Posts Tagged ‘Houndmouth’

  1. Protomartyr & Spray Paint – Corinthian Leather
  2. Mass Gothic – How I Love You
  3. Houndmouth – Golden Age
  4. Iron & Wine – What Hurts Worse
  5. Kevin Devine – Prehistoric  (Now Now cover)
  6. Swearin’ – Grow Into A Ghost
  7. The Molochs – Too Lost In Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are tracks 40-31 in our countdown of Mad Mackerel’s favourite tunes of the past ten years.

40 Avett Brothers – January Wedding (2009)

Banjo, guitar, authentic romantic country and a beautiful ballad.

 

39 First Aid Kit – Wolf (2012)

 

Gorgeous folk harmonies given an almost tribal, native American feel.

 

38 Big Thief – Shark Smile (2017)

 

An airy, meandering number with a hint of Sharon Van Etten about it that tells the story of two lovers involved in a car accident, one of whom lives while the other dies, related from the perspective of the survivor. It is another very fine example of frontwoman Adrianne Lenker at the peak of her storytelling powers.

 

37 Django Django – Default (2012)

Crackles along with all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds. A viciously catchy and erratic tune – it never stops surprising a little more with each listen.

 

36 She Keeps Bees – Gimme (2008)

 

Fiery and reserved, seductive and vaguely crude. Gimme is simultaneously fierce, sultry and intriguing.

 

35 Stornoway – I Saw You Blink (2010)

It’s sunshine and dreaminess and love. There’s self doubt and possibly even a Shelley-esque metaphor used (eyes being the window of the soul and all that). All sung to a back-drop of retro, up-tempo, carefully layered music. He’s in love, distracted, missed his train, and constantly wondering what she’s thinking.

 

34 Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu (2010)

Quivering, quavering vocals, violins, a throbbing cello, guitars that flit from the minimal to the staccato and all overlaid with some of the most surreal (and entertaining) lyrics you’ll ever hear. There is a sly, knowing humour to Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu as well as regret, bitterness and a healthy dose of the macabre.

 

33 We Are Augustines – Chapel Song (2011)

 

This is The Jam’s The Bitterest Pill brought bang up to date and made better. The song is from the view of a fella stood in a chapel whilst the love of his life walks down the aisle … with another bloke. Suffice to say, he’s not in a good place and the vocals lend to this feeling of impotent misery perfectly. Strained, angry and a little menacing, the lyrics match the tune perfectly which is … well … strained, angry and a little menacing.

 

32 Lower Dens – Brains (2012)

 

Opens with a drumbeat that grips your lapels up like a rottweiler on heat.  And then… well, it just gets better of course. Weirdly beautiful, it is throbbing, insistent drone-pop on the one hand and haunting, ghostly freak-folk on the other.

 

31 Houndmouth – Sedona (2015)

The best sing-a-long chorus of 2015 bar none. Altogether now, “Hey little Hollywood, You’re gone but you’re not forgot, You got the cash but your credit’s no good, You flipped the script and you shot the plot, And I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink, A Saturday night kinda pink“.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-51, and 50-41.

Day four of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs of the past 10 years.

140 Chelsea Light Moving – Groovy & Linda (2012)

 

A distorted, bloody jam in tune with the bloody, violent nature of the 1960s shooting it narrates. Any Sonic Youth undertones? What do you think.

 

 139 Dan Auerbach – Heartbroken, In Disrepair (2009)

The gritty guitar sound sets up a soulful, dirty blues where hopelessness finally overpowers determination.

 

138 Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis – The Lonesome Death Of Johnny Ace (2008)

Biopic-epic groover shows the two musicians playing off a southern fried radiation telling the tale of a famous singer’s Russian Roulette tragedy on Christmas day.

 

137 Houndmouth – For No One (2015)

Spare and epic. Surreal and vivid. Plaintive and slyly humorous. An absolute gem of Dylan-esque storytelling that manages to be anything but derivative.

 

136 Deer Tick – Chevy Express (2011)

Sombre, reflective, and undeniably sobering. Chevy Express is the soundtrack to a heavy heart and lonely regret washed by the first light of an early morning dawn and may well be the best thing they’ve ever done.

 

135 Howling Owls – Family Tree (2010)

 

Sinister, noir-ish folk from the Howling Owls. Family Tree is ominous, forbidding, baleful – all the things we love from one of our favourite discoveries of the past ten years.

 

134 The Silver Jews – Strange Victory, Strange Defeat (2008)

David Berman’s lyrics were amongst the sharpest, wittiest, pithiest and most potent in the whole of indie-rockdom. The rumbling Strange Victory, Strange Defeat’s opening verse is Squirrels imported from Connecticut / Just in time for fall / How much fun is a lot more fun? / Not much fun at all and it just gets better from there…

 

133 Tweak Bird – A Sun / Ahh Ahh (2010)

 

Brilliant mix of full-on old-school metal riffing with psychedelic overtones and an absurdly heavy climax. Rock on dudes.

 

132 A.A. Bondy – I Can See The Pines Are Dancing (2009)

Both intriguing and evocative, A.A. Bondy’s lovely, road-weary voice conveys a rarely felt depth of experience on the back of a melody steeped in warm melancholy.

 

131 Angus Stone – It Was Blue (2012)

Borrowing a Stooges’ style riff, It Was Blue is a stunningly good, modern day excursion into fuzzy 70s psychedelic rock.

 

130 Joe Pug – Hymn 35 (2009)

Classic singer-songwriter fare, but set apart from the crowded competition by the the consistently thought-provoking lyrical wordplay and the chance to holler along in the car with I have done wrong / I will do wrong / There’s nothing wrong / With doing wrong.

 

129 James Arthur’s Manhunt – Killzone (2016)

 

An intense, tribal, maelstrom of churning, filthy guitars and pounding percussion that veers into space rock by way of spaghetti westerns and Italian horror films.

 

128 Nightjar – Poor Man’s Son (2008)

 

A wonderfully simple tale of a son done wrong set to a classic bluegrass inflected folk-strum.

 

127 Southerly – Desolation Row (2013)

 

Darkest of dark pop, infectious melody, ominous drone, sparing song structure and astute lyricism.

 

126 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87 (2015)

 

Brilliantly hypnotic riff. Brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

125 Julie Ruin – I Decide (2016)

 

Somehow manages to be outrageously catchy, while simultaneously sounding like an angry bunch of wasps trapped in a jam jar.

 

124 Low – Plastic Cup (2013)

 

Moody and smart-ass sarcastic story of substance abuse, a lifetime of dependence on others, and the soul-crushing future of pointless drug tests. All set to an understated, super-low tempo, and wonderful co-ed vocal harmonies between Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

 

123 Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today (2008)

 

A chaotic, swelling modern day seafarer’s shanty. And the biggest damn sing along chorus in the whole list.

 

122 Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight (2008)

What can you say. Overblown, theatrical, bombastic and yet still one of the greatest indie rock songs of the past ten years. The bluster eventually revealing the true pain and sorrow of desolate heartbreak.

 

121 Fritjof Norrmo – Set Me On Fire (2015)

 

Swedish singer-songwriter’s endearing and somewhat nostalgic tale of a brief, but passionate love encounter. A true heart warmer.

 

Don’t forget to check out tracks 200-181, 180-161, 160-141.

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.

MM Best of 2015 no guitarAnd so here is the final personal Top Twenty of the year. This time it is my turn!

Another twelve months neatly wrapped up and delivered for your listening pleasure and here’s to 2016…

20. Quiet Hollers – Mont Blanc

An apocalyptic, “end-is-nigh” rolling, country rock anthem. Pure poetry with the best coda to a song I heard all year, “shed a tear for the books I shoulda read“.

 

19. H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

Melodic, haunting, weird. Perfect psych-pop with added twisted electronics.

 

18. Arborist – Twisted Arrow

Brilliant debut single of lilting folk-rock concealing a bleak heart and featuring the hushed vocals of none other than Kim Deal of the Pixies.

 

17. Courtney Barnett – Depreston

With her forensic eye for lyrical detail and the ability to capture emotional turmoil in the sparest of sentences, Depreston is the sombre standout from her brilliant debut album proper. A tale of house hunting in Melbourne suburbia that travels from the mundane to the tender to the revealing.

 

16. Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

Take the most infectiously catchy refrain, add jangly guitars, carefree percussion and bubblegum melodies. This is what you get. A hallucinatory classic.

 

15. Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

Irresistible foot-tapping indie rock, the like of which you just don’t hear very much anymore.

 

14. Woolen Men – Life In Hell

A clattering, staccato burst of tense, nervy post-punk that recalls the best of Wire and The Wipers. The aural equivalent of being jabbed in the throat by a stray elbow in the mosh pit.

 

13. Rats On Rafts – Last Day On Earth

A mini masterpiece of epic, circling, incessant grooves. Far, far, far out man.

 

12. Decemberists – Carolina Low

This was one of those stopped-in-your-tracks moments that music gives you sometimes. Watching the Decemberists live in Bristol at the start of the year and Colin Meloy transfixing the whole audience into rapt attention with just guitar and voice. Also spent much of the year repeating “You’ve got an ugly little mouth boy” in a poor imitation of an American accent.

 

11. Low – What Part Of Me

Classic Low – haunting, spectral, fuzzy and quietly, poignantly devastating.

 

10. Spray Paint – Signal Master

Like Chris T Popper, Spray Paint are my favourite discovery of 2015. Easily the sleaziest, seediest offering of the year – caustic, dead-eyed junkie punk, bleak, repetitive, and crushingly brilliant. “It’s time to put the dog down“.

 

9. Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

The Agent Intellect was unexpectedly my favourite record of 2015 and any number of tracks could legitimately have gatecrashed my favourite songs of the year. In the end I had to limit myself to two. This one, Why Does It Shake is described by the band as a “back-handed ode to humanity’s resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” and is equally exasperated and eloquent. It sets the tone with the doom-laden “False happiness is on the rise, See the victims pile high” and concludes in a stunning climax of clatter and squall.

 

8. Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

A hit man, a traffic jam. A sparkling ocean. Another extraordinary track of ominous, foreboding beauty from the Quiet Hollers.

 

7. Gun Outfit – Gotta Wanna

I’m a sucker for dusty, sun-parched rock and expansive widescreen Americana and Gotta Wanna combines the two in perfect unison. This is humming road-weary, dusty desert blues of the finest vintage.

 

6. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Scowling Crackhead Ian

The latecomers entry to the list. Over the course of a few short weeks Jeffrey Lewis’s wryly told tale of growing up with the evil anti-hero of his school days, until they are the only two left in the neighbourhood has firmly embedded itself in to my psyche. It effortlessly helps you to recall your own equivalent of Ian, someone you actively tried to avoid and whose unpredictability could be shocking and whose meanness was legendary (mine was Robert Beckett). “Forever you’ve been Crackhead Ian, It was your kid nickname if we spoke it, You were an insane human being, Whether you ever did or didn’t really smoke it“. Says it all really.

 

5. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

Girl Band’s Holding Hands With Jamie was a criminally underrated release this year. A band that manages to take the most discordant, contradictory noise and meld it into something magnetically compelling that grips like a vice. Pears For Lunch combines a manic energy with Dara Kiely’s lethargic, disinterested vocals as he intones, “Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down, Covered in Sudocrem and talking to myself, Garlic Curry Cheese Chips“. Exactly!

 

4. Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

Just shy of three minutes of propulsive, throbbing bass, skimming guitars and urgent vocals. This is Traams at their rollicking, ferocious best.

 

3. Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

The finest riff of the year, and a brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

2. Houndmouth – Sedona

The best sing-a-long chorus of the year bar none. Altogether now, “Hey little Hollywood, You’re gone but you’re not forgot, You got the cash but your credit’s no good, You flipped the script and you shot the plot, And I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink, A Saturday night kinda pink“.

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’

Probably the most overwhelming choice for number one song of the year that we’ve had in seven years of voting. A fingerpicked earworm, a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection.

 

And some other random choices..

Favourite cover of the year: Kinky Friedman – My Shit’s Fucked Up (Warren Zevon cover)

 

Gigs of the year: Fat White Family (Oxford) and The Decemberists (Bristol)

 

Song I wished I’d heard earlier in the year: Robert Chaney – The Ballad Of Edward And Lisa

 

Best Songs Heard For The First Time, But Not From This Year: Justin Townes Earle – Yuma & Sleaford Mods – Chop Chop Chop

 

 

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 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 no guitarIt is a warm welcome back into the fold for Barry-Sean, and he kicks off our individual contributors personal favourites of the year.

Take it away maestro…

 

10. Slaves – The Hunter 

So, they’re not the most mature lyrics ever. In fact they make a lot of the old punk stuff I listened to as a teenager sound quite sophisticated. But there’s a rawness about Slaves that I really enjoy and who doesn’t love the sound of drums having the living daylights beaten out of them with some cold, hard axe-bashing as an accompaniment? Great track.

 

9. Curtin – I’m a Ghost

And from the loud, tortured sound of Slaves to the softly tortured and slightly menacing sound of this track. I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked it or not when I first head it, but it gradually grew on me and permeated the musical side of my brain.

 

8. Crocodiles – Crybaby Demon

Being a big fan of Echo and the Bunnymen, I’m probably biased towards Crocodiles but this track really does bring to mind the Mighty Macca and his band of not-so-merry men. I’m sure a lot of unkind music critics would call Crocodiles some sort of Bunnymen tribute band but who cares? This is a cracking tune.

 

7. Wave Pictures – I Could Hear the Telephone (3 Floors Above Me)

Another quirky tune from Wave Pictures that never fails to put a smile on my face. It all just sounds a bit daft really but I love these witty little story-ettes. They remind me a lot of 80s bards, The Brilliant Corners, but brought bang-up-to-date. Catchy as you like …

 

6.  Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach

For some reason, I really enjoy listening to The Fat White Family but always walk away feeling a bit guilty and like I’ll never be clean again. I came across this track late in the year and get the very same feeling with it. Deliciously grimy and sleazy. Top work chaps!

 

5. Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire

Whilst Lampshades on Fire is one of my favourite tracks of 2015, it’s still nowhere near my favourite Modest Mouse song ever. That just shows how high they’ve set the bar. Another brilliant tune from a truly great band.

 

4. Low – Lies

Another dark and mellow tune from the band that brought us Plastic Cup. I really liked this track on first hearing and have since grown to love it since.

 

3. Houndmouth – Gasoline

I know most people would have opted for Sedona if they were to choose a Houndmouth song from this year. But I just love these vocals. I could listen to this song several times a day.

 

2. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)

It’s all about the vocals again isn’t it. I’ve deliberately not looked up the lyrics or listened to them too hard for fear of ruining the Father John Misty singing experience. This song is a bit of a drift away for me.

 

1. Courtney Barnett – Elevator Operator

So I’m sat in a café, or a bar or walking along and this girl is telling me a story. And that’s pretty much how I listen to Courtney Barnett songs. She’s got such a conversational, easy going voice and such detailed lyrics (that’s detailed about the small things like vegemite crumbs) that the story Ms Barnett sings is really convincing. She brings a character in a song to life and makes me want to carry on listening. This, and indeed Courtney Barnett, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But I’d be happy to listen to one of her stories over a cup of tea. Top song!

 

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

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.

MM's Top 20 Best of 2014

And so we bring our round up of favourite songs, albums, covers, and guilty pleasures to a close with the final “best of” post, Mad Mackerel’s own top twenty.

20 Kye Alfred Hillig – My Young Love Was As Blind As Ray Charles And Half As Cold As Heat

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19 Parquet Courts – Black And White

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18 Jamie T – The Prophet

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17 The Amazing Snakeheads – Here It Comes Again

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16 The Felice Brothers – Cherry Licorice

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15 Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves

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14 Girl Band – Lawman

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13 The War On Drugs – Red Eyes

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12 Together PANGEA – River

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11 Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

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10 Faces On Film – Percy
Percy kicks off with pulsating, tribal percussion that doesn’t quit throughout the song’s entire four and half minutes. It is like a small child in a sweet shop relentlessly pummelling you into submission until there is nothing left to do but give in. Then once you have you realise this was by far the best course of action anyway – the most infectious rhythm of the year. Resistance is futile.

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9 Sun Kil Moon – Dogs
Dogs is unashamedly, perhaps deliberately, cringingly frank and revealing. No-one sings more conversationally than Mark Kozelek, but it is exactly the lack of sentiment and judgement in this song that gives it such impact. A deadpan tale of sexual fumblings and failures mixed with an all too accurate recollection of our self obsessed teenage selves gives the song a wincing recognition for every listener’s own emotions that makes listening to it almost too painful.

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8 Dream Police – My Mama’s Dead
In my head this is a follow up to Hendrix’s classic Hey Joe. Except my head has been split in two by the sheer brutal, pneumatic force of this song, a snarling, distorted beast of a tune that is as brilliantly grim and unforgiving as the title suggests. Am I the only one who thinks the Dream Police are a far more enjoyable listen than alter-egos The Men?

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7 Parquet Courts – Ducking And Dodging
Ducking And Dodging boasts the catchiest punk riff since, oh I don’t know, Stoned And Starving perhaps. Yet this time it comes with extra ingredients, a little added anger and a whole cauldron full of world weariness and frustration giving their take on a traditional tune a fiery new incarnation and showing once and for all that they were always far, far more than simple Velvets or Pavement disciples.

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6 Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Body Electric
A word perfect riposte to all those endless murder ballads where the woman’s part is merely that of hopeless victim. Over an deceptively hypnotic refrain Alynda Lee Segarra reveals that the tables are turning, “He’s gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river, Cover me up with the leaves of September, Like an old sad song, you heard it all before, Well, Delia’s gone but I’m settling the score

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5 Houndmouth – For No One
Houndmouth announced their return with this sublime slice of surreal Americana. More obtuse than before, it boasted the best opening verse of any song we heard this year, then over a deceptively simple strummed guitar line, Matt Myers travels from resignation to bitterness and ultimately acceptance. For No One is a sparse, poignant ballad that is as close to perfection as you’re likely to hear.

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4 Damien Jurado – Metallic Cloud
Metallic Cloud seems packed full of meaning, overflowing with imagery and allusion and cloaked in layers and layers of mystery. Curiously it feels to me like a companion piece to Neil Young’s After The Goldrush, and I can’t really think of a higher compliment than that. The first song to reduce me to tears this year, in tandem with the red wine mind you.

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3 The Pink Mountaintops – North Hollywood Microwaves
Surreal, obscene, freaky, offensive,  lewd. Repulsive, coarse, vulgar, gross and rude. But unquestionably, undeniably, uniformly brilliant. This was the sound of rock’n’roll updated for the here and now.

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2 The Water Liars – Swannanoa
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Water Liars delivered an exceptional album this year, and this is an undoubted highlight, a melancholy story of searching and loss, of heroin and girls with stutters, of cowardice and looking death in the face. There is no one, but no one, who does this stuff as well as the Water Liars and why they aren’t massive is a source of constant bemusement to me.

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1 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife
I’m gonna show you if it takes all night, We’re staying here till you get it right, It’s been three whole days with no end in sight“, so opens the year’s most chilling, and thrilling, song. An irresistible mix of primeval rock’n’roll, trashcan punk and swampy voodoo blues provides the most exquisitely perfect soundtrack for Dale Barclay’s unhinged protagonist.

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Guilty Pleasure:

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
F**k off, it’s brilliant.

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Favourite Cover of the Year:

Hearts Of Oak – Must Have Been Drunk (George Jones cover)

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Reissue of the Year:

Crime – Piss On Your Dog (from Murder By Guitar)

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