Posts Tagged ‘Howling Owls’

We’re getting towards the sharp end of our mammoth count down now. Here are songs 30-21 of our favourites of the past ten years.

30 Bear Bones – Oil And Lacquer (2010)

 

An eight-piece folk explosion of rousing, thickly accented, swagger and swing.

 

29 James McMurtry – Copper Canteen (2015)

 

Opening with the quasi-funny, possibly serious “Honey don’t you be yelling at me while I’m cleaning my gun“, plucked banjo and descending guitar plot the staging posts of a jaundiced marriage – one of America’s finest, and uneasiest, singer-songwriters.

 

28 Cave Singers – At The Cut (2009)

 

A three minute, foot-tapping, bone-trembling dust-up. At The Cut is the Cave Singers at their sweaty, percussion-heavy finest.

 

27 Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Colour Television (2008)

 

The insistent guitar is ravaged with a punk attitude I thought was long dead. Could have come from 1976 and share a gob full of spit with the best of that era, by that I mean The Clash and there is no greater praise I can bestow. Another story televised / Another billion hypnotised. Quite

 

26 The Lumineers – Flapper Girl (2012)

 

Simple, sincere, parlour-room folk of the most heartfelt and vulnerable kind.

 

25 Junip – Line Of Fire (2013)

 

Wistful and reflective; there’s more than a kernal of truth in these insightful lyrics: You realise it’s just a whim/And you notice it matters/Who and what you let under your skin.

 

24 We Are Augustines – Ohio (2011)

Our second cover in the countdown, We Are Augustines’ stunning take on Damien Jurado’s wonderfully evocative and painfully sad tale of parental kidnap.

 

23 Jamie T – Spiders Web (2009)

The pretty acoustic guitar motif is offset by Jamie T’s uniquely rasping vocal of part rap, part song and part slur, and all backed up with a rowdy chorus that could blast stone from a quarry.

 

22 Howling Owls – A Wordsmith’s Reverie (2011)

 

More queasily understated folk from Howling Owls. With an almost waltz-time feel, here is another perfectly delivered everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations.

 

21 Damien Jurado – Metallic Cloud (2014)

 

It’s a temporary fix / In case you don’t come down’ – and maybe it is. A lingering air of melancholy over a simple soaring musical arrangement, this is (in a way) the musical religion of Damien Jurado. All seeing, all knowing, quietly anthemic and ethereal.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-41 and 40-31.

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.

Howling Owls

It is nearly five years since we have heard from Howling Owls, still one of our favourite ever discoveries in the ten years of MM. A hugely underrated band, we thought Florida’s finest had slipped back into the everglades…

So it was quite a surprise, and an unexpected pleasure to get a short e-mail announcing a new single with the typically excellent title Same Circus, Different Clowns.

Lyrically brilliant, for those unfamiliar with the band, they deal in a wonderfully twisted blend of indie rock and Americana – one that hints at sinister undertones and hidden agendas behind a thinly cloaked veneer of respectability.

Listen below and check out our previous posts here – you won’t be disappointed.

Welcome back Howling Owls!

 

MM The Last Five Years - Chris T Popper

Believe it or not, Mad Mackerel has been around for more than five years now. During that time we’ve posted more than 4,000 times, and offered more than 5,000 songs for your listening pleasure. And more than three quarters of a million people have paid MM a visit during our lifetime on Google’s (godawful) blogspot and since April 2010 on WordPress.

We asked some of the regular MM contributors to give us their top twenty songs since MM first went live and we’re also going to give you one big mega-listing shortly, first up was Dr Roddy and now the ultra-punctual and fastidious Chris T Popper offers up his selections.

20) Strand of Oaks – Trap Door

.

19) Avett Brothers – January Wedding

.

18) Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer

Download Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer mp3

.

17) Toby Burke – Cantina Crawl

Download Toby Burke – Cantina Crawl mp3

.

16) Wye Oak – Civilian

Download Wye Oak – Civilian mp3

.

15) The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight

Download The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight mp3

.

14) Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu

Download Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge of The Extra From Zulu mp3

.

13) Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill

Download Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill mp3

.

12) Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual

.

11) Howling Owls – Snake Charmer (No Money In The Bank)

Dowload Howling Owls – Snake Charmer (No Money In The Bank) mp3

.

10) Sonny + The Sandwitches – Through The Fog And Haze
Over the years I have never forgotten how much this song meant to me; if anything it gets stronger like an addiction (and considering this is a personality trait I’ve developed over the years I will happily succumb). I can be in the shower/waiting in a queue/at a meeting with senior management and I’ll randomly sing the first line. Sometimes that doesn’t work out so well when someone is talking flow charts and I’m singing ‘through the fog and the haze…’ at them. But it makes more sense than what their flapping mouths are coming out with. It’s just going to happen.

Download Sonny + The Sandwitches – Through The Fog And Haze mp3

.

9) Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano
Not a single mackerel swam my way on this one. I was denounced as an absolute arse but I cared not. Hayman wrote this song after suffering a fractured skull; which opened up the idea to him of writing a song gentle enough to listen to with brain ache. There is nothing wrong with gentle in this age of incessant noisy shit. It is a beautiful soliloquy telling the story of a piano’s life (something I always wanted to hear) luckily I was able to understand – they didn’t. Their fault not mine.

Download Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano mp3

.

8) Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Colour Television
Passed me by initially. Found it by simply playing my iTunes on shuffle one night a couple of years ago and was instantly hooked… and what a revelation. The insistent guitar is ravaged with a punk attitude I thought was long dead. By that I mean talent. Could have come from 1976 and share a gob full of spit with the best of that era, by that I mean the Clash and there is no greater praise I can bestow. Another story televised, another billion hypnotised. Quite.

Download Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Colour Television mp3

.

7) Dennis Hopper Choppers – Good To Me
As soon as that horn blast announces its arrival I’m in. It builds with a rhythmic hypnotism that refuses to let go. Evoking the spaghetti western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone with an outstanding vocal from Ben Nicholl (I was lucky enough to catch this live and it didn’t disappoint) it’s never been off the ‘best of’ playlists since I heard it.

.

6) The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind
A timeless guitar riff that immediately sends my brain synapses in to electrical overdrive. Everything else becomes secondary to tapping my foot and grinning inanely. To be fair though, grinning inanely comes fairly naturally…

I went to see the Cave Singers live and they didn’t even perform this song (and it’s still in my top ten!). Now I know their back catalogue is good, but next time I’ll write the set list for fucks sake.

Download The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind mp3 (from Welcome Joy)

.

5) Lower Dens  – Brains
In the language of common parlance may I just say one thing? OMG. In fact I’ll go even further… OMFG! I swear down. Now I’ve totally alienated you I’ll continue… There is a subtlety to this work you have no idea about unless you have included it in your own top 5 (which you haven’t). Opens with a drumbeat that grips your lapels up like a rottweiler on heat.  And then… well, it just gets better of course. I suggest you go and listen to it and then come back to me and we’ll talk about it over a large gin & tonic and a ridiculously large bifta.

.

4) Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes
Smashed in to my number one spot last year and who could stop it? I have no idea what it’s about and neither do I care. It’s just not important to me because I can put this song on at any time, in any mood (and by jingo I can be a moody bastard) and find myself singing the chorus loud and proud – without getting a single word right. But hey that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? The sheer momentum carries you along like a crazed right wing Chancellor at a witch’s funeral – enough to shed a tear for the right reasons.

.

3) Phospherescent – Song For Zula
When Mr Mackerel asked us to put together our favourite songs of the last five years I was a little cautious of including any recent favourites. It’s difficult enough to pick 20 of the best at any time… but Song For Zula transcends the conundrum. The impact of the opening bars/violins/first line (referencing Johnny Cash no less) is timeless. I have a special place in my heart for Phossie and the Red Eyed Fly in Austin when I first saw them live (get me!) – opening with a Radiohead cover and then converting me to country music by channelling the great Willie Nelson. Met him (Phossie not Willie!) by the way. I want to be his best friend. He doesn’t.

.

2) Howling Owls – A Wordsmith’s Reverie
You know when you read a book and think ‘shit I could never write that beautifully’ (I’m a frustrated author as well as human being) – Howling Owls does that musically. There is a self-aware yet peaceful desperation to this; and not a single word is wasted. The lament of ‘I will change everything about me for you – except for the fact I can never be what you want me to be’ is heartbreaking. It also makes you realise how shit this world is. Far more people know about Kim Kardashian than Howling Owls and Wooden Wand put together. Just think about that for a moment- done that? Good. Now try not to wail in utter sadness…

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3

.

1) Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed
This is my favourite song of the last five years of Mad Mackerel. It’s actually hard to write anything that can really do it the justice it deserves… I love music so much that a work of this sheer magnitude can leave me running on empty, even when it comes to my typical hyperbole. So, deep breath… here goes. From the moment I heard it I knew it was special. And it’s never lost its impact or the way it moves me like no other song. I know people like me say ‘genius’ a lot (and that people say that people say ‘genius’ a lot when they shouldn’t). This is genius.

Download Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed mp3

.

And my 3 favourite bands…

3) Jeff The Brotherhood
2) Wooden Wand
1) Phosphorescent

Needs a mention

Best Cover:
Download Port O’Brien – Halo mp3 (Beyonce Cover)

My favourite Live Act of 08-13
Phossie – Red Eyed Fly, Austin, Texas 2009
I suddenly and quite unexpectedly understood country music.

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month - August 2011. Our usual round up of the very best of our August posts and some new tracks too. Dip in – every one a winner as they say.

Download The Cabin Dogs – High Falls mp3 (from Midnight Trail)

Invites you to kick off your boots, pour a stiff one and sit on the porch to watch the sun go down – a song for when you’re busy doing nothing as they say.

Download Spectrals – Big Baby mp3 (from Big Baby 7″)

Spritely and upbeat that melds 60s girl group fizz with Elvis Costello in an entirely good way.

Download Waters – O Holy Break Of Day mp3 (from Out In The Light)

Delicate and almost hymn-like indie rock with a sparse, raw feel.

Download Male Bonding – Tame The Sun mp3 (from Endless Now)

Excellent slice of punky power pop.

Download Forest Fire – Future Shadows mp3 (from Staring At The X)

First taster from specialists in weirded out country folk and blues doesn’t disappoint.

Download The Coasts – Handshakers mp3 (from The Coasts)

Quirky anthem that’s equal parts gritty rockabilly and punching pop.

Download Peggy Sue – Cut My Teeth mp3 (from Acrobats)

A six minute, slow brooding burn with a heavier, more viscous feel than previously.

Download Howling Owls featuring WoolfCubb – Spirits To Lift My Spirits mp3 (from Purple On Purple EP)

MM faves return with slightly more upbeat track. And we stress the slightly…

Download Blitzen Trapper – Love The Way You Walk Away mp3 (from American Goldwing)

Another top-notch slice of loose, countrified rock.

Download Beirut – The Rip Tide mp3 (from The Rip Tide)

Superb title track from new album.

Download Ganglians – Drop The Act mp3 (from Still Living)

Smoother than usual garage-psych.

Download Little Gold – Sisters & Friends mp3 (from Weird Freedom)

Easy-breezy basslines, washed-out harmonies, and powerfully mellow drumming.

Download Amen Dunes – Bedroom Drum mp3 (from Through Donkey Jaw)

Another taste of the ominous, malevolent, unique folk stylings from new album.

Download The Ettes – The Pendulum mp3 (from Wicked Will)

Beat-punk and garage sleaze with a healthy dose back porch blues swagger and fuzzed up reverb.

Download Sick Figures – Graveyard Swagger mp3 (from Two Ghosts)

Raucous, saloonish type of rock and roll evoking a dark, eerie mood.

Download The Witch And The Robot – Houdini mp3 (from Fear Of Mountains)

Wonderful blend of peculiarly British pysch-pop and acid folk accompanied by appropriately surreal lyrics.

Download Deer Tick – Miss K. mp3 (from Divine Providence)

Classic slice of bluesy, bar-room Americana from forthcoming album.

Download Ducktails – Sit Around With Ya mp3 (from Killin The Vibe 12″)

Immerse yourself in a mellow hypnotic haze.

Download Luke Temple – Ophelia mp3 (from Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care)

Chugging twang, upbeat and cajun tinged.

Download The Fresh & Onlys – I Would Not Know The Devil mp3 (from I Would Not Know The Devil 7″)

A crackerjack of garage rumble, surf harmonies and guitar jangle.

Download Colossal Gospel – I Have A Heart, I Have A Heart mp3 (from Circles)

Sublime nine minutes of fragile folk beauty that reminded us of Lambchop at their best.

Download Guadalupe Plata – Pollo Podrio mp3 (from Guadalupe Plata)

Think of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion duelling with The Dirtbombs in the Castilla La Mancha…and, er, you’ll not even be close.

Download Beak> – Welcome To The Machine mp3 (from Wish You Were Here Again)

Rigid, pulsating version of Pink Floyd classic.

Download Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt – The Town Crazies mp3 (from Tweaker In The Park)

Personal, whimsical sometimes, slyly sinister at others, lyrically sharp lo-fi folk.

Download Woodsman – In Circles mp3 (from Mystic Places EP)

Swirling, spacey guitars, reverb washes, tribal drum patterns, vocal delays and ominous repetition mix into a mesmerising, pulsating whole.

Download The Barr Brothers – Beggar In The Morning mp3 (from The Barr Brothers)

Folky, harmony filled and gorgeous.

Download Blessed Feathers – Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle mp3 (from From The Mouths Of The Middle Class)

A bitterly beautiful reminder of winter’s immediacy in the Midwest.

Download Something Men – Birdy Roof mp3 (from Something Men 7″)

Effortlessly channeling early Velvets rumble and the simple, but effective chord sequences of the Kingsmen into a classic garage sound.

Download Wavves – I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl mp3 (from Life Sux EP)

More lo-fi, slacker punk goodness.

And to finish off we have new tracks for you too – a chaotic, hook ridden pop gem from Oberhofer, an unsettling six minutes of astral pop from Atlas Sound, attractive indie jangle from Sweden’s Youngfuck, and the infectious pulsing rhythms and quirky imagery of Big Tree.

Download Atlas Sound – Terra Incognita mp3 (from Parallax)

Download Oberhofer – Gotta Go mp3 (from Gotta Go)

Download Youngfuck – Black Tulips mp3 (from Youngfuck 7″)

Download Big Tree – This Fall mp3 (from This New Year)

New Song From Howling Owls. It is always a joy to receive a new song from MM faves Howling Owls, and it is no different with this one. Craig from the band simply told us “I worked on this one solo using mostly an old purple keyboard from the 90s. An attempt at more positive songwriting. You may enjoy.”

Spirits To Lift My Spirits is the track. Probably goes without saying that we are enjoying it – think you will too.

And if you haven’t already, head over to their Bandcamp page here to pick up the unremittingly excellent When Tipsy Turns Somber EP completely free.

Download Howling Owls featuring WoolfCubb – Spirits To Lift My Spirits mp3 (from Purple On Purple EP)

Here are the juiciest cuts from our May postings rounded up and presented as one marvellous mix plus a couple of cracking new tracks as well. Be sure to check out all our previous ‘Best Of the Month’ mixes in the sidebar too.

Download Country Mice – Morning Son mp3 (from Twister)

Country rock and blistering sonic experiments combining to deliver a brilliant apocalyptic ballad.

Download Howling Owls – Hay Fever mp3 (from When Tipsy Turns Somber EP)

Deliciously ominous folk music that creeps from the edges of the swamp and imperceptibly curls icy fingers around the back of your neck.

Download The Black Lips – Modern Art mp3 (from Arabia Mountain)

A garage fuelled boozy swagger with added meaty Stooges Fun House era sonics.

Download Jackie-O Motherfucker – In The Willows mp3 (from Earth Sound System)

Banks of hazy guitars that threaten to show the chillwave youngsters where it’s at with some sun dappled riffs.

Download Abigail Washburn – City Of Refuge mp3 (from City Of Refuge)

Charming mix of Appalachian folk and bluegrass topped with a gorgeous vocal delivery.

Download The Skeleton Dead – Lock The Doors mp3

Brilliantly realised tale of the macabre – follow the twists and turns of a murderous burglar told over a sparse backdrop of gentle instrumentation that acts as a wonderful counterbalance to the coiled menace of the lyrics – this gem gives a twisted new take on murder ballads.

Download Mount Moriah – Lament mp3 (from Mount Moriah)

Wonderfully hymnal chant over a delicate acoustic narrative.

Download Leaving – Lonely Child mp3 (from Ghost House EP)

Sparse, ghostly and beautiful folk with slow, swirling instrumentation like tendrils of smoke from a campfire.

Download The Middle East – Hunger Song mp3 (from I Want That You Are Always Happy)

Australian folk musical collective’s upbeat gem.

Download Moses Luster – I’m The Lion mp3 (from I’m The Lion)

For lovers of tales of the downtrodden and the desperate.

Download Bonnie “Prince” Billy & The Phantom Family Halo – The Mindeater mp3 (from The Mindeater)

Bonnie’s vocal performance is perhaps already one of his eeriest in years – creepy backwoods paranoia anyone?

Download Marissa Nadler – The Sun Always Reminds Me Of You mp3 (from Marissa Nadler)

Her unique blend of dream pop, but this time pedal steel adds a distinct country feel to accompany that exquisite, ethereal voice.

Download Elliott Brood – Northern Air mp3 (from Days Into Years)

Another very fine example of their bluegrass tinged, up tempo alt-country with a classic singalong chorus.

Download U.S. Girls – If These Walls Could Talk mp3 (from U.S. Girls / Slim Twig Split 12″)

Hazy, insistent pop minimalism.

Download Slim Twig – Priscilla mp3 (from U.S. Girls / Slim Twig Split 12″)

Brilliantly twisted pop-art.

Download Chad VanGaalen – Sara mp3 (from Diaper Island)

Sparse, sweet, wide-eyed acoustic taster from new album.

Download Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone mp3 (from Volume 2)

Ultra catchy country and horns rumble.

Download The Stripminers – No Luck mp3

Acerbic, punky take on Americana.

Download The Adultery Brothers – Something In My Drink mp3 (from Let Me Think)

Effevescent toe-tapping indie rock.

Download Pearl & the Beard – Sweetness mp3 (from Killing The Darlings)

Spitting, crackling folk with rousing boy/girl harmonies and mischievous ways.

Download The Blood Arm – Introducing Randy Newman mp3 (from Turn And Face Me)

Explosively catchy blend of tribal drums, relentless rock ‘n’ roll guitar and classicly simple, but effective hooks.

Download Mr Plow – Thank You Mr Ford mp3 (from Joyful In Song We Are)

Rich baritone voice lingers over a backdrop of twangy Gretsch guitars, shuffling drums and zinging flat top acoustic strumming.

Download The Roadside Graves – Love Me More mp3 (from We Can Take Care Of Ourselves)

Perfectly judged slice of tattered country rock with a rich chorus and a expansive feel.

Download Savaging Spires – Bending The Rules For Brian mp3 (from Savaging Spires)

Spooky slice of freakish folk and drone with a chorus that sounds like a voodoo incantation over slow, ominous backing strings.

Download The Sea Thieves – Focus The Stars mp3 (from They Will Run)

Hypnotic and haunting, it is a song that is meant for the quiet of evening when the stars are out and the only other sound is the wind rustling the leaves.

Download Twiggy Frostbite – By The Ocean mp3 

Hazy, dreamlike song that sounds like it was created in a netherworld where surreal is the norm, and nothing is quite as it seems or as it should be.

And to finish we have the slightly unhinged proto-garage of The Bats Pajamas, the brilliantly retro garage soul of Fitz & The Tantrums (with a track just made for open-top cruising), and the first taste of songwriter Van Pierszalowski’s new project following the very sad demise of the wonderful Port O’Brien. Called Waters, this is his rousing single For The One.

Download The Bats Pajamas – Downtown Nitty Gritty mp3 (from The Bats Pajamas)

Download Fitz & The Tantrums – Don’t Gotta Work It Out mp3 (from Songs For A Break Up: Volume 1 EP)

Download Waters – For The One mp3 (from Out In The Light)

In the past twelve months, Howling Owls may well have featured more on MM than any other band. Ever since we discovered their uniquely sinister take on the world with queasy tales of small town life, they have continued to delight and surprise with a whole series of tracks that have been uniform in their excellence.

So we are delighted to have both details of their first EP, the wonderfully titled When Tipsy Turns Somber and a new song for you in the shape of Hay Fever. The EP features a number of tracks we’ve previously posted – off kilter stories of a David Lynch style nightmare suburbia with characters struggling to conceal sides they’d rather the world didn’t see, of broken dreams and lost hope, and of a vicious circle of self-inflicted disappointments.

This is deliciously ominous folk music that creeps from the edges of the swamp and imperceptibly curls icy fingers around the back of your neck.

Best of all the whole EP can be downloaded for free from their Bandcamp page here – along with that brilliant cover art. Take our word for it, this will improve your iTunes library no end…and fingers crossed, there will be a debut long player in the autumn.

Download Howling Owls – Hay Fever mp3 (from When Tipsy Turns Somber EP)

Here is our regular round up of the best of January’s posts plus a couple of new tracks for your listening pleasure – all beautifully designed to make one perfect mixtape.

Download Wooden Wand – The DNR Waltz mp3

More classic down-tempo folk from greatly underrated MM fave.

Download Phosphorescent – Are You Ready For The Country? mp3

Riff-heavy, mean-assed cover which brilliantly captures the double-edged viciousness of Neil Young’s original.

Download Akron/Family – So It Goes mp3

A soulful psych-bounce over a groove both surly and sexy.

Download Secret Colours – Follow The Drone mp3

Texas-style psychedelia with a modern veneer.

Download The Veils – Bloom mp3

Nicely taut and hypnotic affair with an almost Wilco-esque bassline – it’s melodic, unpredictable and very, very good!

Download Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever mp3

Excellent appetiser from forthcoming album Smoke Ring For My Halo.

Download Pete & The Pirates – Winter 1 mp3 Removed by a modern day King Canute who doesn’t realise it has been given away free all over the internet. You cannot offer it free in one place and not expect it to turn up in another and what’s the difference? Get it loads of other places via the Hype Machine.

Welcome return from indie stalwarts offering a new direction and an echo of Donna Summer crossed with Can

Download Obits – You Gotta Lose mp3

More wonderfully sleazy, rockabilly rumble.

Download The Builders & The Butchers – Lullaby mp3

Another perfect example of their debauched country/folk stompathons.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Too Much Of A Good Thing mp3

A hymn to channel the raw feelings and chronicle the lives of the fucked-up romantics of Hurray For The Riff Raff’s home by the Mississippi.

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3

An everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations Howling Owls style, this time it has an almost a waltz-time feel.

Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide – So It Goes mp3

Promising mix of catchy folk and indie pop that has that little extra quality that means it insistently burrows its way in past all the flotsam and jetsam in your brain and lodges itself firmly in your head.

Download The Caulfield Sisters – Caterwauling mp3

Gorgeous pop disguised in a layer of sonic distortion.

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3

Typically literate horror inflected cowboy tale.

Download The Mind Spiders – Neurotic Gold mp3

Wonderfully uncluttered, joyous form of proto garage-rock that is simple, unaffected and damn catchy.

Download Jeff The Brotherhood – Bummer mp3

Calls to mind the Ramones jamming with the Sonics and having a blast.

Download Duke Garwood – Summer Gold mp3

Sparse, skeletal unsettling folk-blues.

Download The Skull Defekts – Fragrant Nimbus mp3

It’s minimal and powerful, it’s a bit raga, a bit drone, has some tribal chants, lots of repetition, it’s hypnotic, a bit trancey, some pyschedelia and seriously rhythmic!

Download Earth Girl Helen Brown – Hit After Hit mp3

Fictitious, nomadic, psychedelic soul singer, featuring a unique mix of country, girl group, R&B, and ghoulishness.

Download Alexander – Truth mp3

Mellow, sunshine feel good pop that is effortlessly easy on the ear.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3

Five-part harmony echoing over the sounds of an organ and folk guitar in the eerie opener to debut album.

Download Duquette Johnston – Broke & Lonely Ones mp3

A fragile, acoustic ballad – Johnston tells stories of those on their way down and those who’ll never bounce back up, bar-room tales of what might have been and what should have been, and songs of hope and redemption.

In what has been the best month of music releases for a long time, we finish with the newly fresh and minted first advance track from indie folk heavyweights Fleet Foxes with the title track from forthcoming new album Helplessness Blues. By contrast we also have fresh-faced newcomers Veelee with their quirky, folkish take on art-rock, all angular repetition, drone pop and lovely harmonies that makes their EP The Future Sight a delight. And lastly we have the new EP from Derby, titled Madeline — an edgier collection of smoky, riff-heavy basement rock that still keeps some roots in their trademark infectious indie-pop as evidenced in the undeniably catchy toe-tapper Don’t Believe In You.

Download Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues mp3 (from Helplessness Blues)

Download Veelee – When You Gonna Come Home? mp3 (from The Future Sight EP)

Download Derby – Don’t Believe In You mp3 (from Madeline EP)

It is well documented on here how much we love the wonderfully forbidding, and sometimes macabre, indie folk of the Howling Owls.

For their latest track, they have teamed up with Maximino for A Wordsmith’s Reverie. It has an almost a waltz-time feel to it, but is still an everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations. And of course we love it.

Enjoy.

Visit their Facebook page here, and check out the brilliant t-shirts!

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3