Posts Tagged ‘I See Hawks In L.A.’

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

50 Daughn Gibson – Me Moan

More From Daughn Gibson

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49 The Men – New Moon

MM Shorts 331: The Men - New Moon

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48 Pissed Jeans – Honeys

Pissed Jeans - Honeys

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47 The Dodos – Confidence

dodos

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46 Holograms – Forever

holograms forever

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45 Colleen Green – Sock It To Me

colleen green 500x500

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44 Blank Realm – Go Easy

Blank Realm Go Easy

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43 Night Beds – Country Sleep

night beds

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42 Agnes Obel – Aventine

agnes obel aventine

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41 Grass House – A Sun Full And Drowning

Grass House Debut Album

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40 The Oblivians – Desperation

oblivians

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

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - New Single & Album

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38 No Age – An Object

no age an object

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37 Public Service Broadcasting – Inform – Educate – Entertain

public service broadcasting

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36 Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum

cate le bon mug museum 500

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35 Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

okkervil river

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34 John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

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33 Fuzz – Fuzz

fuzz

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32 I See Hawks In L.A. – Mystery Drug

New Album From I See Hawks In L.A.

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31 Savages – Silence Yourself

Savages Silence Yourself

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MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 25 - 1

So this is it, the final countdown of our favourite tracks of 2013…

As voted for by MM luminaries: the luminous Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), the newly teenaged Middle Sprat (MS), Marston’s Mr Big, Chris T Popper (CP), the criminally insane Dr. Roddy (Dr R), and patricide obsessive Polly Pocket (PP). A motley crew it is true, but all united by their love of a damn good tune.

So, here then are their final selections from 25 down to top spot.

25 Big Sun – Pants
Quirky, frothy and sardonic. Sung with tongues so far in cheeks it should have sounded funny. Instead we got idiosyncratic indie-pop genius.

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24 James Yorkston – Just As Scared
Every couple of years I seem to find the perfect smoky bar song. Here’s just such a tune: a cheek-to-cheek intimate duet that shuffles around the piano with a bluesy feel that gets my foot a-tapping. Now where’s your shoulder, let me very gently lay my head…(Mrs M)

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23 Martha’s Vineyard Ferries – Blonde On Blood
Like the best ever Fall single played at 78rpm. This is, of course, a very good thing indeed. (MM)

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22 I See Hawks In L.A. – One Drop Of Human Blood
Hypnotic, trippy, country rock par excellence.

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21 Augustines – Cruel City
Of course Augustines feature in my Top Ten again – how could they not? Their voices are my favourite of all. The music fits with the lyrics and their voices, and the whole of it captures the mood of the song perfectly! I can’t wait for to hear more songs by them! (MS)

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20 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 is 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 song’s swagger. (Dr R)

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19 Southerly – Desolation Low
Now I mean this in a good way, but I just love the damn ‘seriousness’ of this song. Serious without being shit that is. And for that Southerly must be congratulated and lauded. Instead we have a climatic build up and an epic finale that gave it a deserved top 3 status in my songs of the year. It just picks me up and carries me away no matter how many times I hear it. (CP)

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18 Cash Savage & The Last Drinks – Hypnotizer
Full of attitude and lots of swagger. This is definitely a Friday night cocktail favourite (goes particularly well with a Dirty Martini). If you don’t end up singing along with the gospel choir you are not listening to it right. (PP)

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17 Georgia’s Horse – Thistlebomb
Tales from the battlefield: an unusual, almost discordant arrangement with sublime vocals. If I was looking for an influence, maybe a hint of Kate Bush? Quite unique and utterly brilliant. (Mrs M)

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16 Nick Cave – Jubilee Street
It has taken me longer to love Nick Cave than it should and I am sorry to those who have tried to show me the right path in the past. Thankfully I have learnt the error of my ways and it is Jubilee Street that helped me see the light. Storytelling at its best. (PP)

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15 Phosphorescent – Ride On/Right On
While I might be at odds with my shoalmates, this track from Phosphorescent’s peerless Muchacho album was my tune of the year. A little bit of funky rhythm and a whole lot of country grit combined to make the most compelling and enduring song of 2013. (MM)

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14 Houndmouth – Casino
This song is my favourite of the year, only just though. It always has me awkwardly singing and bopping when I can! With the country twang in their voices and the electric guitar in the background, I can’t help but love this song. (MS)

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13 Wooden Wand – Southern Colorado Song
I could rename this Southern Devon song: late July, lying on the beach with the waves rushing into my ears.  Can you hear the cymbal tremor throughout this song? Nowhere seems the only place to go; aye, Captain. (Mrs M)

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12 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
There’s menace and a brooding darkness in this devil’s resting place as LM returns to the pared back sound of Alas I Cannot Swim.  But there are many layers to this music and her latest album has an intensity and intelligence that means she’s still my number one gal. (Mrs M)

I couldn’t have a top ten without Ms Marling featuring in it somewhere (23, how can she be just 23 and getting better with every album?).  I love the exotic, dark sound to this song. Once I Was An Eagle is a very fine album, if you don’t own it you should. (PP)

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11 Junip – Line Of Fire
Sold to me in wistful and reflective mode; there’s more than a kernel 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. (Mrs M)

This has been in the top spot since the beginning of the year. Beautiful vocals courtesy of Jose Gonzalez, it all sounds so effortless whilst building up to that epic finish. Unfortunately, this song also reminds me of seeing Junip this Autumn where, having got Mr Gonzalez to sign my album I then proceeded to tell him that he and the band were ‘awesome‘. He was a gentleman about it but it remains embarrassing. (PP)

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10 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). (Dr R)

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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! (Dr R)

I love this song. The catchy, tuneful whistling and always get stuck in my head and the harmony in their voices when they sing together are my favourite factors of this song. This means that this song is placed at number two in my top ten. (MS)

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8 Jesse Woods – Cold Blood
This one’s a bit of a swayer and despite the title, Cold Blood is lyrically beautiful and uplifting. You can drift into the rise and fall of the music and the harmonies – and, like the man says, we’ve got places to be and nothing to prove. (Mrs M)

As traditional as the aching sadness of yet another year wasted Christmas always brings, there will undoubtedly be a latecomer to my top 10. Step forward Jesse Woods. I was listening to this song in the car when I first got the CD and when I finally heard to it on a ‘proper’ music system it blew me away. Woods has great timing to his delivery and an even better voice. It’s bloody magnificent. (CP)

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7 Water Liars – Linens
Pull up a chair, I wanna tell you a story about tormented man. To be honest, he’s too much trouble for me (cook your own bacon, change your own sheets boyo), but I like a good yarn and a telling verse: The mind is a place unto itself/ And in it makes a heaven of hell/And a hell of heaven. Quite. (Mrs M)

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….. (Dr R)

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6 Terry Malts – I Was Not There
As my previous top 10’s bear out I do like a proper modern punk song. Terry Malts can do that. Heavy drums and a real hurry-up guitar combine to great effect. It’s an enjoyably unforgiving song.  And ‘I was not there’ are four words that have constantly come in useful throughout my own life. (CP)

To do simple, balls-to-the-floor, screw-you punk rock this brilliantly well takes real talent. Terry Malts have it. (MM)

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5 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
An instant hit. From the very start Grown Ups is a treat, with the most arresting opening lyric I’ve heard for some time. Guitar meanders along as the tale unfolds about nostalgia and the joy of hanging around graveyards being ‘little goth idiots’. I had a goth stage in my teens – trench coat, skinny black jeans, miserable outlook and an utterly appalling haircut. The quintessential goth you might say and a really great effort from me. (CP)

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 singalong track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in my list. (Dr R)

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4 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral
Sad, sad songs eh? Love ‘em myself and T. Hardy Morris delivers a tour de force with OK Corral. You can’t help it as you’re dragged in to the drowsy chorus and it’s tangible sense of sorrow. It’s also another song from this year with a great opening line, “Swear me in / I’m pretty good at making promises“…(CP)

The sound of a ghost town set to song. (MM)

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3 Foxygen – No Destruction
It’s the lazy, laconic drawl and the finger-clicking rhythm – just one hand if you’re me, as the other doesn’t seem to work – and the way you can sing along to ‘No destruct-shaan’ quite happily, even in modest company. (Mrs M)

This was pretty much nailed on. With the opening line of “I’m sending you this photograph / Of me in my new car“, I had already signed up on the Foxygen dotted line and was awaiting further instruction. A subversive laid back and slightly peculiar song. Kept me thinking all year, as I never knew where I really had it. (CP)

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

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2 Low – Plastic Cup
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like this song after the very first listen. I think Low may have cracked it. There’s a dreamy kind of stillness to it and a perfect example of the genius of simplicity. It never tries too hard because it doesn’t need to. (CP)

One of those few songs that feels like it could have been written any time in the past 40 years. Timeless is over-used, but this really is that good. (MM)

From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant, accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and a 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 wondrous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in. (Dr R)

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1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA
Matthew Houck
Matthew Houck’s ragged voice was not always to my taste. But time has altered us both and it’s his strong yet fragile vocals that stitch together Zula’s imagery, which cuts far and deep. Intensely poignant lyrics, sweeping strings, pulsing drum machine: it all weaves together to form an emotional testament to the end of a relationship. Ever had your heart broken? This is what it feels like. (Mrs M) 

In a recent interview Matthew Houck talked about Song For Zula and how he felt he had achieved something with the song that he thought was beyond his ability. An almost unconscious level of quality he hadn’t perceived was there. I know exactly what he means… apart from never having achieved anything to my ability or beyond it. But I can imagine, so I won’t let it hold me back. Just the best song I’ve heard in ages. (CP)

What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic. (PP)

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Check out the rest of our top 100 here: 100 – 76, 75 – 51, 50 – 26.

I See Hawks In L.A.

I See Hawks In L.A. | The Brasenose Arms, Cropredy | 30 June 2013

There is a classic moment in the Blues Brothers movie where upon being asked what kind of music they usually have playing, the barmaid brightly answers “Oh we got both kinds, we’ve got Country and Western“.

And so it was with I See Hawks In L.A. who are in the UK playing an “acoustic trio tour”. Last night they turned up at the lovely setting of the Brasenose Arms in Cropredy (home of the Fairport Convention festival), sporting three outlandish Stetsons and played a two part set outdoors that was as sublime a collection of classic Country and Western as you could hope for.

A cock-up or two from the venue’s website (8pm start advertised was actually 7pm) meant Barry-Sean and I missed the beginning of the set, but that was the only negative of the evening. An easy-going style (at odds with the rabid rednecks of the Blues Brother movie) meant they explored their back catalogue of six albums with a charming spontaneity – spotting an Alsatian prompted a rendition of “A Dog Can Break Your Heart Too” from their self-titled debut album of more than ten years hence, whilst our request for the outstanding We Could All Be In Laughlin Tonight from latest release Mystery Drug was good naturedly assimilated into the set too. Elsewhere we had the acid tinged country of Raised By Hippies and the classic Laurel Canyon style rock of Grapevine, the cajun swing of Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet and the cosmic Americana of Motorcycle Mama. 

I See hawks in L.A.Later on frontman Rob Waller regaled us with tales of his mother chasing Elvis in Tennessee to steal a kiss from him, before launching into the gospel country of standard (and Presley favourite) Where Could I Go But To The Lord?, and bassist Paul Marshall delivered the classic, honky-tonk heartbreak of Drinker’s Hall Of Fame, which sounded as though it came straight from the pen of George Jones or Kris Kristofferson.

The band finished with the uptempo singsongs of the recent Rock’n’Roll Cymbal From The Seventies and Good And Foolish Times from 2008’s Hallowed Ground.

As the sun set behind them and the smell of the barbecue wafted over from under the marquee you could be forgiven for imagining that you were in some Texas drinking den rather than a genteel, quintessentially English village.

The band joined us for a couple of drinks where, just a few yards down the road, Rob Waller’s historical namesake (and he assured us part of his family tree) Sir William Waller was put to flight by the royalists of King Charles at the battle of Cropredy Bridge 369 years ago almost to the day.

I See Hawks In L.A. are touring for another week – get the dates here. We say Go See Hawks In U.K. – they’ve got Country and Western, and you’ll love every  moment of it.

Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Bohemian Highway mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)

Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Dear Flash mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)

New Album From I See Hawks In L.A.

Mystery Drug is the title of the new album from southern California’s psychedelic country rockers I See Hawks In L.A.

This is their seventh long player and the latest phase of the Hawks journey – mixing serious country credentials with wild lyricism and surreal story telling. There’s slide guitar and fiddle, there’s twang, there’s honky tonk and there’s cowpunk grooves, but above all there’s a fabulous collection of songs covering life, love, the universe and everything in between. It is a heady and brilliantly intoxicating mix of Gram Parsons style cosmic Americana.

Check out album lead off track Oklahoma’s Going Dry and the outstanding country waltz of One Drop Of Human Blood where Rob Waller’s honey voiced baritone tells the tale of desert marriage rituals.

Mystery Drug is a wonderful record – find ordering details on their website here.

Catch them live in June/July:

Weds 19 Dingwall, Scottish Highlands Square Wheels House Concert
Thurs 20 Glasgow Woodend Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club
Fri 21 Kinross, Perthshire Backstage @ The Green Hotel
Sat 22 Perth Solas Festival
Sun 23 Inverness Eden Court
Mon 24 Shrewsbury Henry Tudor House
Tues 25 London The Slaughtered Lamb
Weds 26 Farnham, Surrey The Barn (Lazy Bishops Music Night)
Thurs 27 Bristol Private House Concert
Fri 28 Cardiff Boomswinger Bluegrass Club @ The Mackintosh Institute
Sat 29 Bedford The Ent Shed @ The Gordon Arms
Sun 30 Cropredy, Oxfordshire The Brasenose Arms

July
Tues 2 Stroud, Gloucs. The Prince Albert
Weds 3 Hempstead, nr. Saffron Walden The Bluebell Inn
Thurs 4 Southport The Atkinson
Sat 6 Easton, Suffolk Maverick Festival 2013 @ Easton Farm Park
Sun 7 Birmingham The Kitchen Garden Café
Mon 8 Brighton The Greys

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: January 2012.

Here are the best of our January posts together with a few tasty new tracks. All in all nearly forty great tunes compiled and neatly presented in one lovely mix. As always, don’t forget to check out all our previous monthly mixes listed in the sidebar on the left.

Download Night Genes – Soaring Through The Chromosomes mp3 (from Like The Blood)
Infectiously catchy, military folk stomp. A real gem.

Download Cheyenne Marie Mize – Wishing Well mp3 (from We Don’t Need EP)
A mix of r&b tinged staccato vocals and adventurous modern pop.

Download HowlerBack Of Your Neck mp3 (from America Give Up)
Buzz band deliver with this slice of catchy, infectious garage influenced rock that calls to mind vintage Strokes.

Download Ceremony – Hysteria mp3 (from Zoo)
Viciously uncompromising and brilliant hardcore punk.

Download Frankie Rose – Know Me mp3 (from Interstellar)
Dreamy pop jangle.

Download The Owsley Brothers – Rotten On The Vine mp3 (from Rotten On The Vine Single)
New single from our favourite experimental blues boys.

Download Kam Kama – Called Up mp3 (from The Tiled House EP)
Propulsive percussion and dark, sinewy guitar lines are the order of the day. Sinister vocals are intoned and the overall effect is one of delightful queasiness and uncertainty.

Download Laura Gibson – La Grande mp3 (from La Grande)
Cantering desert-folk.

Download The Mind Spiders – Wait For Us mp3 (from Meltdown)
Perfect, primal garage rock.

Download Disappears – Replicate mp3 (from Pre Language)
Brain splintering psych-rock.

Download Donovan Quinn – Shadow On The Stone mp3 (from Honky Tonk Medusa)
Perfectly judged excursion into classic storytelling territory backed by gentle guitar lines and a slightly weary, melancholy tinged vocal.

Download First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar mp3 (from The Lion’s Roar)
Title track of new album showcases those gorgeous and beautiful folk harmonies.

Download Guy Capecelatro III – Like Anything mp3 (from North For The Winter)
As much a carefully constructed poem as it is a song. There are no wasted words, and each one is sung in a minimal, whispering voice accompanied by sparse instrumentation, including a haunting saw, creating a mood that is beautifully sombre.

Download Gabriel & The Hounds – The World Unfolds mp3 (from Kiss Full Of Teeth)
Deceptively seductive song that calls to mind artists from across the decades and as diverse as The Byrds to the Silver Jews.

Download The Great American Canyon Band – Tumbleweed mp3 (from Tumbleweed 7″)
Alt-country duo use just 2 old guitars to create a sound that is intimate, honest and ethereal.

Download Town Hall – Charlie mp3 (from Sticky Notes & Paper Scraps EP)
Try the gorgeous slow burn of Charlie, which is as captivating a song as we’ve heard this year.

Download Stephen Paul Smoker – Green City mp3 (from Ripe Fruit)
Pulsating psych-rock groove and foot stomping rhythm, marvellous.

Download Shearwater – You As You Were mp3 (from Animal Joy)
Impassioned tune galloping along on the back of an urgent piano refrain.

Download Cate Le Bon – Puts Me To Work mp3 (from CYRK)
Sultry and gently hypnotic folk.

Lower Dens – Brains (from Nootropics)
Brilliantly hypnotic and menacing track from experimental folksters.

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Download D.B. Rouse – Full Time Job mp3 (from Meal-Ticket)
Fine example of this wandering troubadour’s unique view of the world married to a sharp lyrical delivery.

Download Capybara – Neighbor Crimes mp3 (from Dave Drusky)
Warm, organic indie rock that manages to be both simple and catchy.

Download Toy – Left Myself Behind mp3 (from Left Myself Behind single)
Krautrock rhythms melded with buzzing indie guitars and a vocal that recalls the halycon days of British indie rock.

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Loose Ends mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams)
An absolute gem, a gentle strum, a loosely insistent rhythm, hoarsely whispered vocals and a sweetly climactic chorus.

Download Young Prisms – Floating In Blue mp3 (from In Between)
Beguiling mix of dreamy psychedelia over a fuzz of shoegazey guitars and reverb.

Download The Ex-Girlfriends Club – The Witch mp3 (from Boo Hoo Hoo)
Incendiary mix of distortion, proto-punk and voodoo blues that manifests itself perfectly in the primal stomp of this cover of the Sonics classic The Witch.

Download Terry Malts – Nauseous mp3 (from Killing Time)
High octane, clattering punk riffage.

Download Big Deal – Chair mp3 (from Chair EP)
Harmonious, sweetly strummed indie-pop with a nice touch of reverb.

Download William Fitzsimmons – Blood and Bones (Acoustic Version) mp3 (from Noisetrade Free Sampler)
Alternative version of track from deluxe edition of acclaimed album Gold In The Shadow.

Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Dear Flash mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)
Authentic acoustic Americana.

Download The Low Anthem – Stories Of The Street mp3 (from The Songs Of Leonard Cohen Covered)
The wonderful Low Anthem put their stamp on a track from Leonard Cohen’s classic debut.

Download Vacant Fever – Kill Kill Kill mp3 (from Kill Kill Kill EP)
Recalls some of the classic work of bands like Wire or Gang Of Four. It is jerky, minimal and, best of all, genre-defying!

And to finish off this month’s bumper offering we have the new track from folksters The Bowerbirds, some cascading guitars and thunderous rhythms from The Jealous Sound’s new release, A Gentle Reminder and a six minute sonically layered slab of climactic indie rock from LA band Louden Swain that we’ve got on repeat here. We have some swirling, 60s tinged psych-rock from The Pharmacy and finally the breezy jangle of Wild Nothing’s new single, Nowhere.

Download The Bowerbirds – In The Yard mp3 (from The Clearing)

Download The Jealous Sound – Your Eyes Were Shining mp3 (from A Gentle Reminder)

Download Louden Swain – Cigarette mp3 (from Eskimo)

Download The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave mp3 (from Dig Your Grave)

Download Wild Nothing – Nowhere mp3 (from Nowhere 7″)

I See Hawks In L.A. Prep Acoustic Album. I See Hawks in L.A. have released five critically acclaimed albums of classic Americana since they began writing songs in their Echo Park living rooms 11 years ago. The band’s sound layers Southern California psychedelia over acoustic guitars and rich vocal harmonies.

Meanwhile, fans have always treasured the Hawks’ acoustic shows, where Rob Waller’s rich voice, the band’s subtle guitar arrangements, and the dark, literate lyrics take the spotlight. A three-year one-mic acoustic series hosted by the band at Cole’s bar in downtown L.A., and memorable acoustic shows all over the U.S. with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Hillman, and Dave Alvin, have honed the band’s sound.

So in 2012, I See Hawks In L.A. will finally release that much anticipated acoustic album, New Kind of Lonely, recorded live in a circle at Marc Doten’s Echo Park studio with lovely German microphones. Release date is set for February 28 on Western Seeds Records.

Grab yourself a couple from the record. Classic Americana indeed.

Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Bohemian Highway mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)

Download I See Hawks In L.A. – Dear Flash mp3 (from New Kind Of Lonely)