Posts Tagged ‘Katie Toupin’

Following on from yesterday’s Round Up (Part 1), here are a few quieter, more reflective tunes.

But all equally good!

First up is Katie Toupin, ex of Houndmouth, and the title track to her new album. Magnetic Moves is a gem of hook filled indie pop.

 

We’re big, big fans of Frog’s ‘wyrd Americana’, and they do not disappoint with latest track Black Friday from upcoming album Count Bateman. Once again it is a lyrical gem… “In this country we go tat for tat, wasted bumming a cigarette / Do you wanna sit and sing to me / Barefoot not a pot to piss in these motherfuckers won’t ever listen / Do you wanna get a drink with me.”

 

With the release of A Dream is U coming around the corner, Francis Lung’s video for Up & Down could also double up as a tour of the grottiest spots Manchester has to offer. It follows a young woman after she murders an anonymous man in a hotel room. We tag along with her through her self-destructive path to oblivion as she wanders the streets at night, drinking copious amounts of tonic wine. She happens upon a northern karaoke bar where she sings her swan song as police sirens sound in the distance.

 

Taking in elements of folk and Americana but ultimately producing a kind of outsider pop, hd hausmann recall the early works of The National or David Kitt crossed with Leonard Cohen’s poetic charms. Whilst his deep velvety vocal consistently raises comparisons to Tom Waits. The gently hypnotic A Modern Weight is the second single to be taken from hd hausmann’s recently released album Find A Weight, Form A Ground, (out via Panda Cassettes).

 

Adam Green has shared the video for his ominous track Cheating On A Stranger.  He says, “The song is about finding yourself submerged in a wasteland, some kind of second-life where there are empty replacements for everything you knew. You try to embrace this new world, but the more you squeeze it, the more the air comes out.

 

Sun Blood Stories is a mass of harmonic noise distilled into sometimes delicate, but always haunting songs. This is Up Comes The Tunnel from forthcoming long player Haunt Yourself.

 

Folk-pop artist Shannon Lay will release August, her Sub Pop debut, on 23 August. This is the contemplative Death Up Close.

 

Sam Evian has shared an infectiously fervent interpretation of Gerry Rafferty’s beloved Right Down the Line. Of his choice to cover the 1978 Song of the Summer, Sam says, “At the end of the ‘You, Forever’ recording session, we had a little room left at the end of the tape reel so we decided to do a cover. “Right Down the Line” is one of my favorite songs and I covered it because I wanted to learn how to sing all those harmonies on the chorus.

 

Having recently announced the release of their debut album How To Live, available 23rd August via Bella Union plus an Autumn tour, Modern Nature have shared Footsteps, the second single from the forthcoming album,

 

Finally, Only In Retrospect, the new single from Bay Area group Getaway Dogs, drenches the atmosphere with ethereal, finger picked guitar and breathy vocals. File under spacey psychedelic dreamsurf.

 

Dr Roddy had been gone for a while trying to make a new life on land. Fuckwit.

I have been absent from the house of Mackerel for a couple of years now, and have missed this time of year so it is nice to be welcomed back to the shoal. What a time to re-join, a bountiful year of boss tuneage.

10 Drenge – Bonfire Of The City Boys
Always nice to receive a playlist with Drenge on it. I have loved these noisy pair of scoundrels for years. Their mix of blues, heavy rock riffs and total noise is right up my alley. This track doesn’t disappoint. Metallic ear assault escorts shouted hate to just the right part of your brain.

 

9 Cass McCombs – Sleeping Volcanoes
The dreamy guitar intro soon gives into a lazy plodding bass line, which sets the scene nicely for this ambling piece of stoner heaven. It has a soporific quality to the vocal delivery. Perfect for lazy summer days or late winter nights.

 

8 Rod Picott – Coal
Great piece of foot stomping country. Rod Picott gets a menacing sound out of the acoustic guitar and delivers us a bleak portrait of life in and around the Pittsburgh industrial scene. I love songs about hard rural life, tough lives, and tough men. Of course I do. I live in Oxfordshire, I’ve got a beard and a plaid shirt….. (to be fair, Dr Roddy is a tough man and rule breaker himself – I once witnessed with my own eyes him lighting a roll-up whilst fielding on the boundary during a cricket match…)

 

7 Cabbage – Arms Of Pleonexia
The Manchester boys serve up a good wedge of fuzz, feedback and fuck you in this track. There are burning questions in the lyrics and the whole piece has a frantic feel about it. Just when you think it’s going to tip up, it gets pinned together by a chorus chanted straight from the terraces.

 

6 The Lost Brothers – Come Tomorrow
I love the feel of this song. It reminds me a bit of “Ruby don’t take your love to town”. Maybe not the most upbeat of tunes, but it seems resigned to its own melancholy and who doesn’t like to wallow in a bit of lost love. If you don’t, you’re probably not drinking on your own enough.

 

5 American Pets – Bad Bream
A perfect piece of 80s synth sounds draped around an upbeat pop arrangement. It belies the depth of regret and misfortune that our protagonist finds himself in. I mean, in the first verse we find that he has smashed his phone screen while “high as a kite”. Then there’s heartbreak and toxic love. All backed up by an awesome bass line.

 

4 Spiritualized – I’m Your Man
In my humble opinion this is a about as good a piece of modern day blues as you are going to get. Perfectly paced, it gathers momentum into a “foot on the speaker” guitar break, which never ebbs into corny, only to fall back into its solemn wonder through the “wasted, faded, permantly jaded…” life of the song.

 

3 Jon Spencer – Hornet
This is just a rollicking good piece of rock and roll. It has a razor sharp riff and a drumbeat that moves the head and feet. All of this with a bass line so cool it could be Rick James.

 

2 Oh Sees – Nail House Needle Boys
This song is the perfect amalgamation of loads of bands that I have loved, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Charlatans, Stone Roses etc…. That is the reason I love it. Many of my musical needs sated in one song. Delivered by a truly talented outfit.

 

1 Katie Toupin – Danger
The feeling that drips of every word that comes from Katie Toupin in this tune is astounding. You get the sense that what is happening is so fresh and that she is talking directly to you. The band seem to encompass the fragile lyrics before they fall apart. Don’t get it twisted though – this song is written from a strong perspective. Get a large drink, turn it up real loud and sit back.

 

Great to have you back Dr Roddy! Check in tomorrow for Chris T Popper’s selections.

So here we have it – the top of the pile! Our favourite songs of 2018.

25 Ought – Disgraced In America

 

Way back in January, Montreal based quartet Ought kicked off 2018 with the bright guitar sound and ultimately noisy percussion and spaced-out synths of Disgraced in America. It was a fine start.

 

24 Spiritualized – I’m Your Man

 

I’m Your Man was the brilliant lead single from Spiritualized’s new album And Nothing Hurt. It wraps layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create something utterly mesmerising and cinematic, and with a towering guitar solo – where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming.

 

23 Jon Spencer – Hornet

 

Jon Spencer can be relied upon to deliver a sleazy, bone-shaking excursion into the underbelly of classic blues and with Hornet he delivers in spades – growling, primitive and with a suitably buzzing guitar figure.

 

22 Fat Earthers – Letter Bomb

 

We love the Isle of Wight and now we love it even more because it is home to the insane noise of the Fat Earthers whose punked-up garage rock didn’t so much explode out of our speakers, as leave them gibbering in twisted shards of plastic and cable in the corner. There is always one song that gatecrashes our favourites at the end of the year and Letter Bomb is it.  I hope they’re from Ventnor!

 

21 Western Scene – Strange but True

 

A chugging, exhilarating earworm of a song that recalls something of the best of Lord Huron or Wilco, with its irresistible melody and immediate emotional energy.

 

20 American Pets – Bad Dream

 

Sublime, sweetly melodic indie rock. The kind so many bands try to do, and so many fail to achieve. It is impossible not to be carried away on the rise and fall of the harmonies and Bad Dream’s gentle swell of mildly psychedelic beauty.

 

19 Ron Gallo – Always Elsewhere

 

Ron Gallo seems to be one of those absurdly hyperactive songwriters, flitting from one genre to another as though on a never ending quest for musical nectar. That he does it so well seems equally absurd as he rolls out gem after gem in a prolific manner. Always Elsewhere is garage rock, psych-pop, new wave, glam and 70s NY punk. It is jerky, obsessive and compelling and held together by his anxious, exasperated vocals.

 

18 FEWS – Businessman

 

Just unstoppable, pulverising noisy psych built on the most pulsating riff imaginable.

 

17 The Twilight Sad – I/m Not Here (Missing Face)

 

After too long an absence Twilight Sad returned with I/m Not Here (Missing Face) which was a driving, motorik anthem, with wailing guitars and swirling synths circling around frontman James Graham’s repeated declarations of “I don’t want to be around you anymore.” Graham describes the track’s lyrical basis as being “about my ongoing battle with not liking myself, trying to be a good person but constantly feeling like I’m failing myself and everyone I care about.

 

16 Young Fathers – In My View

 

As much spoken as sung, In My View is a fractured, down-tempo track set atop skittering percussion and synths.

 

15 Superorganism – Everybody Wants To Be Famous

 

Like a mutated cross between Uptown Top Ranking and some long-forgotten video game, Everybody Wants To Be Famous manages to take its wonderfully kaleidoscopic groove to a whole new level of infectious electro-pop flourescence.

 

14 Dr. Dog – Listening In

 

On their brilliantly assured new album Critical Equation, Dr. Dog barely put a single foot wrong, and an absolute standout for us was Listening In. Another exceptional example of their warm, psych-infused Americana, carried along on metronomic percussion and a typically plaintive and questioning vocal.

 

13 Phosphorescent – Christmas Down Under

 

The introspective smoulder and slow burn of Christmas Down Under is a pedal-steel led tale of surreal Americana. One for the sunset and the open road…

 

12 Katie Toupin – Danger

 

After a long stint with Houndmouth, Katie Toupin’s first foray into solo territory resulted in the bluesy rock of her debut EP Moroccan Ballroom. The raw, haunting beauty of Danger mixes heartbreak with a smattering of grit and her always stunning vocals to create something very special indeed.

 

11 Fontaines DC – Chequeless Reckless

 

Our third and final entry from Fontaines DC – back in February we said we were pretty sure Chequeless Reckless would end up in our best of the year lists and so it proves. Channelling past masters like the Modern Lovers, The Fall and Iggy Pop, as well as contemporaries like Idles and Shame, Chequeless Reckless is built on a driving, hypnotic, kraut-rock infused cyclical riff, and some scalpel sharp lyrics.

A sellout is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money,
An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of the thinking
A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they affect
A dilettante is someone who can’t tell the difference between fashion and style

 

10 Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Billy The Kid And Geronimo

 

In the rich vein of classic country like Pancho and Lefty, the fantastical Billy The Kid and Geronimo – about an imagined meeting between the two 19th century outlaws whose lives became the stuff of legend in the American West has Gilmore, who is part Native American, voicing the thoughts Alvin wrote for Geronimo, the Chiricahua Apache chief who was one of the last Native American leaders to abandon his resistance against white colonisation of the American Southwest.

 

9 Decemberists – Severed

 

Channelling their inner New Order and 80’s electronic new wave, the Decemberists delivered another left-turn in their long career with I’ll Be Your Girl. Chief among them was Severed, all fuzzy synths, rolling bass and an unrelenting guitar riff. The juxtaposition of shiny, shimmering melody and bleak lyrics was just the icing on the cake.

 

8 Cold Soda – Anna May

 

Cold Soda is a Cave Singers side project, and Anna May is brilliant, brooding Americana, built on a sinewy rhythmic groove and Pete Quirk’s ominous rasp.

 

7 Silverbacks – Dunkirk

 

Brilliantly delivering their own louche take on NYC-indebted rock, Dublin art-punks Silverbacks’ single Dunkirk is underpinned by an insistent, nagging bassline and creepy crawly guitar lines, it provides the ideal vehicle for frontman Daniel O’Kelly’s stream of consciousness ramblings about martial strife, the perfect sandcastle and spotting a con artist when he sees one. The track lurches forth, pressure building from the undulating backbeat and layers of skronking guitars accenting Daniel’s increasingly frazzled yelps before finally collapsing into a sugar sweet coda.

 

6 Rod Picott – Coal

 

Coal is a tough track. A hard-driving, unflinching snapshot of an industry’s decline. It is a world of darkness, small enclosed spaces, rusted machines and steel tied boots. It is simple, unadorned folk storytelling at its spartan best.

 

5 Quiet Hollers – Addicted

 

Addicted is a powerful rumination on opiate addiction – Quiet Hollers frontman Shadwick Wilde has struggled with addiction since adolescence. Although he didn’t intend for it to be a “drug song” necessarily, its inception came at a time when his family was struggling with the loss of his mother’s brother, who died of a fentanyl overdose so he felt it was important to acknowledge how deeply vulnerable we all are to these things, and how serious that problem really is. The track is a perfect mix of alt-country shot through with grungy guitars and a resigned honesty shared through fittingly world weary vocals.

 

4 Dan Mangan – Peaks And Valleys

 

Dan Mangan is a restless troubadour, from the earnest straight up folk of Postcards & Daydreaming to the darkly experimental Club Meds, he has always been both an explorer and an observer. Peaks and Valleys comes from new record More or Less and is a up-tempo, easy going reflection on the simple things in life and the wisdom and understanding that comes with getting older. Sometimes the most obvious things can be the most revealing and so it is with this lovely reminder that optimism is not a bad weapon to have in these turbulent times.

 

3 Drenge – Bonfire Of The City Boys

 

It started with a bang” the opening line from Bonfire of the City Boys could almost be a prediction as a stuttering, repetitive bassline starts up and Eoin Loveless’ spoken word vocals cut in over the top before a crushing guitar riff takes centre stage. Heavier than they’ve ever been, with a sound more akin to Future of the Left, Bonfire of the City Boys is four minutes of joyously ferocious hardcore.

 

2 Decemberists – Cutting Stone

 

Like one of their classic ornate folk fantasies turned dark, appropriately enough Cutting Stone is cut through with a synth accompaniment that brilliantly contrasts a brittle, futuristic feel to Colin Melloy’s literate and verbose tale of wayward children and dying brides.

 

1 Oh Sees – Nail House Needle Boys

 

Nail House Needle Boys – a deliriously scorched excursion around the outer limits of prog-rock and glam, sucking in great gulps of Can, Deep Purple and King Crimson and exhaling them as little more than smoke and ash, drifting down on to the still twitching corpse of psychedelic rock.

 

Check out the rest of our countdown: 100-76 here, 75-51 here and 50-26 here.