his mother got killed by a bowling ball”. What else is there?

 

179 Port O’Brien – My Will Is Good (2009)

 

Rhythmic and punchy folk-rock, but with a hook most pop songs would die for.

 

178 Savages – Husbands (2013)

 

A stealthy, thrumming motorik bassline anchors a dark post punk nightmare. As intense as they come…

 

177 Old NobaddaddyGun Is Coming (2016)

 

Swampy blues built on a stomping revivalist rhythm that leans towards the dark side. This is brooding, gospel-noir of the highest order.

 

176 Spray Paint Cussin’ (2014)

 

A relentlessly ominous, intense slab of brooding punk rock. Terrifying in a totally good way.

 

175 The Magnetic FieldsToo Drunk To Dream (2008)

Sober life is a prison / Shit faced it is a blessing / Sober nobody wants you / Shit faced they’re all undressing / Sober you’re old and ugly / Shit faced who needs a mirror The best drinking song of the past ten years? Probably.

 

174 FoxygenNo Destruction (2013)

 

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

 

173 My People Sleeping – Seahorse (2008)

 

A  hypnotic and sorrowful journey into dream pop with flowery psychedelic overtones and an absolute ear-worm of a chorus.

 

172 Real Estate – Fake Blues (2009)

 

A bit surf-rock, a bit pastoral psych, but really this is a gem of a twisted country tune smothered in a melancholy haze of gentle reverb.

 

171 Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear (2011)

 

Anthemic, swaggering blues boogie at its fiery best.

 

170 Fontaines DC – Chequeless Reckless (2018)

Chequeless Reckless is built on a beefy,  hypnotic, kraut-rock infused cyclical riff and some scalpel sharp lyrics. Play really loud.

 

169 Ezra Furman – Restless Year (2015)

 

A wonderful slab of feelgood indie rock, doo-wop refrains and bristling, unrestrained energy.

 

168 Blessed Feathers – Real Song For Emily (2013)

 

Stunning folk song with fierce harmonies and a tense, urgent feel. Despite being only two and a half minutes long, the song’s plaintive coda has a bitter air of finality. “Nowhere to look at that horizon, I can’t help, but feel nothing”

 

167 together PANGEA – Money On It (2017)

 

Borrows some surf-rock vibes and not a little guitar jangle to fashion a strutting, intense rocker.

 

166 William Elliott Whitmore – Old Devils (2009)

 

Foot-tapping, frenzied social commentary, with a strangely prophetic feel

 

165 The Obits – Two Headed Coin (2009)

 

Simply wonderful sleazy, rockabilly rumble. Should lurk in the shadows with a greasy quiff and a flick-knife.

 

164 Vic Chesnutt – Little Fucker (2008)

No one does vindictive, savage, and just plain nasty with such confidence and certainty. Bullseye.

 

163 The Walkmen – Heartbreaker (2012)

 

An initial riff wound so tight it might snap morphs into a mid-tempo jangle of light-touch guitars and jubilant percussion.

 

162 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Janglin (2009)

 

A horn-driven, totally infectious tune that is utterly without peer for indie-pop charm.

 

 161 Houndmouth – Penitentiary (2013)

 

Lyrically and vocally perfect, Houndmouth’s debut single is a classic down-on-my-luck tale matched to a rootsy persuasive groove. Nigh on perfect Americana.

 

You can see tracks 200-181 here.

New Single From Ezra Furman

Posted: February 7, 2018 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
Tags:

We loved Suck The Blood From My Wound, the last single Ezra Furman shared from his much anticipated new long player Transangelic Exodus, which will be released on the 9th February on Bella Union.

Now we have his latest offering from the record, the jagged, agitated, and it must be said, spectacularly named Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill.

Give it a spin below.

 

Suck The Blood From My Wound is the third single to be shared from Ezra Furman’s upcoming album Transangelic Exodus. It is a choppy, hook filled indie rocker that dials up the intensity and paranoia from his previous releases.

Listen below, and pre-order the album, which is out on the 9th February, here.

 

Four cracking new tracks for you this morning. The latest from Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s much anticipated collaboration, another absolute shredder from Aussie duo DZ Deathrays, more potent pop-punk from Bully, and indie-pop God Ezra Furman’s new track Driving Down To L.A., which he describes as “This is a song of paranoia, escape and ecstatic ego-death. We decided to make a video about me and my angel companion escaping from modern-day Nazis. It is terrible to watch America’s white supremacist roots flourish like this again, not to mention the accompanying misogyny, queerphobia and anti-Semitism. I intend this song, video and my entire career as a protest against those attitudes.

Hear hear – enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

New From Ezra Furman

Posted: August 18, 2016 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
Tags:

Perfect pop polymath Ezra Furman is back with a powerful new song The Refugee, taken from his Big Fugitive Life EP out this Friday via Bella Union.

The song concerns Furman’s Jewish background and is dedicated to his grandfather who fled the Nazi’s, as well as current day refugees. Having just returned from a hugely moving and affecting visit to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam this one has even more resonance for us at the moment.

We dedicate this record to refugees of all kinds, all over the world. May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and and may those with power welcome them as fellow citizens of humanity.

best of the weekHere is this week’s round up of new tunes.

We have nine tracks for you from the kaleidoscopic pop of Ezra Furman to the fuzzy shambling pop of Fireworks by way of the infectious hooks of Dogbreth and the Mercury Rev inspired psych of Avers.

Enjoy.

  1. Cass McCombs – Run Sister Run
  2. Ezra Furman – Teddy I’m Ready
  3. Tacocat – I Live For The Sun (Sunrays cover)
  4. Tim Presley – Clue
  5. Public Access T.V. – Sudden Emotion
  6. Dogbreth – Hoarder House
  7. BLUSH – Wrng
  8. Fireworks – Bury Me
  9. Avers – Insects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Here we go then, our final countdown of our favourite tracks of 2015, with no fewer than three artists managing two entries in the top 25 this year! And don’t forget you can see the other 75 choices here (100-75), here (75-51) and here (50-26).

Enjoy.

25 Ghostpoet – Off Peak Dreams

 

24 Tracy Thorn – Goodbye Joe (2015 re-issue)

 

23 Calexico – Follow The River

 

22 Decemberists – Make You Better

 

21 Mikal Cronin – iv) Ready

 

20 Sleaford Mods – Tarantula Deadly Cargo

 

19 Ezra Furman – Haunted Head

 

18 Slaves – Feed The Manta Ray

 

17 Man Of Moon – The Road

 

16 Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – Mouthpiece

 

15 Free Weed – Later

 

14 Spray Paint – Day Of The Rope

 

13 Lord Huron – Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)

 

12 Low – What Part Of Me

 

11 Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

 

10 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

 

9 Spray Paint – Signal Master

 

8 This Is The Kit – Silver John

 

7 Decemberists – Carolina Low

 

6 Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

 

5 Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

 

4 Houndmouth – Sedona

 

3 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

 

2 Quiet Hollers – Cote D’Azur

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

 

MM BEST OF 2015

Here are our favourite albums of 2015.

15 Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

Julien Baker

 

14 Joe Ely – Panhandle Rambler

joe ely

 

13 Low – Ones And Sixes

LOW_OnesSixes_cover

 

12 James McMurtry – Complicated Game

james mcmurtry

 

11 Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy

titus andronicus

 

10 Quiet Hollers – Quiet Hollers

quiet hollers

 

9 Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie

girl band

 

8 Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion

ezra furman

 

7 The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

decemberists

 

6 Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down…

kurt vile

 

5 Slaves – Are You Satisfied

slaves

 

4 Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Manhattan

Jeffrey Lewis

 

3 Houndmouth – Little Neon Limelight

houndmouth

 

2 Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit

courtney barnett

 

1 Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

protomartyr

 

Check the list from 30-16 here, and our tracks of the year so far here and here.