Another From Grass House

We posted about the welcome return of Grass House a couple of months ago and their latest track, the excellently titled Unknown In The Scene, is another fine example of their melancholic indie rock anchored by the gravelly timbre of singer Liam Palmer.

Give it a spin here.

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Grass House Return

We’ve been long standing fans of Yorkshire based indie rockers Grass House.

Following a extended period of touring in support of debut record, 2013’s A Sun Full and Drowning, they are back with a new song, Learning To Less Feel, which is the first taste of their forthcoming new long-player.

They describe it as more immediate and punchier, more upbeat even, but the track still has their trademark world-weary vocals and while it might feature a nod to a janglier guitar sound, their take on sunshine slacker-pop is pleasingly downbeat and appropriately cloudy.

Welcome back boys!

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Seven Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

1. Terry Malts – Don’t
2. Grass House – All I Have To Do Is Dream (Everly Brothers cover)
3. We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed
4. Vashti Bunyan – Holy Smoke
5. Ming City Rockers – Get Outta Your Head
6. Real Estate – Paper Dolls (Nerves cover)
7. Blood Sister – Paralysis

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Video: Grass House – A Thousand Generators

MM faves Grass House have a brand new video for their track A Thousand Generators, taken from last year’s excellent debut long player A Sun Full And Drowning.

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Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Albums Of 2013 (Part 1 50-31)

Perhaps unusually, this year seemed a better one for albums rather than individual tracks with some fabulous releases over the past twelve months. There were many contenders for our end of year list, but here, after much deliberation, is Part One of our favourites of 2013.

50 Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

More From Daughn Gibson

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49 The Men – New Moon

MM Shorts 331: The Men - New Moon

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48 Pissed Jeans – Honeys

Pissed Jeans - Honeys

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47 The Dodos – Confidence

dodos

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46 Holograms – Forever

holograms forever

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45 Colleen Green – Sock It To Me

colleen green 500x500

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44 Blank Realm – Go Easy

Blank Realm Go Easy

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43 Night Beds – Country Sleep

night beds

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42 Agnes Obel – Aventine

agnes obel aventine

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41 Grass House – A Sun Full And Drowning

Grass House Debut Album

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40 The Oblivians – Desperation

oblivians

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39 Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Any Port In A Storm

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - New Single & Album

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38 No Age – An Object

no age an object

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37 Public Service Broadcasting – Inform – Educate – Entertain

public service broadcasting

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36 Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum

cate le bon mug museum 500

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35 Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

okkervil river

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34 John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

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33 Fuzz – Fuzz

fuzz

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32 I See Hawks In L.A. – Mystery Drug

New Album From I See Hawks In L.A.

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31 Savages – Silence Yourself

Savages Silence Yourself

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Mad Mackerel’s Top Tracks of 2013: 100 – 76

MM's Top Tracks of 2013: 100 - 76

It is that time of year again. The votes have been polled from our MM contributors, the results collated and without further ado, here are Mad Mackerel’s favourite hundred tracks of 2013.

Today, we’re counting down the first twenty five, from 100-76.

100 Woody Pines – Hobo And His Bride
Classic, ramblin’ country blues, where songs are filled with characters fighting to climb up or sliding their way back down – wandering broken hearts, swaggering pimps, crusty hobos – and all inhabiting rundown roadhouses, juke joints and the dusty backroads. Have a listen to the epic tale of young love, The Hobo And His Bride.

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99 The Dodos – Confidence
Warm and wiry indie rock.

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98 Blessed Feathers – Real Song For Emily
Fiercer harmonies and a tenser, more urgent feel than this duo usually give us. Despite being only two and a half minutes long, the song’s plaintive coda has a bitter air of finality.

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97 Bill Callahan – The Sing
Well the only words I said today are “beer” and “thank you” / Beer, thank you / Beer, thank you / Beer

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96 Best Coast – Fear Of My Own Identity
The best fuzzed up pop single of the year.

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95 Eula – I Collapse
Seething, fractured, post-punk blues.

Download Eula – I Collapse mp3

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94 Torres – Honey
A single distorted guitar strum, unsupressed tension, and a raw, slow-burning payoff.

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93 Mark Mulcahy – Let The Fireflies Fly Away
Penguins, a hitch-hiking chicken, a donkey in a Chevrolet and a monkey family feud.

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92 Coke Weed – Sunseekers
A woozy, narcoleptic trip through the realms of psychedelia, indie rock and hazy Americana.

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91 Water Liars – Sucker
The first of three entries from Water Liars. Sucker is the buzzing opener to one of our albums of the year.

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90 The Oblivians – Run For Cover
Garage punks first album for 16 years didn’t disappoint. Run For Cover was a high octane highlight.

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89 Grass House – Spinning As We Turn
Cascading guitars and a hypnotic rhythm section that channels the spirits of Joe Meek and the Velvets.

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88 Ooga Boogas – Sex In The Chillzone
Featuring members of long time faves Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Sex In The Chillzone is an eight minute psych-rock lockdown into the year’s grooviest bass line that sounds like a blend of the Velvet Underground and Parliament.

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87 Of Montreal – Imbecile Rages
Your folks, they are such lovely people / I can’’t understand where you came from“, one of the best opening couplets of this or any other year.

 

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86 The Acquaintances – Paramounts
Tremolo’ed and reverby guitars and echoed out vocals wash over a top-notch rhythm section creating spaced-out garage-influenced rock with a melodic sensibility.

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85 Dim Peaks – Reason
Laid back, folk infused Americana.

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84 Colleen Green – Heavy Shit
Totally infectious, stoned punk.

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83 Shadows At Play – Into The Sun
Upbeat, ethereal folk song that alludes to the Greek mythology story of Icarus, exploring the notion that a man is free once he is defeated.

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82 Harmed Brothers – Love Song For The Assumed
Mixing folk and bluegrass with a wistful twist of poignant melancholy, Love Song For The Assumed was as sweet and as simple a song of heartbreak and longed for resolution as we heard in the whole year.

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81 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? (Mrs M)

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80 Phox – Noble Heart

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79 Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Tribal drumming, 60s Hammer-Horror organ, and reverb.

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78 The Coathangers – Adderall
A propulsive, jittery, slice of post-punk agitation, borne in on the back of tribal drums and a perfect match for a commonly abused drug used to stimulate the central nervous system!

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77 Steve Mason – 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. (Mrs M)

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76 Jules Larson & AG – Bend Into The Break

Check back tomorrow for tracks 51-75.

Grass House Debut Album

Grass House Debut Album

Next Monday will see the release of A Sun Full And Drowning, the debut long-player from long-standing MM faves Grass House.

Featuring ten tracks, the album includes new versions of the bands critically acclaimed and sold out singles Spinning As We Turn (one of our favourite tracks of the year), And Now For The Wild and the recent I Was A Streetlight, as well as earlier single The Faun. 

They are self-styled purveyors of ‘outsider pop’ and it is a term that fits very well with influences assimilated (though not slavishly) from such corners of the musical world as the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno, Deerhunter and The Walkmen. Thankfully though, the band do more than just pay homage, but rather they confidently assert their own identity and style, for this is a collection of mighty fine songs – original, memorable, and (in the best possible sense) insidiously catchy.

You can check out all the singles in our other Grass House posts, but for now wrap your ears around some of the other tracks from the album and roll on Monday (order here).

The Twenty Best Things We Heard, Saw, And Discovered At The Green Man Festival

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Our first visit to the brilliant Green Man Festival. Here are the twenty best things we heard, saw and discovered over the weekend.

1. The Parquet Courts live up to the hype
Like the Ramones on speed, the four-piece transcended all the hype with the set of the weekend – a thrilling, occasionally ramshackle, breakneck excursion into punk, slacker pop and moshpit heaven, and in Stoned and Starving they have a ready made classic for years to come.

2. Dancing Bears at British Sea Power
An epic, brooding, cinematic set brought to a stunning, and appropriately eccentric climax as, during Carrion, two seven foot Grizzly Bears appear amongst the audience  to dance, grapple and lead an impromptu conga.

3. John Cale and Roy Harper still cut the mustard
They may be advanced in years, but both the old boys demonstrated just why the main stage was still the perfect stage for them. First up an amiable Harper showed just why he is a primary influence on so many of today’s folk stars from the Fleet Foxes to Joanna Newsom, finishing his set of pastoral, freak tinged folk with the classic, and beautifully poignant When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease. Then Cale, dressed in a fetching pink suit jacket and tie with denim shorts reeled through a set that built to a fabulous pulsating climax with Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend, Nookie Wood, Satellite Walk, and a stunning version of Jonathan Richman’s Pablo Picasso.

Mikal Cronin 14. Cover versions aplenty
Cover versions abounded everywhere at Green Man. As well as Cale’s brilliant Pablo Picasso, we had Roy Harper doing Dylan’s Girl From The North CountryNeil Young covers from Low (Down By The River) and Band of Horses tearing through Powderfinger, Fanfarlo covering Orange Juice’s Rip It Up, and Mikal Cronin delivering a superb Whole Wide World, but perhaps best of all was Mo Kenney’s melancholic, acoustic take on Bowie’s Five Years – simply mesmerising.

5. Grass House are destined for big things
We’ve loved Grass House for a long time and our first chance to see them live is everything we hoped for. Outsider pop it may be, but the effortless way the band mix dusty, western twang with sinister gothic noir and use them both to weave mournfully surrealistic tales means the crowd is soon gripped. And in the hypnotic and transfixing Spinning As We Turn, the gothic blues of And Now For The Wild and the tense, sinewy I Was A Streetlight they have three singles that should be the envy of just about every other up and coming band out there.

6. James Yorkston’s Dad sings along
A wonderful set by James Yorkston and band is capped by his Dad shyly joining them on stage for a full tent a capella sing-a-long of the Ivor Cutler classic Hold The Barrel Steady.

7. Arbouretum get heavy
Sometimes you just need long hair, cool as fuck riffs, guitar shredding and fantasy led lyrics. Arbouretum were all that and more and in False Spring provided the best air-guitar moment of the weekend.

8. Public Service Broadcasting get funky
Brilliant use of humour, sound samples, computer conversations with the audience, guitar riffs, banjo and persuasive percussion meant Public Service Broadcasting managed to get the entire walled garden crowd on their feet and dancing within two songs. Whether it was a self-conscious shuffle or a full on funky freakout, resistance to tracks like Signal 30, The Now Generation and London Can Take It, proved utterly futile.

9. Barry-Sean is a Whooper
We didn’t know it before, but gradually over the three days we started hearing a few whoops and hollers from Barry-Sean. Sure he started quietly, with a couple of muted efforts for Parquet Courts and then the next day for Grass House and a couple of others, but by the tail end of the festival he was in full voice, hollering like Foghorn Leghorn for Darren Hayman, Public Service Broadcasting and British Sea Power

10. Sam Amidon’s surreal banter
Amidst a lovely set of muder ballads, love songs and a capella gospel tunes, Sam Amidon entertained royally with some surreal between-song banter, none more so than the tale of the messages he receives from Kirsten Dunst’s eyes during her films.

Green Man Main Stage11. The Green Man Stages…
Really are sublime. The Mountain stage nestles at the base of (you’ve guessed it) a mountain, the walled garden stage is simply perfect, the courtyard a delight, the hills, the steps, the views, and this year even the weather meant it was everything we hoped it would be, but expected it wouldn’t.

12. Low really are a classic band
In the press tent one desperate-to-impress young thing opined that despite the new songs not being very good, Low were still a classic band. “Really“, asked another scribe, “do you know the new songs?“, the young thing confessed he didn’t and gently, but firmly, the scribe pointed out you can’t know how good the new songs are if you don’t know them at all. Touché.

And anyway, while the set did contain bonafide classics in Monkey, Over The Ocean and Murderer, at least one of those ‘new songs”, Plastic Cup is destined for the same status.

13. Boutique camping…at our age – hell yes!
Confession time. Barry-Sean paid extra for our four man tent, already put up and waiting for us in the Tangerine field. No more cramped, and crap, single skin pop-up tents that leak and then refuse to return into the carrier you brought them in. Our smugness was unbearable when the one serious downpour of the weekend happened about 2am on Saturday night…we woke dry and warm. The most comfortable festival we’ve ever been to.

14. Edwyn Collins ripping it up
As well as Fanfarlo, Edwyn Collins treats everyone to Rip It Up during a brilliant set in the late afternoon sun.

15. The ever growing popularity of Phosphorescent
As the burgeoning crowd testifies, and indeed the number of them singing along enthusiastically to most of the set, Matthew Houck’s Phosphorescent have delivered a true masterpiece with most recent album Muchacho, and stepped up to the big league. As the majestic Song for Zula floats out across the hills beneath the setting sun, it is probably the most perfect way to capture the enchantment and good-natured magic of this lovely festival.

16. Darren Hayman’s King Charles rap
Illustrating why he is a British songwriting treasure, Darren Hayman introduces Henrietta Maria one of the standouts from 2012 historical concept album The Violence with a role-played soliloquy as King Charles that is as good as it is slightly creepy.

17. Midlake and Band of Horses rock out
Two bands joyously grabbing their headline (or near headline) opportunities on the Mountain stage to deliver crowd-pleasing country-rock with a backwoods feel. Muscular as it was tender, and perfectly matched to the atmosphere and setting of the Brecon Beacons.

18. The Allah-Lahs get groovy
Closing the night on the Walled Garden stage, the Allah-Lahs treat us to some seductive, surf-tinged psychedelia that somehow manages to be both laid back and carefree, and melancholic and nostalgic. Perfection.

19. The art of Nick Reed
In the vintage tent were a host of little stalls. In a corner were t-shirts and postcards from Nick Reed, pre-dating the wonderful David Shrigley, his is a brilliantly warped worldview told through the eyes of a scribbled dog and some scalpel sharp observations. T-shirt for teenage son duly purchased.

20. Marika Hackman enchants in the Rough Trade tent
With a crystalline voice like Nico, and lyrics that are as dark as anything we heard all weekend, Marika Hackman enchanted all who were present when she played a short acoustic set in the Rough Trade tent.

And some of our favourite songs…

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New Grass House Single

New Single From Grass House

London four piece, and long standing MM faves, Grass House are set to release a new single on Marshall Teller Records on the 2nd September. It is a taste of what to expect from the band’s forthcoming debut album A Sun Full And Drowning, which will follow at the end of October.

I Was A Streetlight is another top notch example of their cascading, orchestral indie rock with hypnotic percussion and ominous, foreboding vocals. It all bodes very well for the album and we are looking forward to seeing them live for the first time at Green Man next week.

Grass House Announce “And Now For The Wild” Single

Grass House Announce New Single

Latest signings to Marshall Teller Records, the brilliant Grass House are set to release a new single, And Now For The Wild, on June 24. It comes backed with live favourite Spinning As We Turn (which we posted here) and will be released on seven inch vinyl and available to download.

Possibly their finest moment to date (and they’ve had a few damn fine ones already), the new single is a taste of what to expect from the band’s debut album, which is set for release later this year on their new label. Cascading cinematic guitars with a hypnotic rhythm section, the band continue down a more sonic path with truly great results. Whilst Eno, The Velvet Underground, Joe Meek and The Walkmen still exert some external influence on the band, the Grass House sound is unique and very much stands alone.