Posts Tagged ‘Lord Huron’

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (1 Jan 2015)

Yo, swimmers. It’s been a while. Still, it’s a brand new year; time to leave the sadness, disappointments and malaise of 2015 behind.

It’s funny, in the course of writing this short paragraph I decided to revisit the music I was listening to when I last wrote TFI. Weird. Music is a peculiar and very personal punctuation mark for life’s events, don’t you think?

Last year, after a particularly spiky observation I made about the quality of music at some event or gathering, someone asked me what exactly would make me get up and dance. Clearly the music was shite in this particular instance and – obviously in some attempt to minimise offence – I replied that I think we all have a frequency, a rhythm that fits, draws us in, gets that foot a-tapping, those fins a-wiggling. But as we all know, there really is no accounting for taste or a complete lack of imagination or curiosity…

Here’s one that has me up and dancing with my usual partner, kitchen wall (strong, solid, silent type). As MM (who doesn’t dance, ever) will testify, I’m never happier than when dancing barefoot, in a corner, with my back to the world, after a couple of shandies.

It’s 2016 calling; let’s start anew.

 

MM Best of 2015 no guitarOur Best of the Year posts are coming to a close and for the penultimate list we hand over to the ever fragrant Mrs Mackerel.

Over to you Mrs M…

Another year banked. As ever, I look at my list and think yes, there are some that are keepers and others that maybe were just a mirage. A little like life really.

 

20 The Tulips – Winter Winds

19 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight

18 Jamie T – Marilyn Monroe

17 Amason – Moon as a Kite

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

15 Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best

It’s a blistering guitar-led onslaught that plays out against a searing vocal style. Lyrically, it’s very much a commentary on her new found fame: Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you. She’s learning fast, is Courtney.

 

14 Mutual Benefit – Not For Nothing

A very gentle tune with lulling melody and meaningful lyrics; throw in a bit of violin to the mix and it ticks all the boxes for me. The lyrics are sung very quietly, but if you listen hard, you can catch every word. Often the quietest people have the most to say.

 

13 The Decemberists – The Harrowed and the Haunted

Vintage Decemberists: lots of maritime imagery and a dark, sad tale of longing. Will you be there waiting/Or is your heartbeat fading?/ Fading from the time/ Still miles to go til I arrive.

 

12 Laura Marling – I Feel Your Love

You must let me go before I get old/I need to find someone who really wants to be mine/I feel your love. A change of musical style, but the sage words and usual lyrical dexterity remain a constant from the enigmatic Laura Marling, here in rock chick mode.

 

11 Harrison Storm – Sense of Storm

Storms, hurricanes, water: you sense a theme building in my top twenty this year. A really beautiful piece of acoustic folk about losing your sense of home from this talented Australian troubadour. Enough said.

 

10 Houndmouth – Sedona

A tribute to the city of Sedona, when it was known as ‘Arizona’s Little Hollywood’ and home to three decades of A-list movie making, before it all headed west (Hey little Hollywood/You’re gone but you’re not forgotten). The band’s four-part harmonies peppered throughout gives this bit of classic Americana an extra layer.

 

9 Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach

I like a heavy bass line I do, and this one sucks you in and pulls you along. I like it to steer me round the kitchen, dancing while I work. Rhythmically, Whitest Boy demands some sort of production line movement: mince pie making, possibly. Have another listen – get it now?

 

8 Du Blonde – Chips to Go

So BJH ditched the hooves, went blonde and hitched her wagon to a brand new edgier sound. Good for her, so it seems. Sold to the fish in the corner on the chorus alone, with it’s epic drum/guitar mash-up, she’s got one hell of a vocal range that wallops a whole range of emotions into orbit.

 

7 Marika Hackman – Drown

The unusual and subdued musical arrangement suits the hypnotic (almost lethargic) vocals, and floats around the brooding darkness of the lyrics. It’s easy to be swept away by the prevailing sense of emptiness and loss; guaranteed to send me into sad reflective mode, even if I’m high on sugar and caffeine.

 

6 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

So, it takes Kurt a little while to recognise himself as the “man in the mee-rah”. Wakey, wakey son. But after a minor identity crisis and a bit of a teeth mix-up, everything’s pretty pimpin. Finger-picking guitar, foot tapping rhythm and a rasping vocal drawl made this a very well-loved tune amongst Team Mackerel.

 

5 Ezra Furman – Haunted Head

A one-off original, Mr Furman. And if the youngest Sprat had written a top ten, Ezra would be there, one to ten. Here we meander downtown, with lyrics that evoke the mania of being bipolar, under the influence of Velvet Underground and a vocal nod to Bowie. Haunted head? Frankly, I know how he feels.

 

4 Calexico – Follow the River

Calexico has a special place in my heart, and the familiarity of a beloved old friend, albeit one who lives on the US/Mexico border. We sync well, Calexico and myself: Follow the River is a sad, wistful song that offers hope, despite itself. I’ll take that, thanks lads.

 

3 Tracey Thorn – Goodbye Joe

I just love this song; I go to bed listening and wake up humming this tune. Do I care that it was originally released in 1982, or that it’s a COVER? Zut allors, MM had a bit of a fishy fit. He is now lying on his side. I am, of course, a stroppy fish wife. And always right. Ahem.

 

2 Lord Huron – Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)

Oh little darling/don’t you look charming/here in the eye of a hurricane – well you know, with a good hat, soft lighting and the right amount of blusher, anything is possible. Upbeat, up-tempo, lots of gee-tar: my top twenty sort of needed this – and the album is an overlooked gem of 2015.

 

1 The Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

And here with me lies my song for 2015, by a very long country mile: the unbearably poignant and dark tale of Côte d’Azur as my own private metaphor for everything from life and death, loss and yearning – and all that lies in between. About those memory markers that resurface in the depths of your dreams and the half way stage when the sun warms your face, and what’s real and what’s not – the journey and the destination – merges into one; always searching. This song breaks my heart at every single listen, so I turn up the white noise.

 

Best gig of 2015:

The Decemberists, O2 Academy, Bristol

En famille. Colin Meloy is a magnificent raconteur, in addition to his musical prowess and distinctive vocal style. I’d waited a long time to see the Decemberists and they did not disappoint, closing the set with a magnificent rendition of The Mariner’s Revenge Song. Again, please.

 

School Anthem:

The Decemberists – A Beginning Song

Played out the final primary school assembly for smallest Sprat. Anthemic and emotional, this builds to epic finale that despite the best efforts of the pantomime horses, played out a celebration of the joy, achievements and idiosyncrasies that all our bright lights gave to us.

 

New to me in 2015: Dr Dog – It

I loved this at first listen, meandering through a blistering heatwave in rural Spain. Such well observed lyrics, for really, it truly is all in how you look at it: It’s real and it’s a lie/It’s the answer and the question when you wonder why. Yeah; ain’t that so.

 

You can see our full countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).

MM BEST OF 2015

Here we go then, our final countdown of our favourite tracks of 2015, with no fewer than three artists managing two entries in the top 25 this year! And don’t forget you can see the other 75 choices here (100-75), here (75-51) and here (50-26).

Enjoy.

25 Ghostpoet – Off Peak Dreams

 

24 Tracy Thorn – Goodbye Joe (2015 re-issue)

 

23 Calexico – Follow The River

 

22 Decemberists – Make You Better

 

21 Mikal Cronin – iv) Ready

 

20 Sleaford Mods – Tarantula Deadly Cargo

 

19 Ezra Furman – Haunted Head

 

18 Slaves – Feed The Manta Ray

 

17 Man Of Moon – The Road

 

16 Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – Mouthpiece

 

15 Free Weed – Later

 

14 Spray Paint – Day Of The Rope

 

13 Lord Huron – Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)

 

12 Low – What Part Of Me

 

11 Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

 

10 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

 

9 Spray Paint – Signal Master

 

8 This Is The Kit – Silver John

 

7 Decemberists – Carolina Low

 

6 Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

 

5 Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

 

4 Houndmouth – Sedona

 

3 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

 

2 Quiet Hollers – Cote D’Azur

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin

 

MM BEST OF 2015

As we’re halfway through our tracks of the year (see 100-76 here, and 75-51 here) which resume on Monday, it felt like a good time to break things up with our choices of our favourite albums of 2015. Here then are numbers 30 through to 16.

30 Sarah Cracknell – Red Kite

sarah cracknell

 

29 Desaparecidos – Payola

Desaperecidos

 

28 Kodiak Deathbeds – Kodiak Deathbeds

kodiak deathbeds

 

27 Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

sufjan stevens

 

26 Lord Huron – Strange Trails

lord huron

 

25 Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

father john misty

 

24 Torres – Sprinter

torres

 

23 Wavves – V

wavves

 

22 Woolen Men – Temporary Monument

Woolen Men

 

21 Laura Marling – Short Movie

Laura Marling

 

20 Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home

tallest man on earth

 

19 Samantha Crain – Under Branch & Thorn & Tree

samantha crain

 

18 Rats On Rafts – Tape Hiss

rats on rafts

 

17 Traams – Modern Dancing

traams

 

16 Wilco – Star Wars

wilco

 

You can get our top fifteen album list tomorrow. For our favourite tracks of the year click here for numbers 100-76 and here for 75-51.

Austin SXSW Day 2

Yesterday was not a great day.

It is the little things sometimes.

Things like when you wake up and realise that despite knowing I was away for 10 days in total, I had only bought clothes for 8 (except t-shirts which bizarrely could last me for 13) and the suncream tube is actually some kind of foaming face wash. Or all the eggs have gone at breakfast meaning as a non-meat eater the sausages and bacon are not great substitutes. And then some crappy news from work, and by the time all is sorted I am rushing for the bus with just enough time to get downtown to see Savages at the Brooklyn Vegan day party except the bus pulls into a stop and then just stops. For five, then ten, then fifteen minutes. And by the time it starts again and enters the slow crawl of traffic heading into the heart of the city there is no chance of getting there on time.

Akron Family

So I head for the Filter day party at the Clive Bar and do get there in time for The Guards who offer an energetic if somewhat formulaic take on muscular big-on-choruses-indie-rock. I manoeuvre my way to the front for the Akron Family who, despite starting late, good naturedly indulge in some of the loudest psych-folk freakout jams I have ever heard. They could have played twelve songs or two, but however many it was I enjoyed it. It is packed now for the party headliners Lord Huron, but they, or rather the sound guys, cannot get things set up properly. They hear one mic but not another, then no drums, then drums but no bass. It goes on and on and even the party going crowd start to get a bit fidgety in the sun. Eventually they start 35 minutes late and offer a tropically breezy set of folk that sounds at times uncomfortably close to Vampire Weekend for these ears. There is an absolutely majestic Time To Run which gets the crowd going, but the rest is a little bit of a disappointment. And of course they have to cut the set short because of the late start.

I head back into the mayhem of Sixth Street and the start of the evening showcases. Compared with my last visit in 2009, it seems twice as busy, twice as packed, twice as intense. My plan had been to aim for one of the two big hitting events, Nick Cave at Stubbs or Japandroids and Iggy Pop at Mohawk. They’re close to each other so it seemed reasonable to see which was easiest to get into. Being late from the Clive Bar meant the Stubbs line stretched at least a block and a half just for the wristband holders so on I went to the Mohawk. I found the back of the line, but that was for badge holders only, a nice SXSW volunteer cheerfully pointed me towards the wristband line…it writhed like a snake for what seemed miles. Pointless queuing.

Lord Huron

Plan B, head for Red 7 and see Blessed Feathers, surely that will be easier. But in complete contrast to my last visit, every single venue I pass en-route has enormous queues. I join the Red 7 queue and half an hour later I am in at the Patio Bar with a beer and waiting for the band. They come on. They are from Wisconsin and probably look like it; Donivan Berube’s garb makes him look wonderfully like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. A partnership duo playing guitar and banjo they charm and delight for 25 minutes against the backdrop of chatter and the band next door with Hey All You Floridians and the wonderful Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle particular stand outs.

A SXSW photographer tells me the queue is now even longer outside and they are at capacity inside, and it is much the same everywhere else. I abandon plans to try and go and see Murder By Death, Lily Hiatt or Salesman and decide to stay put to see up and coming English buzz band Peace.

I am glad I did. They come on stage, painfully skinny and good looking, a study in affected insouciance, and in attire that looks like a cross between Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Child Catcher, Alice In Wonderland and Richmal Compton’s Just William. Then they plug in and play a set of outstanding psychedelic indie rock that completely and utterly wins the crowd over and in California Daze and especially ten minute epic 1998 (Delicious) have songs that are destined to live long in the memory. For Peace the buzz is justified.

Outside it is busier than ever. The queues for the Black Angels at Buffalo Billiards and Phosphorescent at the Hype Hotel are ridiculous. I decide to call it quits and catch the last bus back towards my Interstate hotel and ask the driver to let me know when we get to my stop on Saint Elmo Road. “Sure” he says, so I am surprised a while later to see the bus fly past it without stopping. I ask him, he looks at me blankly and I get off at the next stop and start the walk back.

It is dark and no-one is around. A car stops. A police car. Politely they ask if I am OK, and slightly less politely, to see my ID. I show them my passport and they are satisfied. I explain I missed my stop and am walking back to the hotel. The policeman shakes his head, “bad luck sir” he says.

To finish off our favourites of the year, here are numbers thirty to sixteen of the albums we have most enjoyed in 2012.

Don’t forget to check back for our 100 Favourite Tunes and the MM contributor’s best of lists too.

Joe Pug GD

30 Joe Pug – The Great Despiser

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dcw

29 David Cronenberg’s Wife – Don’t Wait To Be Hunted To Hide

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boh mirage rock

28 Band Of Horses – Mirage Rock

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lord huron ld

27 Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

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jbm stray ashes

26 JBM – Stray Ashes

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mama rosin bbb

25 Mama Rosin – Bye Bye Bayou

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red river dialect awell

24 Red River Dialect – Awellupontheway

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damon moon lungs

23 Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams)

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering Drifters – Loose Ends mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt, & Dreams)

diamond rugs

22 Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs

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gravenhurst gid

21 Gravenhurst – The Ghost In Daylight

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daughn gibson ah

20 Daughn Gibson – All Hell

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wof thirst

19 Waves Of Fury – Thirst

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felice bros gbya

18 The Felice Brothers – God Bless You Amigo

Download The Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental mp3 (from God Bless You Amigo)

bjh ytcn

17 Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – Yours Truly Cellophane Nose

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simone felice album

16 Simone Felice – Simone Felice

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tmoe tnln

15 The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

MM's Best of 2012 Part 4 40-21

Today we countdown songs 40-21 in the Mad Mackerel Favourite 100 tunes of the year. You can check out the previous days entries here: 100-81, 80-61, 60-41.

40 ALABAMA SHAKES – HOLD ON
Almost a head-banger done country style, love the underlying guitar rhythm. (SB)

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39 LOWER DENS – BRAINS
When I picked this song out in June I said it was like a child pulling at your sleeve after it’s seen the ice cream van. Incessant and under no circumstance will it be ignored. There is also a sense of chaos, which I always find agreeable – a feeling it‘s not entirely sure where it’s going but doesn’t actually care too much. A stalwart of the year’s playlists for me and still listened to as often as it was six months ago. Can’t give it a bigger tribute really. (CP)

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38 PATTERSON HOOD – 12.01
Great story song about a guy going across the border to buy liqor instead of going home to his empty shell of a relationship. The tune picked out on the guitar and the drums have that metronomic sound that reminds me of being in a car late at night with no music, say, around “12:01, The rain and the wipers play a spooky song”. The cello sounds like other vehicles morbidly passing, heading to where you have come from, or maybe where you should be heading? (DR)

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37 TUNNG – JENNY AGAIN (BBC SESSION)
Released from 2012’s BBC Sessions, this murder ballad is set to a really jaunty, cheerful tune and sees the deceased telling us about how he was stabbed and left to die whilst his girlfriend (the lovely Jenny) buggers off with the fella who killed him. He goes on to tell about how his Jenny and the murderous ‘other man’ go on to live perfectly normal lives whilst keeping their secret. I love the fact that Tunng have crafted a really sad story around a cheerful, jog-along tune. (BSF)

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36 FIRST AID KIT – BLUE
So beautiful and so sad. Its about a girl whose only love dies in an RTA when he’s twenty-two and from that moment on she decides not to love anyone else. Yep, its another feel-good corker! (BSF)

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35 WAKE UP LUCID – FEEL IT
Loud, brash and all the better for it. Considering my changing (or is that evolving…) taste in music it genuinely fills me with joy that I still love a proper hard as nails guitar frenzy. The feedback is utterly magnificent, as is the drawled out vocals snarling over the fuzz. Sort of song I would listen to before I had to have a fight. (CP)

Download Wake Up Lucid – Feel It mp3 (from Feel It)

34 WE ARE AUGUSTINES – BALLAD OF A PATIENT MAN
This song was my live gig moment of the year, amongst many great gigs. Fantastic guitar wig out and drummy bit in the middle, sung with the emotional intensity that’s trademark Billy McCarthy. Awesome song, bloody awesome band. (Mrs M)

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33 GRAVENHURST – THE FOUNDRY

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)

Like a modern-day story from The Brothers Grimm, the whole song carries with it a threat and a sense of foreboding. I think the meaning might lie in the rise of Nazi Germany and how ordinary people can get swept up in a rising tide of violence and persecution. That’s my interpretation but I’ve been known to be wrong. Anyway, have a listen and heed the message well. Just in case you had it in mind to burn some books and persecute some unfortunate section of our society. (BSF)

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32 HOUNDMOUTH – PENITENTIARY
An old fashioned, whiskey drinking, tobacco chewing kind of a song and its a song sung well. (PP)

Such a great intro to this song. The melody picked out on the guitar and a Hammond organ providing the chords that pull you into this tale of a man who much like Fletcher from Porridge “Accepts arrest as a occupational hazard”. Throughout what is not to beezer a time, the song never once turns melancholy, if anything it rouses the spirit with its beautiful harmonies and soporific melody. A sort of Country, I Fought The Law?  (DR)

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Download from Rough Trade for free here.

31 TWO GALLANTS – BROKEN EYES
“Hey there girl with the broken eyes”, this startling imagery starts Two Gallants most nostalgic song on The Bloom And The Blight. Poignant without ever being cloying, it is a perfectly judged slice of wistful Americana. (MM)

Download Two Gallants – Broken Eyes mp3

30 JAKE BUGG – LIGHTNING BOLT
Awesomely twangy guitar and a Sun-era rockabilly rhythm. The ghost of Johnny Cash is alive and well and comes from Nottingham. (MS)

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29 FATHER JOHN MISTY – 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

28 BAND IN HEAVEN – SLEAZY DREAMS
I am a 50p head when it comes to musical tastes: I like to mix it up big time. Heavy, bassy, pounding rhythm, wall of guitar noise, this is my (kitchen) dance floor number of 2012. Rock on. (Mrs M)

Download Band In Heaven – Sleazy Dreams mp3

27 ALT-J – TARO
It was a hard to know which track to pick from (in my humble opinion) the album of the year, An Awesome Wave. In any given situation this song always sounds perfect. I understand none of it but love all of it, particularly the instrumental twiddly middle which always takes me to far away lands, even when stuck on the M4. This song, like much of the album creates something brilliant. (PP)

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26 KING CHARLES – LOVE LUST
This great indie-pop song always has me dancing. I love the lyrics and the fizzing, funky beat it has going on. My favourite song off one of my favourite albums of 2012. (MS)

Download King Charles – Love Lust mp3

25 MONUMENT VALLEY – THE VERY FIRST ALARM
I adore the hopeless feel to this song. I could write endlessly about my love for this song but honestly It’s simplicity, beauty, deftness of lyric and the mesmerizing sound of Ned Youngers voice that coats the lyrics of this bitter song with a sweet syprupy glaze (for the Masterchef fans out there), that keeps pulling me back to it over and over again. (DR)

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24 STRAND OF OAKS – TRAP DOOR
I’ve fallen through the Trap Door that Tim Showelter sings about many, many times. I’m getting home late again, been looking for old friends, been looking for anything… He obviously has too. It builds to a fabulous vocal performance leaving me a bit spellbound every time I hear it. The repeated cries of ‘giving it all away’ at the end can find me with eyes screwed tightly shut while mouthing along in a ‘we’re brothers in arms’ kind of way! And that’s when I’m sober!  (CP)

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23 THE WALKMEN – SONG FOR LEIGH
The phrase chiming guitars was invented for this song. And boy do they chime, setting a hypnotic pace to the song before the pleading, soaring, chorus threatens “I’ll sing myself sick, sing myself sick, sing myself sick about you”. I hope its enough. (MM)

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22 LORD HURON – TIME TO RUN
An epic Western of a tune: a story song with a foot-tapping rhythm that mimics the flight of yer man and a great mid point when the bells of doom literally ring for our outlaw friend on the run. He did it all for love, silly boy, ‘cause when they catch him, he’s toast. (Mrs M)

Download Lord Huron – Time To Run mp3

21 BETH JEANS HOUGHTON – LILLIPUT
A storming phantasmagoria of a song, guided by the soaring vocals of BJH, a sweeping string arrangement and a drumming tattoo of percussion. When I grow up I want to be just like Beth Jeans Houghton. Lili put your hands in mine and let’s dance: hoof power rules. (Mrs M)

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Check back tomorrow for the final countdown (as Europe might say). The favourite twenty songs of the year according to the MM contributors – Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Chris T Popper (CP), Barry-Sean (BSF), Polly Pocket (PP), Dr Roddy (DR), Starbie (SB) Middle Sprat (MS) and Toy Steve (TS).

 

MM Best of September 2012

Here we are again – a massive free mix containing the cream of last month’s posts, a couple of new tunes and, all in all, an eclectic set of top quality tunes to kick off the onset of autumn for you. From folk to garage, from country to psychedelia and from originals to covers, there is a multifaceted, multifarious, heterogeneous, assorted miscellaney of delights for you.

Download Simone FeliceWar Movie mp3 (from New York Times EP)
Haunting, subtle and fragilely beautiful

Download Fire Mountain – Black Heart mp3 (from Of The Dust EP)
Rolling strum and sway, shot through with melancholy and just a tinge of possible redemption

Download The Reflections – Summer Days mp3 (from Summer Days single)
Hypnotic and hazy, classic introspective indie rock with a dash of chillwave

Marissa Nadler – Save Me A Place
Gorgeous Fleetwood Mac cover

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Download Upside Drown – Sheltering Sky mp3 (from Mood Music)
Six minute mini-epic from new female garage rock duo

Teitur – Jailhouse Gumbo Jones
Another slice of excellent Americana from our favourite folk troubadour from the Faroe Islands

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Zulus – Death In The Current
Slightly ‘poppier’ hardcore. Still with plenty of bite!

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Download Lilly Hiatt & The Dropped Ponies – Championship Fighter mp3 (from Let Down)
A country-folk song of sweetly strummed acoustics and mournful twang

Santah – Indigo
Loose-limbed, roving style of Americana that sits somewhere between Crazy Horse, Wilco and the tropical rhythms of Vampire Weekend.

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The Veda Rays – Cop Knock
Melodies twist and writhe under shimmering guitars and sepia tinged vocals (and has more than a hint of The Walkmen about it)

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Download Kaki King – Great Round Burn mp3 (from Glow)
Taut, straining acoustics signal a slight departure in style

Download Lord Huron – Brother mp3 (from Lonesome Dreams)
Another excellent taste from folkies forthcoming album

Wickerbird – Druids
Lo-fi, ambient folk that is as haunting as it is ethereal

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Download Murder By Death – Lost River mp3 (from Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon)
Brooding and cinematic first taste from forthcoming album Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon

Download Quarter Mile Thunder – Tell Me mp3 (from Twist)
Strong, captivating folk-rock immersed in sparse, haunting atmospherics.

Download Jason Karaban – Misplaced mp3 (from Shift)
Beautiful vignette of melodic chamber pop – warm, introspective and gently humorous

Crushed Out – Weigh You Down
Pure guitar/drum adrenalin rush, plenty of fuzz, tremolo, riffs, chunky chords, slide and Black Sabbath power chords

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Download Tweak Bird – People mp3 (from Undercover Crops EP)
Throw some southern rock and blues boogie, some Creedence style chooglin’, jackhammer percussion, and engine sludge into a pot and then sweeten the deal with a whole brick of Lebanese gold before inviting you to inhale deeply of the results

Download RTB2 – God Will Be The One To Blame mp3 (from 2)
Mixes fuzz, farfisa and a lurching backbeat with an infectious rock hook

Download Eight Belles – Nolchi mp3 (from Girls Underground)
The catchy twang and mountain-stream-clear vocals of Nolchi sounds just like it comes from the heyday of Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline

Download Your Youth – Thick Gold (Bodied) mp3 (from Battery EP)
Two and a half minute of chainsaw guitars

Pete Fij & Terry Bickers – I Don’t Give A Shit About You
Underneath the sweary surface is actually a love song of sorts. Not only that, it is brilliant.

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Batwings Catwings – Blue Dream
Sounds like it has come snarling and spitting out of CBGBs in 1978 and gleefully kicked every backside it has come across ever since.

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Download Tall Heights – I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know mp3 (from The Running Of The Bulls EP)
Duo with captivating vocal harmonies that drive a folk-inspired accompaniment of cello and acoustic guitar

Communist Daughter – Ghosts
Heavy on bittersweet harmonies, introspective lyricism and swirling atmospheric melodies, this gorgeous track with its echoes of classic era Fleetwood Mac is an absolute gem

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Download Michael AinsleyRainy Lonely Day mp3
Brilliant slice of introspective, piano led melancholy that calls to mind Robert Wyatt

Naomi Punk – Burned Body
Every bit as visceral, bloody and nerve-shreddingly noisy as the title suggests

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Magic Arm – Put Your Collar Up
Infectious folk anthem thrown off centre by detuned pianos and woozy synth noises

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Download Black Forest Fire – Live News Feed mp3 (from Transit Of Venus)
Slow burning, pulsating maelstrom that is just as likely to melt your eyeballs under a sonic assault as take you meditatively to a higher plane

Golden Void – The Curve
Brilliant, galloping riffage that makes you want to dust off the denims, put in some hair extensions and throw some shapes with the old air guitar…

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Download Peace – Tattoo mp3 (from The World Is Too Much With Us)
Bass-lines menace and hypnotize, guitar solos explode suddenly in wah-pedal freak-outs, tom-toms thud with a tribal intensity and lyrics alternate between images of defiant despair and love-sick yearning

And fresh into the mix we have the ramshackle garage-punk of Everything Burns, being Ceremony’s side of their new split single with forthcoming tour mates Titus Andronicus, and the second single of dark tinged post-grunge and indie rock from Sweden’s Honey Mustard.

We have a taste of the Pear Traps new EP Elsewhere, which is full of hazy, bittersweet indie – try Santa Fe below, or pick up the whole thing on a “pay what you want” deal from Bandcamp here.

Lastly we have A Classic Education’s cover of Elvis Presley’s Crawfish (from the film King Creole), which is the b-side from a new series of 7″ singles from Covo Club.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out all our other Best Of the Month mixes in the sidebar.

Download Ceremony – Everything Burns mp3 (from Split Single with Titus Andronicus)

Download The Pear Traps – Santa Fe mp3 (from Elsewhere EP)

Download – A Classic Education – Crawfish mp3 (from Little Red Riding Hood / Crawfish 7″)

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New Release Round Up.

Here are a whole bunch of appetising new releases all ready for you to try a pick and mix approach to soundtracking your weekend.

Kicking us off, hypnotic indie experimentalists, The Soft Moon have another track from new album Zeros available for download. This is Insides.

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The Inner Mansions, the new album from Teen Daze has been picking up lots of positive reviews and will be released on 6th November on Lefse Records. This is Union which features guest vocals from Frankie Rose.

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Angel Olsen is a folk singer and a frequent collaborator with Will Oldham and if this track of drama and heartache, Tiniest Seed, from her new album Half Way Home is anything to go by it is going to be well worth tracking down.

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Mosaic is the new 7″ release of lush dream pop from London’s Fear of Men. It is out on limited edition 7″ blue vinyl next month.

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Released on 24th September on Song, By Toad Records, Dull Spark is the second single from melancholy folk experimentalists Meursault’s excellent album Something For The Weakened. This is a touch more upbeat, a touch more distorted, and a touch more gruff.

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Wiry garage punks The Coathangers have a new split single with Heavy Cream, and Merry Go Round from it should add substantially to their growing number of fans.

Download The Coathangers – Merry Go Round mp3 (from The Coathangers / Heavy Cream split 7″)
Apparently despite this being freely available and authorised as a download some empty headed halfwit has alleged copyright infringement. Of course they don’t contact us they just make the allegation anonymously and get us a warning from box.net that we can do nothing about. So if you want the song you can download it here from Pitchfork – apparently they can give it away for free, but we can’t. What an ill-informed twat!

Kaki King also has a new release, Glow, due imminently. The taut straining acoustics of Great Round Burn is the first taste.

Download Kaki King – Great Round Burn mp3 (from Glow)

And finally a new one from the marvellous Lord Huron following on from the superb Time To Run comes Brother. It is another reason to look forward to the forthcoming album Lonesome Dreams.

Download Lord Huron – Brother mp3 (from Lonesome Dreams)

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)