Posts Tagged ‘Kyle Adem’

Mad Mackerel's Best Of October 2014

After a too long hiatus, we’ve resurrected our best of the month mix capturing our favourite tunes from October’s posts, plus a couple of new tracks too. So more than 25 songs to discover…dive in!

The September Girls – Veneer
Dark-hearted pop smothered in drenched feedback

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God Damn – Horus
A red-hot burning molten pot of pop hooks and grinding, bludgeoning riffs and rhythms.

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The Voyeurs – Stunners
Indie-psych rockers new single with nods to the tribal stomp of the Glitter Band and Iggy Pop to the colder, starker vignettes of Berlin era Lou Reed.

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Dirt Dress – Revelations
Cultivated racket of guitars, horns, and drums that mixes surf rock with synths in a curiously beguiling way.

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Amazing Snakeheads – Can’t Let You Go
More trashcan voodoo punk blues without parallel.

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Ultimate Painting – Ten Street
Excellent retro style, casually lacksadasical, take on jangly indie rock with echoes of Pavement and Lou Reed.

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The Wharves – The Grip
Gracefully minimal psych-rock with fuzzed out folk invoking the reverberated spook of 60s girl groups topped with crunchy guitar and thunderous drumming.

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Maggie Bjorklund – Fro Fro Heart
Brooding, profound and unforgettable standout from Danish pedal steeliest and singer’s new album.

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Gwyneth Moreland – Slaughterhouse Gulch
Perfect blend of authentic, classic country that feels as genuine as it does timeless.

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Menace Beach – Come On Give Up
Fuzzily insistent indie rock.

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Elijah Ocean – Bring It All In
Particularly fine example of classic backwoods, porch-rocking folk.

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The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Heat
Eastern tinged, gritty psychedelia.

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The Wave Pictures – Pea Green Boat
Dr Feelgood style blues riffs melded with typically quirky and literate vocals.

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Eaves – As Old As The Grave
Rich, tender, melancholia from new singer-songwriter.

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Elliott Brood – Nothing Left
Rollicking, infectious Americana cut through with bluegrass, folk-rock and a definite glam-rock flavour.

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Daddy Issues – Ugly When I Cry
Wonderful slab of downbeat grungy pop that drips with acerbic irony and a healthy dose of cynicism.

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The Don Darlings – If You Can’t Be Good
Masterpiece of southern gothic Americana

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Parkay Quarts – Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth
Townes Van Zandt, Warren Zevon, and Dylan are evident points of departure this lonesome tale about “two men tragically colliding in the deep south“.

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Viet Cong – Continental Shelf
Gloomy, brooding, ghostly, dissonant post-punk.

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Diarrhoea Planet – Bamboo Curtain
Catchy old-school style punk.

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Saint Agnes – Where The Lightning Strikes
Blues stomping, dirty rock n roll number with psychedelic organs, screaming guitars and haunting harmonica.

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Justin Townes Earle – Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Classic take on a classic track.

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Kyle Adem – I Go On
Haunting, satirical autobiography of loss and the person one becomes in solitude, sung with convincing desperation.

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Curtin – Big Blue Crown
Hazy track that creates a slow-burning and hypnotic soundscape.

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To finish we have new tracks from brilliant psych-rockers Pontiak, the burrowing, ominous Underneath Us Like A Snake, and Soft Fangs stunningly gorgeous and woozy Dog Park.

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MM Shorts 626: Kyle Adem

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Americana, Folk, Indie, Music
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Here is another track from Kyle Adem’s excellent recent EP Beautiful Dreamer.

I Go On is dramatic; a haunting, satirical autobiography of loss and the person one becomes in solitude sung with convincing desperation.

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New EP From Kyle Adem

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Acoustic, Americana, Folk, Music
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New EP From Kyle Adem

We were big fans of Kyle Adem’s 2012 release Armour, and he has returned with a new single from his forthcoming EP Beautiful Dreamer (due on October 14th via Ghost Motel Records).

With a signature guitar-driven narrative, Good Morning, August conjures imagery of leaves changing, the end of a season, and with it, an uplifting change in attitude that finds the indie/folk musician exploring greater pop-sensibilities than previously.

Have a listen, really lovely stuff.

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Mad Mackerel's Best Of July 2013

A brilliant month for new music means a mix of more than 35 tracks compiled for you in our selection of our favourite downloads from July’s posts. And, as always, a few brand new tunes to round the collection off.

They’re all yours…and check out all the other Best of the Month mixes using the sidebar links too.

SNØFFELTØFFS – Pretty Girl
Storming garage punk.


[Click through for free download]

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Dinosaur Bones – Sleepsick
Alluring, hooked out blend of dark pop and broody indie rock.


[Click through for free download]

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Cat Meat – Goodnight Miss Belle
Sweeping mournful murder ballad telling the tale of a young drunk’s ill-fated dalliance with the town harlot.

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Fiver – Undertaker
Opening with a weaving organ that sounds like it was drawn from the soundtrack of an Italian horror film, the song is a macabre masterwork.

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Construction & Destruction – The Horse Returns
Opens with a single ominous guitar refrain before exploding into a frenzy of percussion and vocals that calls to mind PJ Harvey at her most tumultuous.

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Kings Of Lowertown – Shotgun Preacher
Takes a classic dirt-blues riff, and layers some distorted vocals over the top to provide just over two and a half minutes of visceral rock ‘n’ roll.


[Click through for free download]

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This Frontier Needs Heroes – Hooky
More gorgeous Americana from duo’s forthcoming album of the same name.

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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Lesbian Wife
Wryly original garage pop.


[Click through for free download]

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Shark Week – Baby Maybe
Gravelly baritone, screeching guitar solos, jangly guitar leads, pulsating bass rhythms and pounding drums – a ramshackle, yet swaggering, joy to the ears.


[Click through for free download]

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White Hills – In Your Room
Brilliant, persistently hypnotic psych-rock.


[Click through for free download]

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FUZZ – Loose Sutres
Thrilling slab of slow burning distorted rock ‘n’ roll sleaze from Ty Segall’s side project.

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Shadows At Play – Into The Sun
Upbeat, ethereal folk song.

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Quiet Life – Devil’s Kin
Propulsive, galloping folk-rock that begs to be played loud on the open road, and sits somewhere between vintage Creedence, The Band and perhaps even a whiff of Buddy Holly.

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Black Tambourines – Bodies
Typically alluring of hook-filled, sunny garage-psych goodness.

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Dim Peaks – Reason
Sweetly melodic blend of Americana that is effortlessly evocative:

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Morning Smoke – DYWD
Roars in on pulsating drums and vocals echoing Joy Division before the song quickly unfolds with a statuesque controlled power.

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Cash Savage And The Last Drinks – Hypnotiser
Dark country blues that swings from emotion to emotion.

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Yuck – Rebirth
Sits somewhere between Beach House’s dream pop and some of the less histrionic and fragile soundscapes of MBV.

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Big Haunt – Burn Me Up
Spooky, gospel infused big beat indy folk and a song about ritualistic fire sacrifice and murder.

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D.B. Rouse – I-90
More outsider folk from roaming troubadour.

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Expwy – Scraping Blue Terra Cotta (Waterloo Cannibals)
Power pop gem and something that Mikal Cronin would be mighty proud of…

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Gross Relations – Cut The Final Scene
Plenty of fuzz and lackadaisically-delivered lyrics reeled in by insistent, irresistible riffs.


[Click through for free download]

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Hollis Brown – Doghouse Blues
Combines raw rock sensibilities with sweet melodies and hearfelt lyrics to create a rich, warm sound.

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Dinosaur Feathers – Juror B37
Plaintive, evocative and obviously topical tune from indie psych-rockers.

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The Smoking Flowers – Something I Said
Begins as a sparsely arranged, folkish ballad that grows exponentially in intensity and feeling to a climax that is something more akin to the territory stalked by Radiohead.


[Click through for free download]

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Ming City Rockers – She’s A Wrong ‘Un
Snarling, spitting bad boy rock’n’roll in the spirit of Eddie Cochran and the Stooges.

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Dream Boys – Born Yesterday
Brittle, swirling psychedelic pop music.

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Kyle Adem – After Jackson
Singer-songwriter exorcises demons of dealing with personal trauma.

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Chloë Sunshine – Want You
Wonderful blend of jangly, shoegazey pop with echoing vocals and Beach Boys style harmonies.

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Boho Dancer – Bohemian Child
Porcelain like vocals deliver atmospheric, haunting and picturesque lyrics, evoking a journey though the mountains, where the Nordic trio escape and dissolve into the landscape.

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Night Beats – Outta Mind
Reverb laden slab of psych-rock with echoes of blues and soul and a healthy nod to the mind-bending sonics of the sixties.

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Download The Mother Hips – Song For JB mp3
Classic cosmic country rock.

Download Jefferson Ross – Two Horses mp3
A unique acoustic guitar style and southern, soulful voice spin some of the finest story songs to come out of Deep Dixie in a long while.

And to finish off this mammoth post, four more great new tracks from infectious indie-popsters Potty Mouth, heavy sludge-psych rockers White Orange, noirish surf-pop from La Luz, and last, but by no means least, we have Atlantic, the catchy, jangly new single from Brooklyn based psych-surf rock collective Fishdoctor.


[Click through for free download]

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New Album From Kyle Adem

Kyle Adem’s album Armour was a huge favourite here at MM, and Brother Follow from it featured heavily at the business end of our Best of 2012 lists.

Somehow we missed the fact that he is back with a new album Syracuse, which saw a release back in May. Apparently it was written as a consequence of a complete emotional breakdown, a loss of faith, and some chemical dependencies, and tells of the struggle and the pain in dealing with personal trauma of this kind.

There are  few tracks up on Soundcloud from the album, and they are a mix of the tragic, sorrowful, and the occasionally upbeat. They are also, in places, more experimental than the songs on Armour, but what hasn’t changed is the pure, dynamic songwriting quality. After Jackson and Saint John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church come particularly recommended by these ears.

Order the album here.

MM's BEST OF 2012 Nos 20 - 1

And so the moment to reveal Mad Mackerel’s final favourites of 2012. Here are numbers 20 down to top spot. Dig in and enjoy.

20 OF MONSTERS AND MEN – LITTLE TALKS
Duelling male / female voices from Iceland’s finest and bitter sweet lyrics (only with igloos and saunas instead of pubs and football). They also shout “Hey!” a lot which can’t be a bad thing. (TS)

Anything from this lot always lifts my mood. However this one just edged it for the catchy nature of the chorus, and for the fact that I thought they were saying “shit will carry on” which I thought was a good point of view to have. (SB)

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19 RICHARD BUCKNER – WILLOW
This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember. (Mrs M)

Download Richard Buckner – Willow mp3

18 BLACK MOTH – BLACKBIRDS FALL
Long live the guitar riff! Heavy but with a funky tune and words you can understand. With an album produced by Nick Cave, not surprising they are getting glowing reviews. Raw power describes them well. (SB)

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17 THE MACCABEES – PELICAN
This track bounces along at a pace in a confused ensemble of instruments that feel like they shouldn’t make sense … but do. It just works. But what’s the song about? It’s a 3 minute 45 second run through life. From being born to when we push up the daisies. Sounds miserable but it isn’t. If it doesn’t raise a smile, it’ll get your foot tapping. (BSF)

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16 GHOST WAVE – HIPPY
Unstoppably stomping, unrelentingly catchy, Hippy cranks up the riffage and was made for burning rubber on a sunburnt highway somewhere. (MM)

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15 MICHAEL AINSLEY – RAINY LONELY DAY
Despite the air of melancholy I found this a strangely uplifting song, reminiscent vocally of the great Ray Davies (although it does not suffer by comparison). Piano and guitar combine with the haunting voice of Michael Ainsley to produce the most heartfelt tune I’ve heard all year. I’m in awe of the lyrics – “yes I know you’ve got to go – from my group of friends, you’re the best one that I know”… I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the wonderfully awkward nature of this song and to showcase the genuine talent of Mr Ainsley. (CP)

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14 WILLY MASON – CARRY ON
When I was much younger my dear old Pa used to say of classical music that it was music that spoke to him: this is a song that speaks to me. The poetic lyricism is felt; the metaphor carried is subtle and reflective; and the guitar, the guitar plays softly to my heart. A song of such fragile beauty for 2012: this is a song that speaks to me. (Mrs M)

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13 SIMONE FELICE – HEY BOBBY RAY
Yay! It’s another murder ballad. This time the perpetrator is young Bobby Ray. A young man born on 4th July who gets himself into a whole load of trouble when his ‘pick-up date’ doesn’t think too much of his advances. Bobby Ray doesn’t think too much of her refusal. So he kills her. This song is a lament. The fragile tones of Simone Felice complimented beautifully by a choir in the background of the chorus. A beautiful tune, intelligent lyrics and sung as only a Felice can. Hey Bobby Ray, you’re going to get yours, sunshine! (BSF)

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12 TOM WILLIAMS & THE BOAT – TEENAGE BLOOD
This is another dark look at life through the eyes of a young man who is obviously ahead of his years in so many ways. Who’d have ever thought that Tom’s hometown of Tunbridge Wells would ever give rise to such grim lyrics. Carrying some of the meaningful insanity of Nick Cave with the miserable wisdom of Morrissey, Tom Williams and his Boat crew have delivered another dark gem in Teenage Blood. (BSF)

A modern twist on a country classic. It is a catchy and memorable song with great harmonies, despite the slightly depressing theme. (SB)

A great recommendation from PP here and real foot stomping stuff. Plus, anything that counts you in with a 1-2-3-4 is always a winner. (TS)

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11 SHEARWATER – YOU AS YOU WERE
I only found Shearwater this year, and what a lovely band to find. Animal Joy is a very fine album and to me, You As You Were is the standout track. It a massive song, full of energy from start to finish. I kind of wish I’d had this song with me a decade or so ago, it would have suited me down to the ground. (PP)

Download Shearwater – You As You Were mp3

10 WE ARE AUGUSTINES – CHAPEL SONG
This song certainly stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it earlier in the year and continues to do so – always something new to ponder over in those heartbreaking lyrics. Thankfully I am normally left feeling more upbeat than melancholy but its a close call. A song of genius. (PP)

This is The Jam’s The Bitterest Pill brought bang up to date and made better. The song is from the view of a fella stood in a chapel whilst the love of his life walks down the aisle … with another bloke. Suffice to say, he’s not in a good place and the vocals lend to this feeling of impotent misery perfectly. Strained, angry and a little menacing, the lyrics match the tune perfectly which is … well … strained, angry and a little menacing. (BSF)

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9 TOM WILLIAMS & THE BOAT – TOO YOUNG
It has a guitar riff which burrows in to the brain like an old News of the World reporter in a celebrity’s wheelie bin. It took a while but now I understand that it’s utterly useless to resist any longer. Probably the most hummed tune of the year, which I think you’ll agree, is one hell of an accolade (CP)

For me, this tune has all the energy of being young with the class of being a little older! I have loved it for months and it does what a good song should – makes you smile, makes you get up and dance or certainly tap a foot. Lovely guitars and violins, with nice gentle vocals – great stuff. (PP)

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8 LAST AMERICAN BUFFALO – BABY I’M ALIVE
A lament to a lost love: “I swear I saw a ghost, I swear I saw his eyes, since when we fell in love on Mulholland Drive”. The riff is catchy and the vocals are perfect for the sentiment of the song. It’s a broken heart that will bleed all over you from the opening notes to the final chord. If you’re the lady with coffee-coloured skin who inspired this piece of art, thank you. Now go back to your lover and make him happy again. (BSF)

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DELTA SPIRIT – CALIFORNIA
How do you write such heartbroken lyrics and marry them to such upbeat music? You move to California, buy a drum machine a keyboard and off you jolly well go. Big emotion, high impact, fantastic tune. (Mrs M)

Download Delta Spirit – California mp3

KYLE ADEM – BROTHER FOLLOW
It’s a grower, this one. The momentum builds gradually, together with the tension, as it heads towards a passionate finale where the female vocal answers the male. A little bit of flute, banjo, bass drum – it’s quite a complex musical arrangement, while the lyrics hint at feudal times. Phew. It packs a punch. (Mrs M)

He really has created a brute of a song; it seems to throb with the wretchedness of the whole thing. I like music that takes you out of your comfort zone and it uses some alarmingly savage imagery to remind us just how nasty our society has become. Backed up with a fearsome delivery that makes this a real ‘sit bolt upright and ask what the hell was that’ on first listen, thankfully it doesn’t dilute with time. (CP)

Download Kyle Adem – Brother Follow mp3

5 WILLY MASON – RESTLESS FUGITIVE
From the opening beats and distinctive guitar I’m happy…  we’re in proper Chris T Popper territory here! Mason’s distinctive vocals compliment the somniferous atmosphere perfectly. (CP)

With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with this outstanding tune, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on. (MM)

A slow and ominous beat that is undeniably contemporary Americana but reminds me a little of reggae and The Clash too. (BSF)

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THE FELICE BROTHERS – LINCOLN CONTINENTAL
School run anthem 2012: a fine country drawl, a fine country band. Learn the words, sing it loud; altogether now:  “I been missing you so listen/I liked to ask you can we drive through town”. (Mrs M)

A cheerful, rollicking, foot-tapper of a tune with a chorus as infectious as Chlamydia. If you’re ever feeling a bit down, stick this on and you’ll be as right as rain and imagining yourself leaving the Garden State with your soft top down. Unmistakeably Felice, understandably brilliant. (BSF)

Download The Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental mp3

3 FIRST AID KIT – THE LION’S ROAR
Brilliant vocals – all pure and clean and I still marvel at the number of words you can get into one sentence and still sound melodic. Certainly one of the best of the year. (PP)

Incredible voices, perfect harmonies and a big slice of Americana from two Swedes (who would have thought it) which just keeps rolling along like a boat bobbing over the waves. It is made even better by what sounds like “every time it all shits one way or the other” at the end of the second verse, and it is also Mrs Toy’s favourite so it has to be high in the line-up. (TS)

There is something about this folk style that really appeals. It is a very profound and beautiful song. (SB)

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EMIL FRIIS – SAND IN YOUR EYES
Possesses a rhythmic simplicity that always manages to pick me up and transport me off somewhere else, and that’s a fairly big plus in my life. Throughout Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when I stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention. (CP)

A very elegant tune, a quiet beginning and then the dark and brooding piano arrives slowly building before the lyrics kick in.  It feels like it should be the soundtrack to a very brilliant film (is it?) Any how, it’s worth several listens, especially with a glass of wine or a cocktail or two. (PP)

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WE ARE AUGUSTINES – JUAREZ
This might not be the first song written about the troubled Mexican border city but it’s the best by a country mile. From the outset, you’re sat beside the storyteller under a ferocious Mexican sun and the car you’re in is kicking up dust as it speeds away from Juarez. The lyrics are harsh and drip with regret and sadness but they paint a fantastic, brutal picture. The vocals are unmistakeable and the tune both memorable and uplifting. Beautiful in every way except for the sentiment. (BSF)

I have neither “a saint for a brother nor a drunk for Mother”…anyway, with a great tune, and amazing vocals – my favourite of the year! (MS)

Love this, love his distinctive voice. Best line for me “I got jukebox tears under turquoise skies”, no idea what it means though… (SB)

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So there we have it – 100 great tunes to soundtrack another brilliant year of music.Don’t forget to check all the other chosen tunes that we’ve posted all week too – just click for 100 – 8180 – 6160 – 41, and 40 – 21.

Extra special thanks to the MM contributors this year: Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Christy Popper (CP), Barry-Sean (BSF), Polly Pocket (PP), Dr Roddy (DR), Starbie (SB), Middle Sprat (MS) and Toy Steve (TS). Starting tomorrow, you can check their individual choices on MM too.

MM Shorts 193: Another From Kyle Adem.

Kyle Adem turned up in our Best of the Year…So Far post recently and here is another track from his excellent album Armour.

The Sunlight & The Sea is described as an existential dilemma – we’re not too sure about that, but we do know it is another damn fine song of reflective, orchestral folk from this excellent storyteller.

Download Kyle Adem – The Sunlight & The Sea mp3 (from Armour)

Mad Mackerel's Best of the Year...so far!

So then, half way through the year already. Time to take stock and see what the first six months have delivered up in terms of new tunes and bands. We asked some of the regular MM contributors to pick three songs that have particularly struck a chord (sorry) with them in the first part of 2012.

Kyle Adem – Brother Follow 
Unlike Brains by Lower Dens this was an instant hit.  A real earthy campfire ditty with a grotesque sentiment I fully approve of. I make no apology for repeating the line MM brought to our attention in late April. ‘So our sisters became whores, and our brothers savage carnivores, devouring the bodies of our fathers’. Well that got my attention… and I’m pleased to report the quality of musicianship effortlessly matches the lyrics. Building in to a stomping climax sung with a equal parts desperation and aggression it may well be my song of the year so far. Kyle Adem I salute you sir.  (CP) 

Download Kyle Adem – Brother Follow mp3 (from Armour)

Aesop Rock – Zero Dark Thirty
What a start. What a tune, The bassline holds you down, whilst the drums jump on your chest. Lyrically Aesop Rock is head and shoulders above most of his competitors in this genre. His delivery, subject matter and phraseology is so unique and fresh it’s no wonder he has won such plaudits from his peers. The lyric “Spinning in the shadows of immoral magnets / are we supporting the artist or enabling the addict” shows great skill. This kind of poetry is sadly lacking in most of the so called Hip Hop that is touted round the charts, like music in a gimp suit. However it is the music that backs up all the wordplay that had me all over this track like White on rice.  (Dr R)

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The Alabama Shakes – Hang Loose
A great summer song with a real laid back feel to it The line “Hang loose / let the ocean worry about being blue” sums up the vibe of this track perfectly. I love the guitar intro that meanders along through the song providing a nice country accent to it. The drums are hard edged and drive the song along beautifully. There are also elements of soul to both the track and definitely to Brittany Howard’s vocals that seem to drape around this song effortlessly. To be honest on a sunny day, with a cold beer and this track, you can drift off to anywhere in the world.  (Dr R)

Download The Alabama Shakes – Hang Loose (Hear Ya Session) mp3 (from Hear Ya Session) Grab whole session from Hear Ya here.

Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny – Liliputt
In what should be Liz’s year, I say all hail the coronation of Queen B. From the sweeping string arrangements, to her falsetto harmonies, to the thrumming hooves of percussion that build the momentum, here is a tune that marks the musical originality – and arrival – of the one and only BJH. “I might die without these words having left my mouth” – OK then, I’ll say it: genius. (Mrs M)

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Richard Buckner – Willow
Ballad is sometimes a bit of a bastardised term, but don’t let Bonnie Tyler et al put you off. This is the real deal. “I can still remember…” so much melancholy and longing hinted at, both lyrically and musically. The simple arrangement dips and sways, well, like a willow tree actually, and is broken by a lovely twangy guitar bit, two verses in. I have always been a sucker for a man with a sad song and a guitar. Tick, tick. (Mrs M)

Download Richard Buckner – Willow mp3 (from Willow EP)

Father John Misty – Writing A Novel
Father John Misty’s album Fear Fun has been one of our most played of the year. It is lewd, bawdy, irreverent, frank and honest. Picking just one track is near nigh impossible, but in the end I went for Writing A Novel, carried along on a jaunty, rolling rhythm and spewing forth a lyrical stream of consciousness that borders on genius, and contains one of the years simplest and best lines, “I”m writing a novel, because its never been done before“. (MM)

Download Father John Misty – Writing A Novel mp3 (from Fear Fun) via R&G

Simone Felice – Hey Bobby Ray
Simone Felice is brother to the wonderful but ‘dark’ Felice Brothers. While his brothers sing about tragic lives and deaths, murders and gun-toting alcoholics, Simone … well Simone does the same. Just on his own. Hey Bobby Ray is the story of a sex attacker who is going to get what is coming to him. It starts slowly with Mr Felice’s slightly tortured vocals and builds to a point where a gospel choir chips in. It’s brilliant!  (B-SF)

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Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Any More
I nearly chose Fergus Falls by Field Report for a place in my top three, but this tune just has the edge. There are some songs that stop you in your tracks and some that creep up slowly – this one is definitely a track stopper. A beautiful tune – understated, haunting and melancholy – a perfect combination I reckon!  (PP)

Download Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Anymore mp3 (from Field Report)

First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar
What is not to love about this tune? For me its the stunning vocals and those harmonies that get me every time, and lyrics that deserve to be listen to several times over but still leave you wondering just how do you get so many words into one sentence? Overall its a cracker and I am sure it will remain a favourite throughout the year.  (PP)

Download First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar mp3 (from The Lion’s Roar) Taken down under DMCA notice due to some retarded fuckwit not knowing the song was given away as a free download everywhere. Contact us first you muppet and we’ll show you the authorisation we have to post. Anyway, you can get it via Soundcloud instead.

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Gravenhurst – The Foundry
A record of almost otherworldly, ambient folk, the world view of Gravenhurst is a deeply unsettling one. The Foundry is played out over a backdrop of acoustics so profoundly beautiful that the sourness of the lyrics pack an even greater punch. “And you won’t know when evil comes, evil looks just like anyone, and I blame, I blame, I blame anyone but me“. Like having your first French kiss and finding your tongue’s been bitten off.  (MM)

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Last American Buffalo – Baby I’m Alive
Just for a change, a love song has captured my imagination. It’s not one of those cheerful or smoochy love songs though. I don’t think this will ever end the night at the Stonesfield Disco. No, this song celebrates love but is sung in such a way that it relays the pain that even the most loving relationships can bring. And the guitar backing is just beautiful. (B-SF)

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Lower Dens – Brains
This one was definitely a grower, passing undetected until that magic eureka moment when you start glowing with the realisation you just love this damn song. Hypnotic and insistent – it keeps metaphorically pulling at your sleeve like a child who’s seen the ice cream van. It will not be denied. Lovingly textured with synth, drums while sung with a laid back approach that matches the music perfectly it doesn’t slip in to any particular category easily. I like that. There is something indefinable about what appeals and why I like it – which makes it fabulous in my book.  (CP)

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Lumineers – Ho Hey
I think the beauty of this song is its simplicity… From its rhythmic opening bars, steady beat and chanted ‘Ho Hey’ over a picked guitar you then realise it’s anything but simple. The composition is wonderfully subtle, far more thoughtful and precise than you first realise. It’s also a joyful record, the momentum sweeps you along until you find yourself yelping out the chorus far too loud and usually in public. Be careful if you go the gym and have it blasting out of your ipod – funny looks are certain to follow…(CP)

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Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive
With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with Restless Fugitive, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on, and in doing so might have just provided us with the song of the year so far.  (MM)

Download Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive (Daytrotter Session) mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Monument Valley – The Very First Alarm
A gorgeous, melancholy tune, that describes the moment you properly understand that you’re not going to get your lover back, and the torrent of memories and emotions that comes with that realisation. This could have been a bit soppy, but it  is lifted by a haunting guitar sound and some dark lyrics, that make you smile. “You never minded too much being see through / Until you worked out who was behind you”. Don’t, however, play this to your little brother who has just split up with his girlfriend of six years, because the look in his eyes will make a bit of your soul die. Fact!  (Dr R)

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Rachel Sermanni – The Fog
Rachel Sermanni has such a beautiful voice with the most incredible vocal range. I love the violins throughout which help to give it such a rich, polished sound. To me, there is something really enchanting about this song, but not in a light hearted, frivolous way, it has a mischievous heart and carries with it an air of darkness (which to my mind should be encouraged!)  (PP)

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Tunng – Jenny Again
I’m a sucker for a story song. The more grim the story, the better I like it. Usually those songs are played out to menacing guitar riffs or slowly plucked blues strings. Not this one. This is a jaunty little number that trips along whilst the ‘narrator’ tells about how his life was ended by ‘the other man’ who then runs off and has a pretty nice life with his Jenny. You’ve really got to listen to it.  (B-SF)

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The Walkmen – Heartbreaker
The Walkmen might have been around for over a decade but this is a fresh cut for the men from NYC. It’s not the singer, it’s the song, sings Hamilton Leithauser – actually it’s both. Cue a deft guitar riff to start, bring in your pedal drum and I’m already out of my seat. Slight retro ambience, this tune just oozes style and cool. It really is the perfect tempo dance number for my ageing fins. How can you not? It would be rude. Love it, love it, love it. (Mrs M)

Download The Walkmen – Heartbreaker mp3 (from Heaven)

Thanks to Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Christy-Popper (CP), Polly Pocket (PP), Barry-Sean (BS-F) and Dr. Roddy (Dr R) for their selections. Why not tell us whose choices you like best?

MM Shorts 172: More From Kyle Adem. The first track that we posted (Brother Follow) from Kyle Adem’s new album, Armour has proved hugely popular with the Mackerel clan, and regularly soundtracks the school run (the highest accolade possible in this household).

It is a pleasure therefore to offer you a new song, the title track, from the album for your listening pleasure. Another first class example of bruised, heartfelt storytelling with a rawness and honesty to it that you can almost reach out and touch.

Armour is due out on July 24th via Ghost Motel Records.

Download Kyle Adem – Armour mp3 (from Armour)

Download Kyle Adem – Brother Follow mp3 (from Armour)

Mad Mackerel's Best of April 2012 - Free Mix. So we exit April, which true to form turned out to be wetter than a Mackerel’s handshake. No matter, banish the blues with this scorching mix of some of the best downloads we offered in the month, plus a few new ones to get to know and love too.

Download Alexander TuckerWindow Sill mp3 (from Third Mouth)
Minimalist string arrangements with electronic manipulations and drones to produce a doom chamber-pop song.

Download Amanda Jo WilliamsThe Bear Eats Me mp3 (from The Bear Eats Me)
Dusty jukebox rock that will wake the kids in the middle of the night for a boot-stomping, moon-invoking dance party on the back porch.

Download Kyle AdemBrother Follow mp3 (from Armour)
A tireless storyteller with a whole lot of questions who marries his own blend of orchestral and reflective folk, with a punk edginess.

Download Johnny Bertram & The Golden BicyclesMistake mp3 (from Neon City)
Robust, but still melodic indie rock with some folky undertones.

Download Dubious RangerThe New Eve mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)
Sounding like a blend of Tom Waits and Beck, this is a peculiar brand of art-rock that defies definition.

Download Mathew Sawyer – Children In The City
One of the very best singer-songwriters around. Wonderfully skewed view of the world, obstinate refusal to conform, and exceptional wordplay.

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Download The Flaming LipsGod Only Knows mp3 (from Pet Sounds Revisited)
Indie rock surrealists take on the Beach Boys.

Download Black CreekNot For The Faint Of Heart mp3 (from Not For The Faint Of Heart digital single)
Another muscular example of their ragged, raw take on Americana, a sound they describe as “riffs and revelations”.

Download Coke Weed – Jimmy
Chugs gently along, all woozy charm and gentle folky psychedelia behind which the occasional acerbic lyric hides in wait.

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Download Hiss Golden MessengerJesus Shot Me In The Head mp3 (from Poor Moon)
Classic back-porch folk and country with echoes of gospel and blues, which is often accompanied by warm organic sound effects such as cicadas or the patter of rain.

Download Old BricksAnthem mp3 (from City Lights)
Earnest and pensive folk.

Download Wooden WandWither Away (demo version) mp3 (from Briarwood Deluxe Edition)
Gorgeous demo version of Briarwood album standout.

Download Diamond RugsCountry Mile mp3 (from Diamond Rugs)
Loose countrified rock from new indie ‘supergroup’.

Download Tiger HighDon’t Want To See You Till You Go mp3 (from Myth Is This)
Excellent garage-psych.

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering DriftersRestless Roads End mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt & Dreams)
Muscular Americana, a song that slowly stretches, flexes and simmers over five minutes while the band keep expertly keep a lid on the instrumentation and don’t allow it to escape its restraints completely.

Download MV & EEToo Far To See mp3 (from Space Homestead)
Off-kilter Americana. Plaintive, almost elegiac and builds up to some guitar histrionics than recall Neil Young in a most pleasing way.

Download The Fresh & OnlysDo What I Came To Do mp3 (from Stash Rituals)
High octane garage punk, thump and clatter.

Download The Plastic Pals – Leave It Til Tomorrow (from Leave it ‘Til Tomorrow Digital Single)
This is heroin disco chic in the style of the Velvet Underground and Berlin-era Bowie.

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Download Young HinesCan’t Explode mp3 (from Give Me My Change)
Confrontational and trigger-happy punkish blues.

And no fewer than five new tracks to try out. We have the raw, early 70s punk vibe of The Dirty Fences, a brilliant track of chugging psych-rock from The Lead Stones (another discovery via Rollo & Grady), the uniquely catchy indie rock of The Wave Pictures, a visceral slab of slowed down garage rock from the Ty Segall Band and to finish a sweetly charming slice of Americana from Cowgill with its quiet, upbeat guitar and gorgeous violin.

Download The Dirty Fences – Sid mp3 (from Dirty Fences)

Download The Lead Stones – Heaven mp3 (from Heaven Digital Single)

Download The Wave Pictures –Stay Here And Take Care Of The Chickens mp3 (from Long Black Cars)

Download Ty Segall Band – Wave Goodbye mp3 (from Slaughterhouse)

Download Cowgill – Extra Gravity mp3 (from Side One Of Planted)