Posts Tagged ‘Jack James’

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: January 2013

So, all things considered January got off to a rip-roaring start where new tunes are concerned. Here is our selection of our best of the month’s downloads (27 in all) and a few new tunes too – more than 30 to pick from, so blow those January blues away with these babies.

Prissy Clerks – Bruise or Be Bruised
Mix of fuzzed up punk and slacker indie with garage pop undertones managing to balance a confused, dark isolation with some tender sweetness.

Download The Chaw – The Whole Night Through mp3 (from The Chaw)
Propulsive rhythms and guitar squalls drenched in reverb, referencing soundtracks of the classic spaghetti westerns, big open bar chords and barky low register guitar leads ala Dick Dale.

Download Water Liars – Fake Heat mp3 (from Wyoming)
Plaintive vocals building over the slowly increasing guitar distortion creates a real treat of a first taste from forthcoming album.

Big Harp – Waiting For Some Drunk
Literate Americana, with fuzzed-out, needle-sharp textures.

Download Indian Wars – Sweetheart Of The North mp3 (from Songs From The North)
First taste of new album is a cracker from countrified rockers.

Download Airstrip – Pleasure Center mp3 (from Willing)
Hypnotic and dark “nightmare pop”

Download Colleen Green – Time In The World mp3 (from Sock it to Me)
Showcases vintage synth tones alongside Green’s trademark multi-tracked harmonies, deep-fried guitar chords, and spartan drum machine beats.

Download Milo Greene – Parents mp3 (from Filter Presents: Milo Turns 50)
Eerily hushed and woozy version of the scathing 1982 classic Descendents track Parents. Cover of the month undoubtedly.

Lower Plenty – Strange Beast
Hazy, beautifully melancholy, suburban-country music. Click through to download for free.

Download Tom Morgan – Taste For Blood mp3 (from Orange Syringe)
Stripped back and laconic folk laced with self effacing black humour.

Download Swallows – The Winnowing mp3 (from Witching & Divining)
Rasping, gravelly vocals, sombre cello and chanted junkyard chorus call to mind Tom Waits and The Wicker Man in equal measure.

Wooden Wand – Outsider Blues
No description needed – best album of the month. Mellow, oak-aged, yet still oddly warped folk. Brilliant.

Download Summer Aviation – Love So Fine mp3 (from Love So Fine single)
Combine the fresh, supercharged sound of 60s pop arrangements with post-punk avant-garde: Think Burt Bacharach meets My Bloody Valentine.

Honeyslide – Sugar Routine
Warm distorted guitars, complex hooks and captivating melodies swathed in reverb to create piercing sonic landscapes.

PRAVADA – Campfire Song
Catchy-as-hell tune filled with swirling guitars and sugary indie pop harmonies.

Download Frontier Ruckus – Dealerships mp3 (from Eternity of Dimming)
Wonderfully folky Americana from much anticipated new album.

Harry George Johns – Hospital Blues
Raw personal folk, an incredibly personal diary of a dark and desperate time.

Download Cobalt Cranes – Head In The Clouds mp3 (from Head In The Clouds)
Blend elements of desert, psychedelic and shoegaze sounds, taking a modern approach to classic California rock.

Download The Lovely Bad Things – Fried Eggs mp3 (from The Late Great Whatever)
Garage-punk masterclass.

Download Torres – Mother Earth, Father God mp3 (from Torres)
Minimal, ragged, and raw folk from singer-songwriter’s debut release.

As Elephants Are – Lucifer
Another blistering slice of epic, widescreen indie rock.

Download Fletcher C Johnson – Happy Birthday mp3 (from Salutations)
A nostalgic paean to the 60s with a sweet melody and chorus. Perfect garage pop.

Download The Futurebirds – Man With No Knees (demo) mp3 (from Exhume)
Brilliantly ramshackle Americana and pedal-steel inspired psychedelia.

Download Little Wings – Sandy Babe mp3 (from LAST)
Little Wings at their warmest and most mellow.

Pickering Pick – Standing Stone
Warm, sensitive, thoughtful and restrained – perfect fare from singer-songwriter par-excellence.

Download Lazy Talkers – Killing Time mp3 (from Lazy Talkers)
Sweet, easy-going jangle from indie-folksters.

Jack James – Three Names
Brooding slice of dark folk (click through to download for free).

And to finish off, new tunes from Screaming Females with the sinewy and rickety Poison Arrow from their forthcoming tape release Chalk Tape, a second (brilliant) track from John Grant’s much anticipated new record Pale Green Ghosts, the excellent literate Americana tinged indie of Yellow Red Sparks and the song that gave them their name, and finally the mesmerising brilliance of Secret Mountains and their haunting track Coasting.

Download Screaming Females – Poison Arrow mp3 (from Chalk Tape)

Download John Grant – Black Belt mp3 (from Pale Green Ghosts)

Download Yellow Red Sparks – Yellow Red Sparks mp3 (from Yellow Red Sparks)

Download Secret Mountains – Coasting mp3 (from Rainer)

Round Up Time Again - Part 2

Once again the in-box overfloweth with sounds to share (especially once we’d consigned all the crappy remixes and dancefloor bangers to the trash folder) – so delve in to this lucky thirteen smorgasbord of audio delights.

Inspired by the beautiful snowy winters and post-industrial landscape of Pittsburgh, PA, Arlo Aldo have created a new twist on American alt-folk, with mellow tempos and lilting harmonies layered on top of finger picked guitar and cathedral-like organ. New album Zelie will be released on the 5th February – recommended for fans of Low, Dirty Three, Wilco, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Magnolia Electric Company.


The Deadline Shakes have featured on MM a couple of times in the past and their latest single Boy is another excellent example of their blend of chiming countrified indie-rock and power-pop leanings – think Big Star trapped in a lift with the Beach Boys


Fire Records are releasing Bardo Pond’s 2006 release Ticket Crystals on vinyl for the first time (out 18th March). A classic of psychedelic space-rock – this is their version of the Beatles’ Cry Baby Cry from the record.

Download Bardo Pond – Cry Baby Cry mp3 (from Ticket Crystals)

Jack James is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Glasgow and has released a steady stream of albums through his Bandcamp website. His latest album, Is That The Rain On, much like previous endeavours, was recorded raw and as close to the first take as possible. This is Three Names from it, a brooding slice of dark folk (click through to download for free).


Named after his beloved golden retriever, Gracie began as the alter ego of one-man electronic garage rocker Andrew Theodore Balasia. Gracie’s songs range between sexy and meditative and capture the familiar dichotomy of joy tiptoeing with fucked-up-ness. Click through to download the gritty swagger of lead single Habits from his third EP Bleeder out on Small Plates on 12th March.


Toronto’s Wildlife deal in elaborate, hook-laden indie rock and Born To Ruin is the first single from forthcoming album …On The Heart (Feb 26th).


The soulful Up Against The Wall is the first single from Fiction Family’s new album Fiction Family Reunion, which sees a release today on Rock Ridge Music. It is a masterclass in idiosyncratic folk flavour, classic pop arrangements, and expertly etched songcraft.


Farewell JR’s debut EP Health will be released on 11th March via Talking Shop Records. A collection of emotive songs that grow from sparse guitar picked melodies that recall early days Bon Iver, through to grand melodies and orchestral arrangements more reminiscent of Arcade Fire. Grab yourself Night Wolves from the EP.


The Bad Joke That Ended Well’s self titled album is the first release on Stolen Body Records –  a fierce excursion in to the world of psych-blues and rock, it can be downloaded via Bandcamp for free or a physical copy purchased for £10. Try the full blown garage-punk carnage of I’m Not There.


Sukh is a young folk tinged singer songwriter from Manchester. A doctor by day, he avoids the moroseness beloved by the majority and instead offers a jaunty brand of chamber folk – every bit as warm, charming and graceful as the works akin to Sufjan / Cat Stevens, with an upbeat tempo. Have a listen to Kings.


Any band description that starts “Imagine the Bee Gees if they were really poor and on crack…” gets our interest, and Rohypnotise deliver in spades with their brand of reverby dream-pop that abounds on debut double A side single Fade To Grey / Gamma Rays.


Jagjaguwar will release the second full-length studio album by Wolf People, Fain, on April 30th (29th in the UK). The album draws on more traditional English and Scottish folk melodies than anything they’ve done before, but not straying from the drop-out fuzz-rock route they’ve made their own.


Laura Stevenson & The Cans will release new album Wheel on the 23rd April. First taste comes with Runner, appropriately enough a galloping, breathless slice of folk-pop.