Posts Tagged ‘Mikal Cronin’

MM Best of 2015 no guitarFollowing Barry-Sean’s welcome return to the MM bosom yesterday, we are equally delighted to now introduce The Italian Job’s debut entry into MM’s Best Of annals (and don’t try saying that when you’ve had too much eggnog).

Providing us with a welcome European flavour, and writing better in her second language than we can in our first, we invite you to sample her pleasingly punk-tinged favourites of 2015.

20 Chris Staples – Dark Side of the Moon
19 Ex-Cult – Stick the Knife In
18 Abandoned Delta – I Never Lived in New Orleans
17 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87
16 Faith Healer – No Car
15 Creepoid – American Smile
14 John Grant – Disappointing
13 Slaves – Ninety Nine
12 Low – What Part of Me
11 Elephant Stone – The Devil’s Shelter

10 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake
Strong and hypnotic this track takes you through a slow and unavoidable declining of the mind. While the singer aggressively and repeatedly shouts out that he’s never gonna lose it (almost to persuade himself of it, more than anyone else), the first cracks suddenly appear to precisely prove him wrong! The rhythm completely changes to mimic a slow and heavy heart beat as the background to confused, anxious and slightly mad lyrics. At this point the mind is lost, and me too! I can’t shut this song out of my head!

 

9 Traams – Silver Lining
A great tune from Traams. Maybe it’s for its brilliant guitar work (but that, admittedly, you’ll find in any of their pieces), or maybe because of the same-y, captivating and catchy chorus. Despite the title it does not end well, however. “So go along, accept it all, it’s over”. No Silver Lining then. Oh well. Brilliant song anyway.

 

8 Fritjof Norrmo – Set Me on Fire
This is a bit of an unexpected one for me. With an overplayed classic country guitar, an overindulgent silly voice and a chorus adorned with a round of equally frivolous ‘para-pa-pa’, I should really dislike this song. And yet, I have inexplicably never been able to ignore it; allowing myself instead to get completely sucked into Fritjof Norrmo’s endearing and somewhat nostalgic tale of a brief but passionate love encounter. Every time I listen to this song, my little heart warms up a tiny bit.

 

7 Chaika – The Mirror
Wow! This is my killer track! What’s not to love about it? Dark, with superb drums and glorious guitar, this piece ticks all the boxes for me! I have just learnt that Leeds-based Chaika have only been together since late 2014 and have, apparently, done no wrong so far. With a single like The Mirror they have definitely set the bar very high for my estimation and earned a decent spot on my top 10 best songs of the year. With no doubt, I will keep an eye on them.

 

6 This is the Kit – Silver John
A stunningly epic song. It deservedly kept on sneaking up my top 10 to finally set at number 6. Its vibe is dense and covered in mystery. Who or What Silver John is, is not quite clear until, with her reassuringly beautiful voice, Kate Stables innocently drops foreboding lyrics such as “you apocalypse on us, yes” and “best get used to dark, used to wet”. Only then you realise she is poetically reflecting on none other than the impending end of the world. And she does it in such a mesmerising style that, all at once, the apocalypse does not seem so awful, after all. This song sends shivers down my spine.

 

5 Mikal Cronin – iv) Ready
Talking of killer tracks, here’s another one. Another great one! Packed with adrenaline and outstanding guitar work this song is one that, once played, I cannot easily get out of my head.

 

4 Man of Moon – The Road
Provided I’d have a clear road ahead of me (and provided it’d be ‘legal and safe to do so’ – right, not a daredevil me!) I would sit in my lovely little (but remarkably fast) car, put the foot down and have this song as loud as possible and, obviously, on repeat!! Albeit with a slight mainstream-y tinge, this song is a great goosebumps-inducer for me, pretty much from the get go. Holding the steering wheel while shaking my head to the fantastic guitar and bass, I cannot get enough of this song. I doubt it would have the same effect if listened to while stuck in traffic though.

 

3 Decemberists – Carolina Low
Carolina Low is a bare, simple, and undeniably menacing song. There is something dark and intriguing about this piece that I cannot quite place. So much so that it proudly sits at number three. Its brilliantly executed guitar work is accompanied by a sound which is evocative of old American tales from old times. I learnt The Decemberists’ lead singer wrote this song just hours before a performance for Q Live in Portland. “I didn’t know what to play so I thought I would write something for it,” Maloy told the audience. Well, well done Mr Maloy. It took you a few minutes to write a song that will stay with me for a very long time!

 

2 Slaves – Feed The Mantaray
Bring.It.On! Laurie Vincent’s amazing guitar comes on – heart pumps a little faster. Immediately after, Isaac Holman attacks with the drums. That’s it, from this point on my very excitable ‘twenty-something’ is channelled out of my slightly older self and I can’t help head-banging (provided nobody is looking, of course) to this brilliantly arrogant, cocky and humorous piece. Holman’s increasingly agitated and shouty state throughout the song at his own aggressive and obsessive need to know ‘whaaaat‘ (and somebody answer him, please!) makes the whole experience all the more amusing. These are two mischievous, talented young boys (Laurie Vincent has just won Total Guitar “Best New Guitarist of 2015, by the way) who, in my eyes, can afford being as brassy as they wish because have demonstrated all along the full credentials to play cracking music. And they do so all the way. Long live Slaves!

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
My very favourite song of the year! From the moment I was invited to take part in this year’s Top 10 I knew this would be my number one. And how couldn’t it have been? With wicked lyrics vaguely reminiscent of a Peter Crumb*-esque case of split personality, Kurt Vile brilliantly takes us through his befuddled state of mind where, one moment, all he wants ‘is to just have fun‘ and the other he ‘proceeds to brush some strangers teeth‘… Can’t keep up! The man in the ‘meeeerror‘ is fabulously mad and I love him for that.
* Seven Days of Peter Crumb – Jonny Glynn (read it at your peril)

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You can see our 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

 

Here is our regular gathering up of some of this week’s best new releases for you. Enjoy.

1. Daughn Gibson – Shatter You Through
2. Laura Marling – Strange
3. This Is The Kit – Silver John
4. Bully – I Remember
5. Tame Impala – Let It Happen
6. Adam Torres – Dusty Wing Spirit
7. Lower Dens – Ondine
8. Mikal Cronin – ii) Gold

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PS – Phil, I hope that’s better! 😉

Videos of the Day

Turn the speakers up to 11 – videos today come from the brilliant Parquet Courts and one of our favourite songs of the moment, You Got Me Wonderin’ Now and from heavy retro garage-pysch rockers Sleepy Sun for (another of our favourite songs of the moment) 11:32.

We have longstanding MM stalwarts and fierce blues duo The Pack A.D.’s new video for Big Shot and finally Mikal Cronin’s new film for Peace Of Mind from recent album MCII.

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Our first visit to the brilliant Green Man Festival. Here are the twenty best things we heard, saw and discovered over the weekend.

1. The Parquet Courts live up to the hype
Like the Ramones on speed, the four-piece transcended all the hype with the set of the weekend – a thrilling, occasionally ramshackle, breakneck excursion into punk, slacker pop and moshpit heaven, and in Stoned and Starving they have a ready made classic for years to come.

2. Dancing Bears at British Sea Power
An epic, brooding, cinematic set brought to a stunning, and appropriately eccentric climax as, during Carrion, two seven foot Grizzly Bears appear amongst the audience  to dance, grapple and lead an impromptu conga.

3. John Cale and Roy Harper still cut the mustard
They may be advanced in years, but both the old boys demonstrated just why the main stage was still the perfect stage for them. First up an amiable Harper showed just why he is a primary influence on so many of today’s folk stars from the Fleet Foxes to Joanna Newsom, finishing his set of pastoral, freak tinged folk with the classic, and beautifully poignant When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease. Then Cale, dressed in a fetching pink suit jacket and tie with denim shorts reeled through a set that built to a fabulous pulsating climax with Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend, Nookie Wood, Satellite Walk, and a stunning version of Jonathan Richman’s Pablo Picasso.

Mikal Cronin 14. Cover versions aplenty
Cover versions abounded everywhere at Green Man. As well as Cale’s brilliant Pablo Picasso, we had Roy Harper doing Dylan’s Girl From The North CountryNeil Young covers from Low (Down By The River) and Band of Horses tearing through Powderfinger, Fanfarlo covering Orange Juice’s Rip It Up, and Mikal Cronin delivering a superb Whole Wide World, but perhaps best of all was Mo Kenney’s melancholic, acoustic take on Bowie’s Five Years – simply mesmerising.

5. Grass House are destined for big things
We’ve loved Grass House for a long time and our first chance to see them live is everything we hoped for. Outsider pop it may be, but the effortless way the band mix dusty, western twang with sinister gothic noir and use them both to weave mournfully surrealistic tales means the crowd is soon gripped. And in the hypnotic and transfixing Spinning As We Turn, the gothic blues of And Now For The Wild and the tense, sinewy I Was A Streetlight they have three singles that should be the envy of just about every other up and coming band out there.

6. James Yorkston’s Dad sings along
A wonderful set by James Yorkston and band is capped by his Dad shyly joining them on stage for a full tent a capella sing-a-long of the Ivor Cutler classic Hold The Barrel Steady.

7. Arbouretum get heavy
Sometimes you just need long hair, cool as fuck riffs, guitar shredding and fantasy led lyrics. Arbouretum were all that and more and in False Spring provided the best air-guitar moment of the weekend.

8. Public Service Broadcasting get funky
Brilliant use of humour, sound samples, computer conversations with the audience, guitar riffs, banjo and persuasive percussion meant Public Service Broadcasting managed to get the entire walled garden crowd on their feet and dancing within two songs. Whether it was a self-conscious shuffle or a full on funky freakout, resistance to tracks like Signal 30, The Now Generation and London Can Take It, proved utterly futile.

9. Barry-Sean is a Whooper
We didn’t know it before, but gradually over the three days we started hearing a few whoops and hollers from Barry-Sean. Sure he started quietly, with a couple of muted efforts for Parquet Courts and then the next day for Grass House and a couple of others, but by the tail end of the festival he was in full voice, hollering like Foghorn Leghorn for Darren Hayman, Public Service Broadcasting and British Sea Power

10. Sam Amidon’s surreal banter
Amidst a lovely set of muder ballads, love songs and a capella gospel tunes, Sam Amidon entertained royally with some surreal between-song banter, none more so than the tale of the messages he receives from Kirsten Dunst’s eyes during her films.

Green Man Main Stage11. The Green Man Stages…
Really are sublime. The Mountain stage nestles at the base of (you’ve guessed it) a mountain, the walled garden stage is simply perfect, the courtyard a delight, the hills, the steps, the views, and this year even the weather meant it was everything we hoped it would be, but expected it wouldn’t.

12. Low really are a classic band
In the press tent one desperate-to-impress young thing opined that despite the new songs not being very good, Low were still a classic band. “Really“, asked another scribe, “do you know the new songs?“, the young thing confessed he didn’t and gently, but firmly, the scribe pointed out you can’t know how good the new songs are if you don’t know them at all. Touché.

And anyway, while the set did contain bonafide classics in Monkey, Over The Ocean and Murderer, at least one of those ‘new songs”, Plastic Cup is destined for the same status.

13. Boutique camping…at our age – hell yes!
Confession time. Barry-Sean paid extra for our four man tent, already put up and waiting for us in the Tangerine field. No more cramped, and crap, single skin pop-up tents that leak and then refuse to return into the carrier you brought them in. Our smugness was unbearable when the one serious downpour of the weekend happened about 2am on Saturday night…we woke dry and warm. The most comfortable festival we’ve ever been to.

14. Edwyn Collins ripping it up
As well as Fanfarlo, Edwyn Collins treats everyone to Rip It Up during a brilliant set in the late afternoon sun.

15. The ever growing popularity of Phosphorescent
As the burgeoning crowd testifies, and indeed the number of them singing along enthusiastically to most of the set, Matthew Houck’s Phosphorescent have delivered a true masterpiece with most recent album Muchacho, and stepped up to the big league. As the majestic Song for Zula floats out across the hills beneath the setting sun, it is probably the most perfect way to capture the enchantment and good-natured magic of this lovely festival.

16. Darren Hayman’s King Charles rap
Illustrating why he is a British songwriting treasure, Darren Hayman introduces Henrietta Maria one of the standouts from 2012 historical concept album The Violence with a role-played soliloquy as King Charles that is as good as it is slightly creepy.

17. Midlake and Band of Horses rock out
Two bands joyously grabbing their headline (or near headline) opportunities on the Mountain stage to deliver crowd-pleasing country-rock with a backwoods feel. Muscular as it was tender, and perfectly matched to the atmosphere and setting of the Brecon Beacons.

18. The Allah-Lahs get groovy
Closing the night on the Walled Garden stage, the Allah-Lahs treat us to some seductive, surf-tinged psychedelia that somehow manages to be both laid back and carefree, and melancholic and nostalgic. Perfection.

19. The art of Nick Reed
In the vintage tent were a host of little stalls. In a corner were t-shirts and postcards from Nick Reed, pre-dating the wonderful David Shrigley, his is a brilliantly warped worldview told through the eyes of a scribbled dog and some scalpel sharp observations. T-shirt for teenage son duly purchased.

20. Marika Hackman enchants in the Rough Trade tent
With a crystalline voice like Nico, and lyrics that are as dark as anything we heard all weekend, Marika Hackman enchanted all who were present when she played a short acoustic set in the Rough Trade tent.

And some of our favourite songs…

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Round Up Time Again - Part 2

Here is another collection of just some of the notable new tunes that have come our way recently…we’re still catching up, so expect some more posts like this over the next few days.

Kicking off with Nightingale Floors which will be the fifth album from indie duo Rogue Wave. This is the first taste from it, a mighty fine track titled College.

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We also have another taste from the forthcoming Alex Bleeker & The Freaks album How Far Away. This is Leave On The Light.

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Someone Else is the second single from Pure X’s forthcoming Crawling up the Stairs LP.

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Mikal Cronin also has a new album due in May titled MKII. This is the first taste, the breezy Weight.

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Lauren Mann & The Fairly Odd Folk release new album Over Land And Sea next month full of captivating folk-pop melodies. This is the title track.

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Camperdown & Out effortlessy evoke the golden age of jangle guitar pop with their excellent debut single Down & Out from their forthcoming LP Couldn’t Be Better – imagine Lou Reed, Kevin Ayres and the GoBetweens jamming together..

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We’ve featured the glam-rock garage stomp of the Burnt Ones previously on MM, and Fountain of Youth from new album You’ll Never Walk Alone mines that territory even deeper. Time to dig out some platforms and some flares.

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Spectrals are another that have featured a few times on MM and new single Milky Way comes from new long player Sob Story and on this evidence could be the best thing he’s done to date.

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Jonny Fritz (Corndawg as was) has also offered up another track from his new release Dad Country due next month. This is the droll Goodbye Summer with honkytonk fiddle providing a suitable backdrop to his wry observations of life on the road.

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Lau Blues is the second single from Gun Outfit’s album Hard Coming Down, which is out next week and somehow sits somewhere between The Meat Puppets and Lucinda Williams.

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We were a bit slow in discovering the ominous, humming post-punk of Spray Paint, but Yawn Factory is an absolutely top-notch single so just in case you’ve not heard it either…

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We’re also really liking Shovels & Rope’s interpretation of the Springsteen classic Johnny 99, which is a new single out on Third Man Records.

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Virginia Wing (another to feature previously on MM) create thrillingly crafted pop tunes that exist within that time honoured dialogue between the popular and the avant-garde. Their sound veers from the minimalist post punk of Young Marble Giants, to the twisted 60s psych bliss of Arthur Lee and Love and the Radiophonic Workshop inspired cinematic krautpop of Broadcast. The excellent Red Sails is due to be released via Critical Heights on 6 May.

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Courtesy of the always wonderful Yankee Calling blog comes Riptide by Australia’s Vance Joy, it has echoes of The Tallest Man On Earth about it and certainly marks him out as one to most definitely keep an eye on.

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We are longtime admirers of Hawk And Dove and on forthcoming debut album, This Yesterday Will Never End, the band mixes hauntingly beautiful ballads with thunderous stoner grooves to create a sound quite unlike anything else. Grab yourself Things We Lost So Far and look out for the album at the end of April.

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Lastly a track from Sweden’s The Fiery Piano, More Like A Tiger, Less Like A Dove is yet another fine example of the indie rock coming from that neck of the woods so to speak. Quirky, upbeat and melodic, for no good reason it makes us think of something Conor Oberst might do if he was off his tits on speed. You can get a free download of their album here.

No Direction Home Festival: Free Mixtape.

As you read this I will probably still be speeding northwards through the torrential rain on the M1 heading for Sherwood Forest and the inaugural No Direction Home music festival. Having spent the last two years happily enjoying the fantastic End of the Road festival, my plans were scuppered for a hat-trick by a sneaky move in dates making it clash with our first overseas family holiday in years to the beaches of Spain.

Thankfully, the same folk are behind this one so despite the rotten weather forecast, hopes are high for another fantastic event and judging by the line-up, we should be in for a treat. Friday night will be headlined by The Low Anthem, Saturday by Andrew Bird and Sunday by Richard Hawley. In between times we will have the pleasure of sets from Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny, Other Lives, Moon Duo, Lanterns On The Lake, The Wave Pictures, Wet Nuns, Father John Misty, Mikal Cronin and Spectrals. Best of all though will be discovering those artists and bands that we’ve not come across before and who turn out to be jaw-droppingly good.

Here is a free mix just to give you a taste of what we’ll be enjoying over the weekend, or if you fancy snapping up one of the last few tickets you can get one here.

Look out for a full review next week.

Download Father John Misty – Nancy From Now On mp3 (from Fear Fun)

Download Mikal Cronin – Apathy mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

Download Mikal Cronin – Get Along mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

Download Other Lives – For 12 mp3 (from Tamer Animals)

Download Spectrals – Chip A Tooth (Spoil A Smile) mp3 (from A Spectrals Extended Play EP)

Download Moon Duo – Mazes mp3 (from Mazes)

Download The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin mp3 (from O My God, Charlie Darwin)

Download The Low Anthem – This God Damn House mp3 (from What The Crow Brings)

Download David Thomas Broughton – Nature mp3 (from Outbreeding)

Download David Thomas Broughton – Walking Over You mp3 (from The Complete Guide To Insufficiency)

Download Lanterns On The Lake – You’re Almost There mp3 (from Gracious Tide, Take Me Home)

Download Slow Club – Beginners mp3 (from Paradise)

Download Django Django – Love’s Dart mp3 (from Storm / Love’s Dart 7″)

Download The Cornshed Sisters – Nowhere Man mp3 (from Mojo Presents – Yellow Submarine Resurfaces)

Download Peter Wolf Crier – Crutch & Cane mp3 (from Inter-Be)

Download Zulu Winter – Lets Move Back To Front mp3 (from Language)

Download Woodpigeon – I Live A Lot of Places mp3 (from Treasury Library Canada)

Download Wet Nuns – Heavens Below mp3 (from Heavens Below 7″)

Download Tiny Ruins – The Death Of A Russian mp3 (from Some Were Meant For Sea)

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

Download Veronica Falls – Bad Feeling mp3 (from Veronica Falls)

Download Austra – Lose it mp3 (from Feel It Break)

Download Joe Gideon & The Shark – True Nature mp3 (from Harum Scarum)

Carrying on from where we left off yesterday…

30 Josh T Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen

Download Josh T Pearson – Woman When I’ve Raised Hell…(Alternative Version) mp3

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New Album From Real Estate.

29 Real Estate – Days

Download Real Estate – Green Aisles mp3 (from Days)

Download Real Estate – It’s Real mp3 (from Days)

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28 Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest

Download Gillian Welch – The Way It Goes mp3 (from The Harrow & The Harvest)

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27 War On Drugs – Slave Ambient

Download The War On Drugs – Come To The City mp3 (from Slave Ambient)

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Mad Mackerel Recommends...Mikal Cronin.

26 Mikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin

Download Mikal Cronin – Apathy mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

Download Mikal Cronin – Get Along mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

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25 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Download Girls – Vomit mp3 (from Father, Son, Holy Ghost)

Download Girls – Honey Bunny mp3 (from Father, Son, Holy Ghost)Removed by order some uninformed halfwit – available everywhere else for free on the web

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24 Wooden Shjips – West

Download Wooden Shjips – Lazy Bones mp3 (from West)

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23 Metronomy – The English Riviera

Download Metronomy – The Look mp3 (from The English Riviera)

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Henry's Funeral Shoe Release Donkey Jacket.

22 Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Donkey Jacket

Download Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Anvil And Chains mp3 (from Donkey Jacket)

Download Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear mp3 (from Donkey Jacket)

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21 Decemberists – The King Is Dead

Download The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight mp3 (from The King Is Dead)

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20 Dennis Hopper Choppers – Be Ready

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19 Bill Callahan – Apocalypse

Download Bill Callahan – Baby’s Breath mp3 (from Apocalypse)

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18 Moon Duo – Mazes

Download Moon Duo – Mazes mp3 (from Mazes)

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17 Black Keys – El Camino

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Wooden Wand Releases Briarwood Tomorrow.

16 Wooden Wand – Briarwood

Download Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky mp3 (from Briarwood)

Download Wooden Wand – Big Mouth USA mp3 (from Briarwood)

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15 Wilco – The Whole Love

Download Wilco – I Might mp3 (from The Whole Love)

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14 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

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13 Yuck – Yuck

Download Yuck – Holing Out mp3 (from Yuck)

Download Yuck – Dark Magnet mp3 (from Yuck)

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12 Hurray For The Riff Raff – Hurray For The Riff Raff

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Too Much Of A Good Thing mp3 (from Hurray For The Riff Raff)

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Take Me mp3 (from Hurray For The Riff Raff)

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11 Richmond Fontaine – The High Country

Download Richmond Fontaine – The Mechanic’s Life mp3 (from The High Country)

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Top Ten tomorrow!

Mad Mackerel's Best of July Mix. Oh yes, it is that time again. Here is a round up of the very best of what we posted in July, plus a couple of new ones to add to the mix. Enjoy.

Download Dennis Hopper Choppers – Good To Me mp3 (from Be Ready)

Morricone inspired spaghetti western feel and Tijuana style horns combine to give an authentic dusty desert twang.

BTW: Whichever knob alleged infringement of copyright and reported to DMCA – get your facts right or contact us direct! This track is shared with full permission of Top Button Digital who represent the band.

Download Jenny Owen Youngs – Great Big Plans mp3 (from Great Big Plans)

First taste of singer-songwriter’s new album. It’s good!

Download The Deep Dark Woods – Westside Street mp3 (from The Place I Left Behind)

Another lovely example of their warm, resonant folk sound – it meanders slowly and surely along on the back of some lovely harmonies and easy going instrumentation.

Download Wooden Shjips – Lazy Bones mp3 (from West)

Takes the spirit of the Velvet Underground and melds it perfectly with the pummeling space rock of Hawkwind to create one of the best tracks of the year so far.

Download The Happy Thoughts – Sweet Dirty Love mp3 (from The Happy Thoughts)

Two and a half minutes of perfect, roughly hewn, garage style power pop.

Download Grass Widow – Mannequin mp3 (from Milo Minute 7″)

A suitably jangly and messy cover of Wire’s classic.

Download Megafaun – These Words mp3 (from Megafaun)

A round-robin of gamelan, ambient sounds, frogs, and cicadas underpin a hauntingly indelible piano melody and a hypnotic beat.

Download Vacant Fever – Heavy Leather mp3 (from Heparin And Saline)

Brilliantly sparse and stripped back affair with not a wasted note or murmur from first moment to the last.

Download Blind Atlas – Mary Anne mp3 (from Iron Wall EP)

The band put down their electric guitars and picked up acoustic instruments for Mary Anne and produced a lovely, laid-back country song.

Download The Sainthood Reps – Monoculture mp3 (from Monoculture)

Gem of distortion, bludgeoning percussion, and a nagging, jagged riff that sets it well apart from the usual fare and, played loud enough, might just remove the paint from the walls.

Download Brown Bird – Fingers To The Bone mp3 (from Salt For Salt)

Traditionally dark and eerie sound that is often backed with some of the most ominous and foreboding lyrics you’re likely to hear.

Download The Parson Red Heads – Burning Up The Sky mp3 (from Yearling)

Harkens back to the most prolific and inventive elements in the canon of West Coast psych-folk, the band’s music is intricate, gorgeous and rich.

Download The Tallest Man On Earth – Weather Of A Killing Kind mp3 (Adult Swim free single)

Gravelly tones and strummed acoustics.

Download Pepper Rabbit – Murder Room mp3 (from Red Velvet Snow Ball)

The dark undertone takes its time to bubble to the surface before dragging you back down in to its hidden depths.

Download St. Vincent – Big Black Mariah mp3 (live at Rain Dogs Revisited at The Barbican)

Cover of the month?

Download St. Vincent – Surgeon mp3 (from Strange Mercy)

And a brilliant taster from forthcoming new album.

Download We Were Promised Jetpacks – Act on Impulse mp3 (from In The Pit Of The Stomach)

An absolute cracker, featuring two minutes of tribal drumming and building guitars as an intro before launching into an anthem of stadium proportions.

Download Carter Tanton – Murderous Joy mp3 (from Freeclouds)

Our first point of reference was Sparklehorse: it is elegant, forlorn, and intimate.

Download The Pack A.D. – Sirens mp3 (from Unpersons)

Treat yourself to some trademark full on blues-rock riffage a la Zeppelin or Sabbath and that throaty Joplin like roar. Marvellous.

Download The Roadside Graves – Double Feature mp3 (from We Can Take Care Of Ourselves)

Country rock and whiskey raw vocals from stalwart MM faves.

Download Rhubarb Whiskey – Bears In The Lot mp3 (from Cautionary Tales)

Unique tale of bears and booze whose lyrics were penned by the infamous award winning horror author Poppy Z. Brite.

Download Case Studies – The Eagle, Or The Serpent mp3 (from The World Is Just a Shape to Fill the Night)

Download Case Studies – You Folded Up My Blanket Like We Were Already Lovers mp3 (from The World Is Just a Shape to Fill the Night) (via RSTB)

Two brilliant tracks that tell the tales of the dysfunctional and the disenchanted, the dreamers and the hopeless. Faultless folk!

Download Mikal Cronin – Apathy mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

Download Mikal Cronin – Get Along mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

And two brilliant blends of sweet melodies and chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freak-outs – a California fuzz take on gorgeously unexpected psych garage pop.

Download Amen Dunes – Lower Mind mp3 (from Through Donkey Jaw)

Dark-hearted psych-folk over a repetitive almost drone-like rhythm – it calls to mind another MM fave in Wooden Wand.

Download Peg Simone – Wait For Night mp3

An eerie, otherworldly approach to blues and folk featuring lingering, ghostly guitar riffs and silver-tongued vocals.

And to finish off a cracking mix we have the dreamy pop loops of Gauntlet Hair, the easy-going folk-pop of Book Club (via MOKB), Jeff The Brotherhood’s faithful Nirvana take for their contribution to SPIN magazine’s free tribute album (get the whole thing here) and finally The Fungi Girls offer up a taste of their wonderful mix of psych-pop hooks and garage fuzz from forthcoming album Some Easy Magic.

Download Gauntlet Hair – Top Bunk mp3 (from Gauntlet Hair)

Download Book Club – Meal Of Dreams mp3 (from Ghost)

Download Fungi Girls – Velvet Days mp3 (from Some Easy Magic)

Download JEFF The Brotherhood – Something In The Way mp3 (from Newermind: SPIN Tribute to Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’)

See all our previous Best of The Month mixes in the side bar on the left. You might also like our recent free Truck Festival mix here or Big Hitters Round Up here.

Mad Mackerel Recommends...Mikal Cronin. Stepping away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers The MoonheartsMikal Cronin has emerged with a fully realized, cohesive and beautiful debut self-titled LP, out September 20, via Chicago’s Trouble In Mind.

Cronin blends sweet melodies and chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freak-outs so if you’ve ever wondered what the Beach Boys would sound like if they became pals with the Ramones…this is a California fuzz take on gorgeously unexpected psych garage pop.

Download Mikal Cronin – Apathy mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)

Download Mikal Cronin – Get Along mp3 (from Mikal Cronin)