Posts Tagged ‘Last American Buffalo’

Mad Mackerel's Best O The Month: June 2013

Here we are again, a round up of twenty five of June’s best downloads on Mad Mackerel (plus a few new tunes) that combine to make another perfect mix for those long summer days. Stick these on the iPod, crack a cold one, relax and enjoy!

Honeyslide – Drippin
Swathed in reverb, bathed in noise and drowned in dreamy vocals.


[Click through for free download]

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Big Sun – Pants
As quirky and as engaging a slice of sweet indie pop as you could ever wish to hear.


[Click through for free download]

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Lipstick Lumberjack – Desert Balloons
Folk-pop in the vein of Rilo Kiley.

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Mason Brothers – Falling Together
Spacey, contemporary Americana.

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Royal Forest – Everyone Who Knows You
Weaves warped psych-pop and surreal Americana into something utterly memorable.

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Tales Of Murder And Dust – Tremblin’
Hazy and kaliedoscopic mixing drone, shoegaze and eastern influences into a swirling maelstrom of noise rock.

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Jack Wilson – Masterplan
Masterpiece of restrained emotion where spare, but powerful vocals weave between gentle strings and harmonies. A real treat of authentic folk storytelling.


[Click through for free download]

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Algernon Doll – Anti-Them
Fuzzy guitars, layered vocals and no little distortion.

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Speedy Ortiz – No Below
New single from garage noiseniks.


[Click through for free download]

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Black Joe Lewis – Skulldiggin
Grips from the off with a blistering, distorted blues riff of righteous fury and a gruff vocal of just the right amount of hellfire and brimstone zeal to match.

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Potty Mouth – The Spins
Energetic, scrappy indie rock.


[Click through for free download]

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This Frontier Needs Heroes – George Clooney
Simply gorgeous piece of contemporary Americana.

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Argy Rakis – Let It Go
Rasping, deep vocal that sits comfortably atop a percussive chug of travelling troubadour inspiration.

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Over Nights – Broken Cabins
Sweetly melodic slice of banjo led, backporch Americana.

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Fist City – Boring Kids
Punk. Brash. Snotty. Play loud.

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The Blood Arm – Bubblegum
Art-rock cool with a wonderfully weary, almost resigned feel to the glam undercurrent – imagine Roxy Music on downers…

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Whale Belly – Bubbles In My Blood
Bears the imprint of traditional folk, but boasts a big band sound, and the violin adds a classical element that contrasts sweetly with the naggingly insistent high-pitched guitar riffs.

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The Dive Poets – Idaho
Highway-bound rhythm and spirited viola creates a gently mournful single of perfectly judged alt-Country.

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Kill The Captains – Disco Nazi
Guitars fizz and spit, bass lines hum, and drums are beaten and battered in six minute epic.


[Click through for free download]

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Georgia’s Horse – Thistlebomb
Sparse and spooky country noir – hypnotic and filled with a plaintive melancholy.

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Jacuzzi Boys – Domino Moon
Psych-garage pop of the very best kind.

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Last American Buffalo – Move Me
Slow, yearning country blues.

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Golden Animals – The Steady Roller
Hazy, windswept psychedelia.

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Download Metz – Can’t Understand mp3 (from Adult Swim Singles Series)
Pulverising new track from punk/hardcore hybrids.

Download Rose Windows – Native Dreams mp3 (from The Sun Dogs)
Six minute exotic distortion weaving Sabbath style sludge with the traditional sounds of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

And to finish off we have the very welcome return of garage rockers The Obits and their new single Taste The Diff as well as the ragged guitars and snarling girl vocals of Summer Cannibals new track Hey / I Was Saved. We have catchy, energetic garage pop from Holland in the shape of Waiting For Something New by Mozes And The Firstborn, and lastly we have the lush acoustics and warm reverb of neo-folkies The Petticoat Tearoom’s track Love Isn’t Gone.

Don’t forget to check all the other Best of the Month mixes in the sidebar too.


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Last American Buffalo - Move Me

Last American Buffalo are particular favourites of the Mackerel clan, featuring in end of year best of lists, and delivering a whole series of outstanding digital singles and EPs of Americana and alt-country flavoured rock – all available for free/pay-what-you-want deals on their Bandcamp page.

To celebrate a July residency at the Satellite in Los Angeles, they are releasing a new single (free of course, excellent of course), called Move Me.

Grab it below.

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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's Best of 2012 (100-81)

So the waiting is over, and here are the first twenty entries in our Top 100 of 2012, part of MM’s much expanded Best of the Year review. Over the next five days we will reveal our favourite songs and those of our contributors: Mrs Mackerel, Christy Popper, Barry-Sean, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Middle Sprat, Starbie, and Toy Steve. These are not the most “popular” songs of the year, nor do they lay any subjective claim to being the “best”, but they are without doubt the favourites of all those who have written for MM one way or another this year.

So without further ado…

100 GRASSFIGHT – NASSAU
With shades of Interpol in the hypnotic, propulsive percussion, echoes of Dinosaur Jr in the swirling guitar, and a classic indie deep, monotone vocal, Nassau successfully ticks all the necessary boxes for a post-punk extravaganza.

Download Grassfight – Nassau mp3

99 FUTURE OF THE LEFT – CITY OF EXPLODED CHILDREN
Humming, hypnotic , menacing krautrock rumble over which Andy Falkous intones possibly the best opening lyric of the year:  “Chicken tikka bathsalts found at bus stops

(No stream or video available)

98 WELL HUNG HEART – DEVIL
Like the feral lovechild of Howling Wolf, Mick Jagger, Joan Jett and Suzi Quattro fronting a hybrid of Nirvana and the Black Keys. All in a good way. A very good way.

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97 FIELD REPORT – I AM NOT WAITING ANYMORE
Haunting, poignant and fragile first single that heralded a stunning debut album of more than five years in the making.

Download Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Anymore mp3

96 THE WAVE PICTURES – SEAGULLS
With an infectious guitar jangle and clever lyrics – reminiscent of classic 80s UK indie bands like The Brilliant Corners – this year The Wave Pictures finally became the UK’s answer to the brilliant Mountain Goats. (BSF)

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95 JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE – LOWER EAST SIDE
In the Spring of 2012 Justin Townes Earle released Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now. His best record to date, this song, tucked away in the middle of the album perfectly captured how it feels to be in a city of millions yet to be completely alone.

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94 BECK – I JUST STARTED HATING SOME PEOPLE TODAY
A track of three very distinctive parts. The first to the twang of country guitar and cowboy vocals telling us that he’s seen the light and that people really aren’t very nice at all. He hates them all. Then ears are suddenly assaulted by a volley of Jack White’s fury reminiscent of late 70s punk before finishing on smooth, jazzy notes as Karen Elson,with silky tones, lets a bloke called Randy know that he is “Sooooooooooo dead“. Insane but brilliant. (BSF)

(No stream or video available)

93 DAUGHN GIBSON – ALL HELL
Rarely can the opening “insane preacher monologue” approach been used as effectively as this. Yet 45 seconds of spittle-flecked insanity is taken far, far deeper into black, murky waters as over  a humming bassline and fragmented crackles and loops, Gibson’s unflinching baritone reminds us over and over again “its a long way down“.

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92 CALEXICO – FORTUNE TELLER
Gorgeous standout from the Algiers album with the ghostliest of vocals.

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91 THE MARK LANEGAN BAND – GRAY GOES BLACK
Gravel voiced soul-searching carried out over a motorik rhythm.

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90 THE MAGNETIC FIELDS – ANDREW IN DRAG
This song is really a bit of fun and it makes me smile every time I hear it. A guy turns up to see his mate, Andrew, dress up in drag. He does it on a whim for a laugh but ends up fancying him. An amusing story that bobs along with a catchy, but low-key tune. (BSF)

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89 BEN HOWARD – ESMERELDA
Murkier, darker waters abound for this highlight from this year’s Burgh Island EP. Howard’s lonely voice struggles to break free from a claustrophobic and ominous backdrop.

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88 SHOVELS & ROPE – BIRMINGHAM
Much like The Lumineers, Shovels & Rope deal in unashamed folk anthems whose harmonies effortlessly evoke good-time, back porch sing-a-longs amongst the fireflies and the moonshine.

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87 LAST AMERICAN BUFFALO – BREAK MY HEART
At the turn of the year, Last American Buffalo released a short series of free-to-download digital signals that were uniformly brilliant. The first of two entries in our Best Of listing, Break My Heart is exquisitely blended folk, blues and classic country rock with a bitter edge that spits and snarls its discontent with the world.

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86 FATHER JOHN MISTY – ONLY SON OF THE LADIESMAN
What a voice. This song is worth a listen just for Father John Misty’s delivery. It’s like bubble bath without the bathwater – a hymn to the dead ladies man. Try sitting back with a cup of coffee, closing your eyes and letting this track soothe away your mental aches and pains (BSF)

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85 S T E A K H O U S E – SPIDER BITE
Somehow crossing 70s krautrock with desert blues and a stoned rockabilly twang to create a mesmerising journey through a venom-induced surreal otherworld.

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84 THE LUMINEERS – HO-HEY
As winning a combination of catchy folk-stomp and hollered vocals as it is possible to imagine. A deserved break-out hit for one of the most heartwarming success stories of the year.

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83 THE WALKMEN – HEARTBREAKER
The first of four entries from one of the finest albums of the year. Heartbreaker is the sound of a band in complete control of their own destiny, who know their destination and exactly how they’re going to get there. Thrilling, urgent and vital. It’s not the singer, it’s the song.

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82 FREEDOM FRY – SUMMER IN THE CITY
If there was any justice, Summer In The City would have been the soundtrack of barbecues and bakeouts the world over. It was as perfect as indie-pop is able to get, it made you want to pop the top off a cold one and party on the rooftops all day long.

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81 KESTON COBBLER’S CLUB – FOR WORDS
A truly beautiful folk composition, light of touch and sure of foot.

Download Keston Cobblers’ Club – For Words mp3

Leave a comment to us know what you think.

CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR TRACKS 80 – 61

Mad Mackerel's Best Of July Mix.

You know the score. Some of our favourite downloads from the past month neatly parcelled up into one tasty mix and decorated with a few new tunes too. Nearly forty in all. Jump in!

Download Wye Oak – Spiral mp3 (from Adult Swim Singles Series)
A change of approach and tempo from experimental folkies

Download Unnatural Helpers – Hate Your Teachers mp3 (from Land Grab)
Raging. Ferocious. Punk

Download Wake Up Lucid – Feel It mp3 (from Feel It)
Combines sex-drenched vocals, high octane guitar, and a glorious lo-fi sludge that is garage rock at its purest and most dangerous

Download Keston Cobblers’ Club – For Words mp3 (from One, For Words)
Sweetly harmonious, banjo led folk song

Download White Wires – All Night Long mp3 (from WWIII)
Fun, infectious, and recalls some of the very best of the power-pop tunes of the late 70s

Download Deep Time – Homebody mp3 (from Deep Time)
Densely melodic slice of restlessly minimalist indie pop

Download Sun Sister – Sore Eyes mp3 (from Sun Sister Single)
Lo-fi dreampop with warm melodies, gorgeous reverbed vocals and rough jangly guitars

Download The Black Cadillacs – Choke mp3 (from Run)
Pure rock –  strong guitar melodies that are matched with catchy lyrics

Download Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians – Annalog And Her Hopeful Diaries mp3 (from Annalog And Her Hopeful Diaries EP)
Psychedelic whirlwind tinged with an unattainable nostalgia for a western era of dusty corrals and one-horse towns

Download Talk Normal – Bad Date mp3 (from Sunshine)
Hypnotically brilliant blend of punk and krautrock

Download People’s Temple – Looter’s Game mp3 (from Looter’s Game 7″)
Keeping a groovy, 60s psych vibe going

Download Wobbly Lamps – Alice The Goon mp3 (from Wobbly Lamps)
Takes an intro that sounds like it has been dragged kicking and screaming from a sweaty Detroit basement club in the 60s, attaches it to a thrumming, hypnotic riff, and then slams a sleazy proto-punk chorus over the top

The Lovely Sparrows – While Sailing
Gorgeous, pastoral folk

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Download The Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental mp3 (from God Bless You Amigo)
Classic ramshackle Americana. Just about as good as it gets!

Download Aaron Embry – Moon Of The Daylit Sky mp3 (from Tiny Prayers)
Spare, captivating, and beautifully simple folk

Download Cate Le Bon – What Is Worse mp3 (from CYRK II)
Beautifully reminiscent of The Velvet Underground at their weary, foggy best – an uncomplicated and unadorned slice of late night melancholic pop

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Ten Sleep, WY mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt & Dreams)
Fractured, unassailable beauty that begins with a sentiment any of us over a certain age can identify with, before it breaks out into a more expansive guitar showdown/meltdown

The Wilderness of Manitoba – The Ark
Beautiful slice of chamber-folk

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Download Grassfight – Nassau mp3 (from Icon EP 2)
With shades of Interpol in the hypnotic, propulsive percussion, echoes of Dinosaur Jr in the swirling guitar, and a classic indie deep, monotone vocal, the track successfully ticks all the necessary boxes for a post-punk extravaganza

Freedom Fry – Summer In The City (from Summer In The City single)
Infectious, sunshine indie-pop at its very best

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Download Two Gallants – My Love Won’t Wait mp3 (from The Bloom And The Blight)
Rollicking tune showcases the duo’s heavier side

Download Outer Minds – We Are All Stone mp3 (from Behind The Mirror)
Perfectly judged garage-psych voodoo rumble, with a reverential nod to the Doors

Download Lord Huron – Time To Run mp3 (from Lonesome Dreams)
Galloping, infectious dusty folk chime

Download Spook Houses – American mp3 (from Trying)
Lo-fi slacker indie rock loaded with the energy of the band’s rambunctious punk roots

Steakhouse – Spider Bite
Hear the sound of Johnny Cash’s electric guitar come floating in over the hypnotic, pulsing rhythm and be seduced by the strange blend of krautrock and C&W

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Download D.B. Rouse – Never Home Again mp3 (from The Good Land)
Another folky gem from travelling troubadour

Kalle Matson – The Shore (from Lives In Between EP)
Folk with an experimental edge that is equally at home dropping in a bit of punk distortion as it is with some funky basslines

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Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3 (from Delta Spirit)
Another brilliant uptempo cut from outstanding recent album

Download Denver – Reno mp3 (from Denver)
Perfect country twang from Blitzen Trapper led indie supergroup

Download The Mountain Goats – Cry For Judas mp3 (from Transcendental Youth)
New album cut from quirky indie-rock royalty

Download Chelsea Light Moving – Frank O’Hara Hit mp3
Trademark guitar squall and distortion from Thurston Moore’s new project

Download John Murry – Southern Sky mp3 (from The Graceless Age)
Emotive and soul-wrenching mix of Americana and electronica

Download The Wild Leaves – Sister mp3 (from Sister)
Evocative and poignant, the notes sweetly swirling around the room like dust mites in the sunlight, as though the story it tells could have been hummed on back porches for decades gone by

Last American Buffalo – That Woman (from Here She Comes)
Brilliant blues stomp and folk swagger

Download Woodpecker – Married To The Movies mp3 (from Thanks Anyway)
Indie folk and banjo ramble including occasional bloodcurdling zombie screams

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The Most Powerful Telescope In The Universe – Lectures On Quanta (from Lectures On Quanta)
A brilliant psych-pop nugget of mellotron led drone

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And to finish off, here is Pony Boy’s The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee, inspired by an actual teenage couple who gained notoriety during a cross-country crime spree in the late 1950s as well as a first taste of Hot Freak Nation. We have the beautifully crafted psych tinged rock of The Asteroid Shop and the melodically rich and compelling new track Fifty Fifty from The Luyas.

Download Pony Boy – The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee mp3 (from The Murder Ballad Of Carrie Lee single)

Download Hot Freak Nation – All The Right Things mp3 (from Lifetime To Lifetime)

Download The Luyas – Fifty Fifty mp3 (from Animator)

Download The Asteroid Shop – Alone mp3 (from Distant Luxury EP)

Last American Buffalo Release Here She Comes. It is fair to say that Last American Buffalo are a band that have won universal admirers amongst all the MM shoal with their short series of free releases at the turn of the year. They exquisitely blend folk, blues and classic country rock with a bitter edge that spits and snarls its discontent with the world.

However, since January all has been pretty quiet, although they did appear in our Best of the Year so far post.

So it was an unexpected pleasure to discover an e-mail to say that they have released a new six track offering titled, Here She Comes. We are still getting to grips with it, but happily first impressions are good. Very, very good.

Try lead track That Woman below, or grab the whole thing can be got for free from their Bandcamp page here. It is a must-have!

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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?

More Tracks From Last American Buffalo.

Since we last posted about them at the start of the month Last American Buffalo have continued to release new, free tracks via their Bandcamp page. Thankfully, the quality which you might expect to dip a little with such regular releases has confounded expectations and Last American Buffalo are rapidly becoming one of our favourite bands.

The latest are the superb So Cruel with its precise uptempo percussion and plaintive, almost wistful paean to “whiskey smirks” and grass, which is one of our favourite tracks of the month so far. Accompanying it is the perfectly paced, mournfully traditional Americana of (the equally good in its own way) Baby I’m Alive.

Both tracks are on repeat here at MM, and for the price of an e-mail we would most heartily recommend them as an addition to your iTunes library.

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New From Last American Buffalo. We posted back in October about Last American Buffalo and their excellent free self-titled EP of dusty, sunbaked Americana.

They have returned with a new song, Yucca Bacatta which comes with a short statement “Getting your heart ripped out makes for a lot of songs. So cheers.

They have also made this song available for free. Have a listen and then download it.

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Repost: Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: October 2011.To celebrate our downloads working again we thought we would re-post our best of the month mix from October – more than 20 great tracks selected from our October posts and six new ones too. This time you can download and dive in.

Download The Minks – Araby mp3 (from Araby 7″)

Endearingly gloomy slice of indie-pop.

Download The Bloody Hollies – Dirty Sex mp3 (from Yours Until The Bitter End)

The dark side of raw garage punk with touches of organ, violin and xylophone.

Download Bare Bones – Hope & Feather mp3 (from Bare Bones EP)

Gallops along on the back of perfectly judged fiddle and drums and calls to mind The Builders & The Butchers andElliott Brood.

Download Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Ropes mp3 (from Almanac)

Weaves folk-inflected melody and beautiful lyrics to perfect effect.

Download Forbidden Friends – Totally Low mp3 (from Totally Low 7″)

Bouncy guitar jangle to the fore on this sub two minute indie-pop gem.

Download Savaging Spires – Apostrophe Lake mp3 (from Savaging Spires)

Twinkling, sunlit folk and hazy melancholia.

Download Coke Weed – Not My Old Man mp3 (from Volume 1)

Velvets style chug, woozy, stoned vocals and raw production.

Download Last American Buffalo – I Know mp3 (from Last American Buffalo EP)

Mining a similar rich vein of dusty Americana as MM faves The Felice Brothers and the Roadside Graves with the slightly ragged and plaintive I Know – a gem.

Download The Owsley Brothers – Pure Lust mp3 (from Pure Lust)

Visceral blues with its bone shaking, primeval riff and reverb heavy vocals.

Download Brown Bird – End Of Days mp3 (from Salt For Salt)

Brilliantly sparse and hypnotic folk.

Download Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano mp3 (from The Ship’s Piano)

Subtle, drifting piano ballad like a modern day Ray Davies, it is filled with wry observation and no little pathos.

Download Timber Timbre – Do I Have Power mp3 (from Creep On Creepin On)

Folk with an eerie, dark hearted fairytale quality.

Download The Sunparlour Players – Green Thumb mp3 (from Us Little Devils)

Stomping bluegrass, anthemic country rock and impassioned lyrics from new album taster.

Download Batwings Catwings – Radio mp3 (from Radio 7″)

Cracking garage inflected indie rock.

Download Heavy Times – Skull Hair mp3 (from Jacker)

Propulsive percussion, sonic rumble and heavy reverb.

Download Son Cats – O’Dell mp3 (from O’Dell / 1971 single)

Prime slab of 60s tinged, sleazy rock’n’roll voodoo designed to make the sweat run down the walls and the neighbours bang on the floor in despair.

Download Only The Sea Slugs – She Said mp3 (from Street Music)

Irresistible dark, hypnotic indie rock.

Download Gang Violets – Black Clouds mp3 (from Black Clouds 7″)

Black Clouds rises up like a campfire despite moody lyrics, with its hook laden cadences, elated group vocals, whispery calls, gospel swagger, and swooning closure.

Download Tyler Ramsey – The Valley Wind mp3 (from The Valley Wind)

Lovely, evocative slice of countrified rock that recalls vintage Neil Young with its rustic imagery and sense of solitude and mystery.

Download Rocket From The Tombs – I Sell Soul mp3 (from Barfly)

Unreconstructed, unapologetic, re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock.

Download Mat Gibson – Yonder Burning Trees mp3 (from Forest Fire)

Gorgeous folk from Canadian troubadour.

And to finish off, we have a new tracks from the wonderful Thee Oh Sees in the shape of The Dream, which is possibly the standout track from their forthcoming new album, some Chills style power pop from The Sea Lions and a real treat in MM fave Marissa Nadler and three covers from her forthcoming Covers II album taking on Springsteen, Clinic and Dylan. Finally we have one more cover in the shape of the Miracles of Modern Science and their rather fetching take on Pumped Up Kicks.

Download – Thee Oh Sees – The Dream mp3 (from Carrion Crawler/The Dream)

Download – The Sea Lions – Grown Up mp3 (from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask)

Download – Marissa Nadler – The River mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Distortions mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – Marissa Nadler – Farewell Angelina mp3 (from Covers Volume II)

Download – The Miracles Of Modern Science – Pumped Up Kicks mp3 (Foster The People Cover)