Posts Tagged ‘Hanni El Khatib’

MM Best of 2015 no guitarOur third personal Top Ten comes from ever-present contributor Chris T Popper…

Another set of mighty fine tunes…

 

20 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go

19 Songhoy Blues – Soubour

18 Assed Out – Bueno

17 Houndmouth – Sedona

16 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

15 Abandoned Delta – I Never Lived In New Orleans

14 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres

13 Diet Cig – Harvard

12 Protomatyr – Dope Cloud

11 This Is The Kit – Silver John

10 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight

I first heard this on the Radio 6Music mid morning show back when winters were cold; thankfully songs like this make up for the witless musings of the host(s). Channeling a sound not wholly unlike Timber Timbre and the mighty yet criminally undervalued Howling Owls it’s a slinky little number dripping in reverb and with a splendid hook. Hit the spot with me in January and I never got bored of it. Only fair then that Moonlight makes the top ten, for it’s commendable staying power throughout eleven long months if nothing else.

 

9 Karen Meat & The Players – Pizza & Beer

A great riff opens this tune all slackers will connect with (that’ll be me then). How can you argue with the lyrics ‘I’ll think about exercise, and I’ll close my eyes for only for a minute or two. You want me to be the girl of your dreams but I’d rather barf all the shit I snarfed down earlier’. Great, Karen Meat sounds like my perfect drinking partner (and I’ve had a few). Add some groovy distorted vocals and the whole thing is done and dusted in under 2 minutes. I spent over six months unemployed this year and this was my soundtrack to those halcyon days.

 

8 Spray Paint – Signal Master

First of two entries in my top 10 for Spray Paint who have been my discovery of the year. Hailing from Austin, Texas the three piece was born from the remnants of When Dinosaurs Ruled The World (apparently only three members turned up for rehearsal one day and started playing and laying down tracks). Loosely (at best!) tuned guitars create synchronised chaos that dovetails with my DNA very nicely thank you. The opening line is delivered with a fabulously disinterested drawl – ‘Drinking more, eating less’ – a statement I have no trouble understanding.

 

7 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?

Protomartyr have also been a revelation this year with at least three of their songs pushing for a top ten spot from their excellent 2015 release The Agent Intellect. Touring the USA with their mates Spray Paint early next year coincides with my birthday. If anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket to Miami for the 20th February… Failing that I’ll wait until April for Protomartyr’s London 100 Club gig, minus Spray Paint unfortunately.

 

6 TRAAMS – Succulent Thunder Anthems

I’m a big fan of TRAAMS, and was lucky enough to tune in to their set on Mark Riley’s excellent radio show. They played this tune, a rollicking guitar blast, with an occasional break for some rather foreboding lyrics – ‘You know there’s ice on the road, please don’t slip and break your neck’. This is the band I need to see live in 2016 having missed them at last year’s Great Escape and (inexplicably) throughout 2015. Not a mistake I’ll make again.

 

5 Free Weed – Later

Scarily a social commentary on my own 2015… I’m now slightly panicked by Later. A wonderful beat that’s put it’s feet up, stuck the kettle on while sat on your couch sparking up a big fat one and watching a David Attenborough nature documentary on Ultra HD. Life’s good, worry ‘bout it later…

 

4 Quiet Hollers – Cote D’Azur

On the surface this is a melodic gaze towards the French Riviera. However, there’s an undertow of nasty menace I wasn’t initially aware of (excellent!). I think the protagonist may be a hit man or similar when I heard the lyrics ‘And from the trunk I could hear his voice, begging for his life like I had a choice, he said he had a wife and two little boys, and so I turned up the white noise’. Beautiful, haunting and the contrast leaves me feeling slightly discombobulated.

 

3 Sleaford Mods – Tarantula Deadly Cargo

My favourite song from the Sleaford’s 2015 album Key Markets and there was plenty of competition as it’s stuffed with great tunes. This has a slightly more laid back feel than usual with an inspired loop from Andrew Fearn and Williamson’s lyrics detailing the weary horrors of touring. The title refers to a 1977 TV movie that Williamson describes as “an areoplane full of hairy spiders with bad tempers who start killing the mindlessly frightened passengers”. Best check out Netflix for that then.

 

2 Spray Paint – Day Of The Rope

Heavy bass, discordant lead guitar crashing about the place like a demented baboon on acid and those metronomic drums just keep pounding. Jello Biafra and Gibby Haynes could have cooked this up in a deranged music lab somewhere. Can I make it any clearer how good this song is? Any other year this would have nailed the number 1 spot, it’s provocative, entertaining and utterly insane. I love Spray Paint. They truly are my new favourite band.

 

1 Girl Band – Pears for Lunch

My number one was bound to be a relentless attack on the nervous system so who else but perennial C Popper fave Girl Band to step up. With vocals like Jake Burns after a cold Lemsip, Dara Kiely keeps an impressive howl going throughout. The momentum builds and builds dragging you along for an increasingly brutal and uncomfortable ride, the fabulous Kiely vocals intertwining with the cacophony of sound to provide a full on assault to the musical senses. Simply put, I get goose bumps every time I hear it and what more can you ask for? It’s not just my favourite song of this year, but one that will be precious to me way beyond 2015.

 

And a couple of other awards…

Best Cover: Iron & Wine – Albuquerque

 

Best Song Heard For The First Time, But Not This Year: Adam Torres – Breakneck Jane’s 15 Minute Escape

 

Best Live Act: Fat White Family

Best Album: Sleaford Mods – Key Markets

 

You can see our 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.

Hanni El Khatib - Moonlight

Hanni El Khatib has been tickling the earbuds of Chris T Popper recently who was turned on to Moonlight, the title track of his forthcoming album.

A man of impeccably good taste (mostly), Mr Popper was quite right and proper with his recommendation, and so we’re pleased to share both that track and The Teeth and a final taster from the record before it is released next week with the brilliant Melt Me.

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Best Of 2013: Dr Roddy's Choices

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 we kick off with Dr Roddy…

MM has, again filled my musical cup until it brimeth over, making it another year of anguish and sleepless nights over whether X should be higher in my Top Ten then Y. I know that may not seem like a massive problem in the grand scheme of things but for me it is, trust bruv. So after much wrangling here are my decisions.

10 Hanni El Khatib – Nobody Move
On Hanni El Khatib’s biog on Wikipedia he says that his “…music is for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train”. I think that this is a good way to describe this tune – it hits you flat out, ballsy, raw and aggressive in it’s lunge for your ears. Cracking bit of up tempo rock with a good nod at 70s punk.

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9 Wild Child – Crazy Bird
Never whistle in songs goes the old adage, well tell that to Otis Redding and these guys, fuckos! This tune has a such a feelgood factor to it, it positively bristles with fun and bounce. The melancholy sound of the fiddle in the background gives it some real gravitas, so you can feel serious when you are whistling along to it. You know you will!

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8 Drenge – Backwaters
I love this powerful two piece out of Derby. Sort of Henrys Funeral Shoe meets The Smiths. I have always been a sucker for this sort of sound. You’re just towed away on the riptide of noise. This is the kind of song you turn up to eleven when people are in the middle of talking to you about some inane shit.

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7 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
You were a Nazi hunter, I was a cockney punter” sings Mathias Kom. After hearing that opening line I thought, “Hello, that’s different,that’s got my attention“. A wonderful sing along track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in the list.

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6 King Krule – Easy, Easy
My friend bought me the King Krule album for my birthday this year. It was an inspired choice and it lived in the CD tray for some weeks – I think they had started to bound molecularly. A gruff and untempered voice guides you through a cultural landscape that sounds empty and barren, which is emphasised by the production on the lonely guitar that accompanies King Krule’s lament.

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5 Water Liars – Linens
I don’t think I have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of this song, so I’m not going to try. If you know this song then you will know that at some point everyone has or does share this song’s wants, needs and ideology. If you don’t know the song, catch yourself some quiet time, a good whisky and indulge…..

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4 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster
With a opening sound filthier than a night out with Jimmy Savile, this track has been a staunch favourite since my first listen. The bass line and guitar riff are simple, but massively addictive and unwavering in ferocity as the song crescendos during the chorus. It is the one song this year that whenever anyone hears it for the first time they sit there quiet, then at the end, without fail say “That was awesome, Who was that?

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3 Cave Singers – Have To Pretend
What a groove this song has – it chugs away happily down the line, the drums are pounded relentlessly, their only company a bass line that seems to have the demeanour of a drunken Sunday afternoon. Pete Quirk’s voice is a wonderful accompaniment and his lackadaisical delivery of lyric, it’s as if it would kill him to pronounce any word properly. This just adds to the songs swagger.

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2 John Grant – GMF
This song was a real grower upon first hearing it I thought “Oh that’s alright” then I carried on about my business. Then one day I properly listened. Any song that has the line “Half of the time I think I’m in some movie / I play the underdog of course / I wonder who they’ll get to play me, maybe / they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse” is a winner in my book. This song really is a lyric driven tune, the melody underneath is a vehicle for some wonderfully arrogant word play but what would you expect from a song entitled GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker).

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1 Low – Plastic Cup
From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and vast yet warm soundscape. I love the song’s theme of having to piss into a plastic cup then it being dug up in a thousand years and heralded as the cup the king drank from every night. It is the kind of faux pas that wouldn’t look out of place in a Python sketch. A truly wonderous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in.

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Best song I have heard this year, not from this year.

Future of the Left – Small Bones, Small Bodies
Don’t have a Scooby what this song is about, just know that I adore it. It has more front than Brighton and just rocks my world everytime I hear it. If it was this year it would defo have been my number one. I’m a bit late to the Future of the Left party, but now I’m here lets turn the music up and ‘ave it.

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Favourite cover song of the year

Quiet American – Gallows Pole
I am a massive Led head, Zeppelin are idolised because of this ridiculous pedestal that I have them on. I believe that you should never try to cover any of their tunes (the same goes for Aretha Franklin). This song however is the exception that proves the rule. A great re-work of the track without damaging it.

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Best gig of 2013

Hudson Taylor – East Oxford community church (Gathering Festival)
I have seen some great bands this year and my God I have seen some dross too. This year my girlfriend and I attended Gathering festival, which is on our doorstep in Oxford. We were lucky enough to catch Hudson Taylor. Four guys stepped on to the stage with no ego or pretence – they just exuded fun and merriment. Soon this had spread like wildfire through the crowd. Pretty soon the measly 40/50 people who had come to see these guys where whipped up into a fervour and carried away with the band’s thunderous performance, as if we were packed into a pub in their native Ireland. They supported Kodaline on their UK tour and sold out every show they played with them. If you want to see a awesome live band, see these guys.

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Guilty pleasure

Chloe Howl – Rumour
I am far too old to like this kind of power pop but Rumour is just such a well crafted piece of music and deftness of lyric. Chloe Howl was another revelation from Gathering. If you have teenage kids take them to see this girl, then sneak out the next day and buy her album for yourself.

MM's Best of 2013 - 50 - 26

Part three of our favourite 100 tracks of 2013. Today we’re counting down from 50 – 26.

50 Hanni El Khatib – Nobody Move
In Hanni El Khatib’s biog on Wikipedia he says that his “…music is for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train“. I think that this is a good way to describe this tune as it hits you flat out, ballsy, raw and aggressive in its lunge for your ears. Cracking bit of uptempo rock with a good nod at 70s punk. (Dr R)

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49 Vandaveer – Omie Wise
From Vandaveer’s outstanding reinterpreting of traditional murder ballads came the tale of the particularly nasty Omie Wise. He gets his comeuppance in the end.

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48 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. (MM)

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47 Public Broadcasting Service – Signal 30
Brilliant and mesmerising combination of high octane guitar riffage, retro public information film samples and electro beats. (MM)

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46 Tired Pony – All Things All At Once
Boasting quite a line up Tired Pony have got it all going on. All Things At Once has a pure, unpolished feel to it, like they all just happened to be together and decided to start playing and recording and here it is. Country? Folk? Americana? Who knows. Whatever it is, it sounds bloody good to me. (PP)

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45 Caroline Rose – Six Foot Woman
You don’t get more honky tonk than Caroline Rose’s self-effacing tale of the mighty six foot woman. Sounds like it was dug up in a 1970s Tennessee roadshack.

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44 Parquet Courts – You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now
Stoned and Starving would have been our song of the year, but for its minor self-release in 2012. No matter scrappy, swaggering, nihilistic NY punks Parquet Courts gave us this gem instead. A highlight of their performance at the Green Man festival and our undoubted gig of the year. (MM).

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43 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. (Mrs M)

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42 Haim – Falling
A last minute change around has put Haim into my Top Ten for the year. Every time I hear this song I am reminded of just how good I think it is. Very polished, really well produced, love those harmonies and that retro feel. Haim are like marmite. I like marmite. (PP)

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41 Drenge – Backwaters
I love this powerful two piece out of Derby. Sort of Henrys Funeral Shoe meets The Smiths. I have always been a sucker for this sort of sound – you’re just towed away on the riptide of noise. This is the kind of song you turn up to eleven when people are in the middle of talking to you about some inane shit. (Dr R)

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40 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. (Mrs M)

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39 Willie Nile – Life On Bleecker Street
Second entry for Mr Nile and another evocative ear worm, this time the observations on life on a certain street in Manhattan that was once a major center for American bohemia.

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38 Deptford Goth – Union
It’s the simplicity of this tune that first got me hooked. It’s also a song I would have been in love with as a teenager. It might be electro pop but there is a fair amount of misery and sorrow in there too, so what’s not to love? (PP)

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37 Wooden Shjips – Everybody Knows
Channeling Neil Young by way of Hawkwind, Wooden Shjips gave us this hypnotically evocative and brilliant slab of psych rock on latest album Back To Land (MM).

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36 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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35 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)? (Mrs M)

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34 Water Liars – Fake Heat
I kind of loved this song despite trying not to if you know what I mean? In the end I gave in gracefully (which wasn’t difficult, there’s a fair bit of imploring in this one) as the heart should always overrule the brain when it comes to music. It does have an undeniable glory to it as well though which can’t help stirring even this most cynical of souls. (CP)

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33 King Krule – Easy Easy
My friend bought me the King Krule album for my birthday this year. It was an inspired choice that lived in the CD tray for some weeks, I think they had started to bound molecularly. A gruff and untempered voice guides you through a cultural landscape that sounds empty and barren, all emphasised by the production on the lonely guitar that accompanies King Krule’s lament. (Dr R)

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32 Agnes Obel – Fuel To Fire
This beautiful song stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it a couple of months ago. All a bit haunting and full of melancholy. The album is a treat but Fuel To Fire stands out at the front for me. A great find for 2013. Lovely. (PP)

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31 Laura Marling – Master Hunter
A raging calm of Dylan referencing vitriol set to a rollicking backdrop.

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30 Telekinesis – Ghosts And Creatures
There is something familiar and comforting about this indie tune. Love all that distortion and a beat that makes me want to dance, or at least sway a little in a kind of early 90s way. Turn it up and you will feel uplifted. (PP)

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29 The River Has Many Voices – If You Gotta Go (Go With Me)
Poetically beautiful song of love, loss, sorrow and melancholy. 

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28 Big Haunt – Burn Me Up
We received an e-mail. It said, “We are a Portland, Oregon band called Big Haunt. We play spooky, gospel infused big beat indy folk. This is our first single, “Burn Me Up.”  It’s a song about ritualistic fire sacrifice and murder. We thought you might like it.“ We did. We liked it very much. (MM)

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27 Savages – She Will
Highlight from their Mercury Prize nominated album Silence Yourself. She Will is a peerless combination of icy post-punk cool and brutal hardcore.

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26 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster
With a opening sound filthier than a night out with Jimmy Saville, this track has been a staunch favourite since my first listen. The bass line and guitar riff are simple, but massively addictive and unwavering in ferocity as the song crescendos during the chorus. It is the one song this year that, whenever anyone hears it for the first time, they sit there quiet then at the end, without fail say “That was awesome. Who was that?” (Dr R)

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Why not check out our picks for 100 – 76, and 75 – 51 too.