Posts Tagged ‘Kye Alfred Hillig’

Kye Alfred Hillig

Kye Alfred Hillig is somewhat of a chameleon singer-songwriter, experimenting and adjusting his sound with every release and keeping his listeners on their toes.

We were big fans of his last release, 2014’s The Buddhist, and on his fifth studio album he has been joined by multiple local musicians and has attempted to yet again put a sonic twist to his sometimes dark yet compelling narrative style.

As a taste, for the next couple of weeks you can download the excellent Louder Blonde for free from his Bandcamp page, or simply listen below.

 

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MM's Top 20 Best of 2014

And so we bring our round up of favourite songs, albums, covers, and guilty pleasures to a close with the final “best of” post, Mad Mackerel’s own top twenty.

20 Kye Alfred Hillig – My Young Love Was As Blind As Ray Charles And Half As Cold As Heat

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19 Parquet Courts – Black And White

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18 Jamie T – The Prophet

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17 The Amazing Snakeheads – Here It Comes Again

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16 The Felice Brothers – Cherry Licorice

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15 Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves

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14 Girl Band – Lawman

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13 The War On Drugs – Red Eyes

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12 Together PANGEA – River

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11 Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

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10 Faces On Film – Percy
Percy kicks off with pulsating, tribal percussion that doesn’t quit throughout the song’s entire four and half minutes. It is like a small child in a sweet shop relentlessly pummelling you into submission until there is nothing left to do but give in. Then once you have you realise this was by far the best course of action anyway – the most infectious rhythm of the year. Resistance is futile.

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9 Sun Kil Moon – Dogs
Dogs is unashamedly, perhaps deliberately, cringingly frank and revealing. No-one sings more conversationally than Mark Kozelek, but it is exactly the lack of sentiment and judgement in this song that gives it such impact. A deadpan tale of sexual fumblings and failures mixed with an all too accurate recollection of our self obsessed teenage selves gives the song a wincing recognition for every listener’s own emotions that makes listening to it almost too painful.

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8 Dream Police – My Mama’s Dead
In my head this is a follow up to Hendrix’s classic Hey Joe. Except my head has been split in two by the sheer brutal, pneumatic force of this song, a snarling, distorted beast of a tune that is as brilliantly grim and unforgiving as the title suggests. Am I the only one who thinks the Dream Police are a far more enjoyable listen than alter-egos The Men?

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7 Parquet Courts – Ducking And Dodging
Ducking And Dodging boasts the catchiest punk riff since, oh I don’t know, Stoned And Starving perhaps. Yet this time it comes with extra ingredients, a little added anger and a whole cauldron full of world weariness and frustration giving their take on a traditional tune a fiery new incarnation and showing once and for all that they were always far, far more than simple Velvets or Pavement disciples.

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6 Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Body Electric
A word perfect riposte to all those endless murder ballads where the woman’s part is merely that of hopeless victim. Over an deceptively hypnotic refrain Alynda Lee Segarra reveals that the tables are turning, “He’s gonna shoot me down, put my body in the river, Cover me up with the leaves of September, Like an old sad song, you heard it all before, Well, Delia’s gone but I’m settling the score

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5 Houndmouth – For No One
Houndmouth announced their return with this sublime slice of surreal Americana. More obtuse than before, it boasted the best opening verse of any song we heard this year, then over a deceptively simple strummed guitar line, Matt Myers travels from resignation to bitterness and ultimately acceptance. For No One is a sparse, poignant ballad that is as close to perfection as you’re likely to hear.

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4 Damien Jurado – Metallic Cloud
Metallic Cloud seems packed full of meaning, overflowing with imagery and allusion and cloaked in layers and layers of mystery. Curiously it feels to me like a companion piece to Neil Young’s After The Goldrush, and I can’t really think of a higher compliment than that. The first song to reduce me to tears this year, in tandem with the red wine mind you.

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3 The Pink Mountaintops – North Hollywood Microwaves
Surreal, obscene, freaky, offensive,  lewd. Repulsive, coarse, vulgar, gross and rude. But unquestionably, undeniably, uniformly brilliant. This was the sound of rock’n’roll updated for the here and now.

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2 The Water Liars – Swannanoa
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Water Liars delivered an exceptional album this year, and this is an undoubted highlight, a melancholy story of searching and loss, of heroin and girls with stutters, of cowardice and looking death in the face. There is no one, but no one, who does this stuff as well as the Water Liars and why they aren’t massive is a source of constant bemusement to me.

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1 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife
I’m gonna show you if it takes all night, We’re staying here till you get it right, It’s been three whole days with no end in sight“, so opens the year’s most chilling, and thrilling, song. An irresistible mix of primeval rock’n’roll, trashcan punk and swampy voodoo blues provides the most exquisitely perfect soundtrack for Dale Barclay’s unhinged protagonist.

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Guilty Pleasure:

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
F**k off, it’s brilliant.

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Favourite Cover of the Year:

Hearts Of Oak – Must Have Been Drunk (George Jones cover)

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Reissue of the Year:

Crime – Piss On Your Dog (from Murder By Guitar)

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Best Of MM 2014 80-61

Here is the second instalment of our countdown of our favourite 100 tunes of the year.

Enjoy and check back tomorrow for numbers 60 down to 41.

80 Greylag – Yours To Shake

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79 Ty Segall – Feel

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78 The War On Drugs – Under The Pressure

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77 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Party Drugs

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76 Tweak Bird – Greens

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75 Parkay Quarts – Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth

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74 Dirt Dress – Revelations

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73 Dream Police – Hypnotized

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72 Water Liars – Last Escape

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71 S.H.I.T. – Feeding Time

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70 Pink Mountaintops – Ambulance City

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69 Cass McCombs – Night Of The World

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68 The Barr Brothers – England

Stream it here.

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67 Young Widows – Money

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66 Angel Olsen – Hi-Five

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65 Deer Tick – Bus Stop

 

64 Jamie T – Turn On The Light

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63 The Drive-By Truckers – When Walter Went Crazy

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62 Kye Alfred Hillig – My Young Love Was Blind As Ray Charles And Half As Cold As Heat

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61 Parquet Courts – Black And White

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Mad Mackerel Recommends Kye Alfred Hillig

We’re a bit late to The Buddhist, the new album from Kye Alfred Hillig that saw a release around a month ago and is available as a free download via Bandcamp.

But better late than never, with song titles like Some Good Things Just Have To Die, We Buried A Cop (download it below), and stunning album opener My Young Love Was As Blind As Ray Charles And Half As Cold As Heat (that comes across like a mix of Sun Kil Moon and Damien Jurado) the record is a triumph of brilliant, acerbic, literate Americana.

We got together quick, like a dog plays fetch
She put my sticker on her car
And I gave her bad sex
And we moved in with my friends
We broke up quick, she showed up with her Mom
Her Mom said, “Sad day.”
And I asked her, “Which one?”
And life felt like a grave

The soundcloud streams are below, but forget those and go grab the album for free.

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