Posts Tagged ‘Michael Ainsley’

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.

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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.

New releases are coming thick and fast, and hot on the heels of last week’s Round Up, comes part II – ten more tracks of genre-spanning goodies for you to download and delight in.

We kick off with All You Can Eat, a little taste from south Philly art rockers 722, whose new EP, Haunting Me, is set to be released on 31st October.

Screaming guitars, classic cars, tattoos, and cigarettes — Los Angeles based outfit Angels Heart has taken the punk rock tradition and crafted something entirely original. This track, Under The Black Light comes from imminent new album Tattoos And Cigarettes.

Southern-fried, glam rock boogie merchants The Bohannons track Goodbye Bill is an ode to martyred labor organizer Joe Hill approaching the 100th anniversary of his death. The words are from his last will, as well as from Ethel Raim and The Pennywhistlers‘ song Joe Hill. You can find it on their forthcoming debut release Unaka Rising, which is as good a set of blues inspired psych-groove as we’ve heard in a very long while.

Beast Patrol’s debut EP Fierce And Grateful is a triumph of fuzzed up guitars, dynamic percussion and raw, impassioned vocals. Check out the proof with the track Plaster below.

The superbly jangly Northern Lights is the third single to be taken from Allo Darlin’s second album Europe, which was released on Slumberland Records in May. Written about a New Year’s Eve spent in Sweden the song somehow manages to imbue a wintery scene with a sweet breath of sunshine as Elizabeth Morris’ voice rings out clear as a bell and Paul Rain’s guitar melodies shine brightly. Also on Slumberland are Evans The Death, named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, and their perfect mix of fuzzy guitars and exuberant jangle mesh seamlessly into the psychedelic pop charm of new single Catch Your Cold. Download them both and pretend it is 1986.

Magic Arm’s surging title track from the Put Your Collar Up EP is an infectious folk anthem thrown off centre by detuned pianos and woozy synth noises while Naomi Punk’s Burned Body is every bit as visceral, bloody and nerve-shreddingly noisy as the title suggests. Unsound is the appropriate name for Mission of Burma’s latest album on Fire Records, and you can download the rather excellent, and somewhat twisted, art-punk of Semi-Pseudo Sort Of Plan, which is the next planned single from the record.

Lastly, given the weather and the fact I’m stuck on my own in a fading seaside town hotel in the back of beyond, the appropriately titled Rainy Lonely Day by Michael Ainsley comes from a three track EP, Out Beyond The Blue, and is a brilliant slice of introspective, piano led melancholy that calls to mind Robert Wyatt. Get the EP for a pay what you want deal from his Bandcamp page here.

Enjoy – and don’t forget to click through for free downloads if necessary.

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