Posts Tagged ‘John Grant’

MM BEST OF 2015

And so begins the second quarter of our annual countdown of our favourite tracks of the year.

75 Joe Ely – Wounded Creek

 

74 Great American Canyon Band – Crash

 

73 Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

 

72 The Quite Hollers – Mont Blanc

 

71 Heaters – Mean Green

 

70 Tough Age – New Orleans Square

 

69 Chris Staples – Dark Side Of The Moon

 

68 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go

 

67 The Tulips – Winter Winds

 

66 H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

 

65 Ex-Cult – Stick The Knife In

 

64 Screaming Females – Ripe

 

63 Courtney Barnett – Depreston

 

62 Amason – The Moon As A Kite

 

61 Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

 

60 Songhoy Blues – Soubour

 

59 Faith Healer – No Car

 

58 Haunted Hearts – Something That Feels Bad Is Something That Feels Good

 

57 Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

 

56 Bueno – Assed Out

 

55 Jamie T – Marilyn Monroe

 

54 Creepoid – American Smile

 

53 Woolen Men – Life In Hell

 

52 John Grant – Disappointing

 

51 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres

 

Check back on Monday for numbers 50 through to 26, and click here for numbers 100 – 76.

Videos of the Day

Some cracking videos for you today from Hurray for the Riff Raff, John Grant, The Grisly Hand Have Gun Will Travel, and the excellently named Radar Men From The Moon.

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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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Mad Mackerel's Top Songs Of 2013

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. The fifth and final instalment is our own.

20. Colleen Green – Heavy Shit
Totally infectious, stoned punk.

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19. Harmed Brothers – Love Song For The Assumed
Mixing folk and bluegrass with a wistful twist of poignant melancholy, Love Song For The Assumed was as sweet and as simple a song of heartbreak and longed for resolution as we heard in the whole year.

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18. Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Tribal drumming, 60s Hammer-Horror organ, and reverb.

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17. Courtney Barnett – History Eraser
A late entry – deadpan, conversational, charming, funny, literal and literate – a drunken night’s tale told with an upbeat lo-fi jangle and amiable vocal delivery.

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16. Holograms – A Blaze On The Hillside
Most thrilling riff of the year?

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15. John Grant – GMF
One part waspish humour, one part resigned melancholy and one part bitter dislocation. Superb.

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14. Fuzz – Sleigh Ride
Heaviest riff of the year?

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13. Cass McCombs – Big Wheel
Hypnotic, rumbling, country-dirt travelogue.

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12. Dune Rats – Stoner Pop
In a parallel world somewhere, this was the smash hit of the summer.

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11. Blitzen Trapper – Feel The Chill
That old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink and never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery.” That’s where Feel the Chill takes place.

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

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

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8. Foxygen – No Destruction
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.

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

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6. Terry Malts – I Was Not There
To do simple, balls-to-the-floor, screw-you punk rock this brilliantly well takes real talent. Terry Malts have it.

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

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4. 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.

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3. Low – Plastic Cup
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.

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2. T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral
The sound of a ghost town set to song.

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1. 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.

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Best songs we heard this year, but released prior to 2013.

Parquet Courts – Stoned And Starving
A stonewall classic and worthy successors to the currently vacant slacker indie and resigned punk rockers crown.

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Edmund Wayne (with River Giant) – To The Bugs On My Ceiling

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Hank Williams III – Country Heroes

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And The Song We Wished We’d Heard Before We’d Compiled Our Top Twenty

Clara Berry & Wooldog – Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

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You can see our favourite cover songs of the year here.

Best Of 2013: Dr Roddy's Choices

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Today we kick off with Dr Roddy…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Favourite cover song of the year

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

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Best gig of 2013

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

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Guilty pleasure

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

MM's 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.

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)

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

The enigmatically named Pale Green Ghosts is the title track and first taste of John Grant’s forthcoming album, the follow up to 2010’s brilliant Queen of Denmark. Melding a twitchy, pulsating electronic beat with his trademark velvety vocals, the result is an intoxicating brew.

Watch/listen here. Pre-order here.

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Valentine's Day Covers Mix.

It’s Valentines Day. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny it. I will, of course, effortlessly be showing Mrs M just what a lucky catch I was.

And for the rest of you, by way of a massively contrived link, let us cover you with love too. Here is a tasty little mix of covers we’ve picked up to follow on from yesterday’s Bad Moon Rising post, just don’t expect them to be all loved-up now will you.

First up is a sublime cover of Neil Young’s classic Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) by the Chromatics (who have also done great versions of I’m On Fire and Running Up That Hill), simply titled Into The Black it is from forthcoming album Kill For Love.

Download The Chromatics – Into The Black mp3 (from Kill For Love)

Download The Chromatics – I’m On Fire mp3 (from Studio Sketches)

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak is an enormously popular song to cover – the latest is by melodic indie-popsters the Exlovers.

Download Exlovers – Wicked Game mp3 (Chris Isaak cover)

We also have Besnard Lakes taking on Syd Barrett’s Love You and John Grant’s version of the Beatles Two Of Us from the Let It Be album. We have another from the recent Mojo cover disc of Leonard Cohen reworkings – this time Field Music’s Suzanne. We have more Neil Young in the shape of Alabama from the Smoke Fairies and we have George Harrison’s Long Long Long by Lanterns On The Lake and Floyd’s Wish You Were Here by Lia Ices.

Download Besnard Lakes – Love You mp3 (Syd Barrett Cover)

Download John Grant – Two Of Us mp3 (Beatles Cover)

Download Field Music – Suzanne mp3 (Leonard Cohen Cover)

Download The Smoke Fairies – Alabama mp3 (Neil Young Cover)

Download Lanterns On The Lake – Long Long Long mp3 (George Harrison Cover)

Download Lia Ices – Wish You Were Here mp3 (Pink Floyd Cover)

Our third Neil Young cover comes courtesy of Deer Tick’s John McCauley (via Rollo & Grady) and is his typically gruff take on Out On The Weekend.

Download John McCauley – Out On The Weekend mp3 (Neil Young Cover, Rollo & Grady Session)

Conversations with our friend Ronan of Oxford’s local music paper Nightshift this weekend bought to mind the gone, but not forgotten, krautrock inspired indie of the wonderful Th’ Faith Healers. This is their suitably noisy cover of Abba’s S.O.S. from one of their many Peel Sessions.

Download Th’ Faith Healers – S.O.S. mp3 (from The Peel Sessions)

And finally on this day of love and romance we leave you to your candlelight and roses, or to your tissues and bitterness with Ingrid Michaelson’s cover of Radiohead’s Creep!

Download Ingrid Michaelson – Creep mp3 (Radiohead Cover)

MM wasn’t the only one snapping pictures from Truck Festival this year. Here are a selection from Moo, our own mini Mad Mackerel.

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Download Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep mp3 (from Losing Sleep)

Download Caitlin Rose – Shotgun Wedding mp3 (from Dead Flowers EP)

Download Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues mp3 (from Harlem River Blues)

Download Sea of Bees – The Woods mp3 (from The Woods EP)

Download The Duke & The King – If You Ever Get Famous mp3 (from Nothing Gold Can Stay)

Download John Grant – I Wanna Go To Marz mp3 (from Queen Of Denmark)

Download Alessi’s Ark – Shovelling mp3 (from Soul Proprietor EP)

Download Chad Valley – Ensoniq Funk mp3 (from Chad Valley EP)

Download Admiral Fallow – Squealing Pigs mp3 (from Boots Met My Face)

Download Tunng – Don’t Look Down Or Back mp3 (from …And Then We Saw Land)

Download Jonquil – Get Up mp3 (from One Hundred Suns EP)

Download Johnny Flynn – Kentucky Pill mp3 (from Been Listening)

Download The Young Knives – Walking On The Autobahn mp3 (from The Young Knives…Are Dead)

Download Dry The River – New Ceremony mp3 (from New Ceremony Single)

Download Little Fish – Wonderful mp3

Download Nathaniel Rateliff – Early Spring Till mp3 (from In Memory Of Loss)

Download Trophy Wife – Microlite (Acoustic Version) mp3

Download Richmond Fontaine – The Boyfriends mp3 (from We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River)

Download Cashier No. 9 – Lost At Sea mp3 (from To The Death Of Fun)

Download Pete & The Pirates – Mr Understanding mp3 (from Little Death)

Download Lanterns On The Lake – You’re Almost There mp3 (from Gracious Tide, Take Me Home)