Posts Tagged ‘Monument Valley’

Monument Valley (aka Londoner Ned Younger) has unveiled his new video for Tattooed Fists. Inspired by his affection for cult Canadian TV show Night Walk (a late-night 80s oddity which tracked instrumental jazz to a night-time walk round downtown Toronto), this new video traces a lone nocturnal journey from the deserted underground up to the hustle of neon-lit city streets.

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New From Monument Valley

Posted: July 12, 2013 in Folk, Indie, Music
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New From Monument Valley

Here is an evocative taster from London’s Monument Valley’s forthcoming debut album.

Walking Home is another powerful and poignant paean to the sounds of his home city – atmospheric and warm, but shot through with tinges of regret.

Have a listen.

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).

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

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

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

Download Kyle Adem – Brother Follow mp3 (from Armour)

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

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

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

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

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

Download Richard Buckner – Willow mp3 (from Willow EP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download The Walkmen – Heartbreaker mp3 (from Heaven)

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

We’ve posted a couple of times about melancholic, wise-before-his-years, south London singer-songwriter Ned Younger, aka Monument Valley.

His latest single is the darkly tender Your Cover Blown, which is starkly informed by the death of one of his closest friends and sees a release on May 21st via community label Everybody’s Stalking. It is sure to bring more praise and critical acclaim his way.

Watch the perfectly judged video or stream the song below.

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More From Monument Valley

Posted: March 9, 2012 in Folk, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
Tags:

More From Monument Valley. We were introduced to Monument Valley (aka London’s Ned Younger) towards the end of 2011 when we posted Round And Round from his EP Tongues.

He will release his new single Your Cover Blown via Rug Records on April 23rd and while that remains a while off, we can promise you it will be worth the wait. In the meantime we can tide you over by streaming the B-side for your listening pleasure. This is The Very First Alarm, a gorgeous and intimate torch song built on gentle orchestral layers and scalpel sharp lyrical insights as the bitter end of a relationship is unflinchingly and compellingly navigated.

For those who love Galaxie 500 or Nick Cave, even Richard Hawley, you will find much to enjoy and admire…

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Mad Mackerel's Best of 2011.With probably the longest entry of 2011 we give the floor to regular MM contributor and top ten compiler…Dr Roddy.

Well it seems to be that time of year again. I always spend 340 days looking forward to doing this and 25 agonising over it. This year especially though, as I think there has been a bumper harvest of great songs. When I looked at my Top Ten playlist (with over 100 songs in it) I just thought one thing: bugger!

I got there in the end though. There have been certain parties that have tried to throw spanners in the works, by sending e-mails containing latecomers and over looked songs. Cheers you heartless bastards. So without further ado….

10. Monument Valley – Dear John Letters

This is a bit of a late arrival to my top ten but the moment I heard this song I fell for it totally. That old adage of less is more, is plain for all here. A pendulum-esque rhythm is picked out on an acoustic guitar, whilst the story is sung to us in an almost lullaby fashion by Ned Younger. Who wrote these songs from a collection of pictures of strangers? The song seems to tell of two people who were once side-by-side, parted then reunited. There is a line in the song, “And though we weren’t quite whole, turned out we were all each other needed to grow old“. That is such a simple and genuine way to describe what you need from another person, which fits wonderfully into this simple and genuine song.

Download Monument Valley – Dear John Letters mp3 (from Tongues EP)

9. Cosmo Jarvis – My Day

This song elbowed its way in to my Top Ten, with that wonderful punk fuelled fervour. You can’t ignore it. Lyrically it is a tour de force. I do love a bit of cutting social satire all set to unashamed balls ‘n all guitar work – in fact It seems as if all the instruments are being given their last rights, in that “play it like you nicked it” fashion. The passion and power that is behind the delivery of the lyrics are awesome: the line “Grew up thinking we were so advanced and had the largest heads / Didn’t masturbate with our own minds instead we used the Web“, what a great way to point at a general loss of social imagination and it is the line of this year for me.

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8. Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone

This is such a funky tune there is no way it was going to get left out. The verses could easily be written as a warning to anyone who enters X-Factor and the chorus is definitely a warning to anyone who WINS the bleeding thing. That aside what we have here is a awesome tune – the bassline rolls along with the kind of sound that makes you want to walk a bit like Mister Soft. The guitar and drums lollop alongside it at perfect pace and all together it’s like a big spliff in audio format. Now I’ll be honest I’m not too big on sax breaks in songs, but this is the exception. It acts as a real nice jazzy kind of break in the song, leaving you hungry… no, greedy for some more of that bassline.

Download Dirty Bourbon River Show – Train Is Gone mp3 (from Volume 2)

7. Warped 45s – Grampa Carl

I do love a good story song and this is about as good as it gets. We are told the story of Grampa Carl who was a Rum-runner in America during the prohibition era of the 20s. This seemed to be funded by a spot of illegal gambling. I do like to take the side of the rogue, especially a rogue who likes a bet and a drink, although this tale ends with Carl being buried in a Presbyterian cemetery. No religious hypocrisy there then! The tale in between is all engrossing with many a slip between cup and lip. There is a great line at the end of this song, “My grandpa said to me when I was just a kid / Just cusp someone says something’s wrong doesn’t mean that it always is“. I love that, and have employed it as a mantra for some years already. All of that is accompanied by some fantastic musicianship. There is the cool rumbling of a Hammond organ in the background and the guitar work is laced heavily with a bluesy feel, reminiscent of Drive-By-Truckers, which I think can only be seen as a compliment.

Download The Warped 45s – Grampa Carl mp3 (from Matador Sunset)

6. Danny Brown – Die Like A Rockstar

This song helped to reinvigorate my love for Hip Hop. There had been pretty much nothing in this genre that had excited me for years. Then boom! (Irony, honest) I heard this. From the very first opening when you hear that rolling drum beat it sounds special, then you get that menacing b-line and lyrics that pull you straight into the middle of the track. The lyrics are basically a who’s who of famous party animals from music, film and T.V. and this is done with wit, intelligence and a phenomenal turn of phrase. “Sniff it at a roll, off the counter in my kitchen / Trippin’ off the shit that had Brian Wilson flippin’” is just one off a fistful of gems from this one tune. Danny Brown certainly has a wonderful delivery (I think the kids call it a “FLOW”), a sort of southern drawl that is helped by his missing front tooth, giving it a sort of lispy quality and has a distinct whiff of nihilism about it. That monster bassline just continues to snarl along at you through the whole song. Just brilliant!

Link – left click only: DOWNLOAD: Danny Brown – Die Like A Rockstar – RCRD LBL

5. Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Dog Scratched Ear

The energy in this song is the equivalent to 15 speed freaks at a coffee morning. Even the guitar at the start is reminiscent of a racehorse being held off its true power until the time comes and don’t worry it will. The opening lyrics are the way to start a song “You’ve got street fighting hands/ and a rock and roll face / But you show affection in other ways“. These match the general feeling of the song perfectly; it has that raw, grimy, slightly sullied sense about it. When the drums join the party the song truly comes alive, with the kind of fire that I’ve only ever really heard in Nirvana tracks (And there’s only two of these guys). As the song settles back down and you stop looking like the guy from the old Maxell adverts (showing my age with that cultural reference) the guitar glides along and takes you with it, with points where you think its going to drop again but these are just teasers. Don’t worry though there are plenty more guitar breaks to come. A bit of a latecomer to the list but there was no way it could be ignored.

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

4. Dennis Hoppers Choppers – Good To Me

Sounding like the start of a Sergio Leone western is a good way to grab my attention. I love the sound of that trumpet along with the violins/fiddles – it creates such an atmospheric start. When the bass and guitar come in, they seem to be able to hold that atmosphere, perfectly but with a different slant. They bring with them a down-to-earth country style, which is held up perfectly by the lyrics of Ben Nicholls, who has a lamenting sound to his voice (and is also a one man band, talented – a bit!!). You think you’re in for a typical kind of alt-Country song but then something new, the strings are back along with keys that give this song an almost Egyptian feel. A friend of mine who is a musician said this song has some great work in the minor keys; I will have to take his word for that. All I know is that this is a truly beautiful and dynamic track; the fact that it’s not my number one still grates on me whenever I hear it. Self-flagellation for punishment methinks.

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3. Little Barrie – Tip it Over

We are in to the top three now, this is where shit gets real and what a song to jump into it with. This song was a surefire winner for me. The high hat ride at the intro, then the understated guitar and bass enter the fray…they sound so innocuous, but if only you knew what they are to become. I love the notion of this song as well “Tip it over, what you need it for” could apply to so many things. It carries with it a certain amount of venom and it would have made a great soundtrack for the UK riots this year. The musicianship in this tune is truly fantastic – there is great work on the drums, though for me the true star is the guitar, you could be forgiven for almost losing it in the rest of the song, then just to remind you it’s alive and dangerous it has a little echo of the vocals in the chorus. Then it is let loose like some kind of wild beast and drags your ears with it. This song always gets my foot going and without question wins the award for song that every time I hear it I think to myself, “Shit! I want to learn to play guitar”.

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2. Brown Bird – Bilgewater

From the very first listening I adored this song with a passion that I only usually give to Leeds Utd and gin & tonic. From the opening line of “Don’t matter if the cold wind blows, I’m going to wind up working in the thick of it“, I felt a affinity with this song, I work as a coalman so this sums up my job in one fell swoop. The bluesy feel to the rhythm of this song lends itself perfectly to the gritty nature of the lyrics and they give you a hard look at life. Those rose tinted glasses you’ve been wearing? Well this tune takes those off and stamps all over them. This is delivered without threat or malice, just in a matter of fact way – “this is how it is”. It’s nice to hear that once in a while – dilutes the saccharine a bit. There are so many brilliantly phrased lines in here, each verse holding a fistful of lyrical gems. The only way I can really give this song enough praise is to say that if Bill Hicks was still with us, I think he would appreciate this song and it’s honesty. That is massive praise I think.

Download Brown Bird – Bilgewater mp3 (from The Sound of Ghosts EP)

1. Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling

I took you via the scenic route but we’ve arrived. Number one and that is exactly what it is. Just the best song I’ve heard this year by a country mile. From the very first hearing to listening to it while I write this, the whole thing fascinates me. The opening sounds like some kind of nightmare dream sequence from an episode of Hammer House of Horror, weird sounds and insane babbling, accompanied by a disjointed guitar and harmonica. As the drumbeat cuts in, it pulls it all together, and then we get to hear the greatest of gravelly voices. If you were to tell me this guy don’t smoke Capstan full strength and gargle with Napalm I’d call you a liar. As the song builds with an absolutely wonderful bassline driving it along, so does the intensity of the lyrical delivery. Now this maybe childish (in fact it is) but I think if going to swear in a song why not say c#@t and why not say it lots. Some people may find this offensive but it is a common saying down my way, meaning positive and negative things. The harmonica is stitched throughout the tune harking back to that eerie bedlam-esque start.  From start to finish it is the real deal. Brilliant melody, great bassline, witty lyrics, profanity and raw-throated vocals. These are a few of my favourite things!

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Bubbling under (The songs that scream why? at me in the middle of the night)

1. Grass House – A Cradle, A Short Breath

2. Tom Williams & The Boat  – Wouldn’t Women Be Sweet

3. Creepoid – Grave Blanket

Download Creepoid – Grave Blanket mp3 (from Horse Heaven)

4. Jason Isbell & The 400 – Codeine

5. Lovely Eggs – Fuck It

Best Cover of the year

Siskiyou – Revolution Blues

Best I’ve heard for the first time this year (but not from this year)

1. Mountain Goats – No Children

2. Joe Pug – I Do My Father’s Drugs

3. Modest Mouse – Doin’ The Cockroach

4. Shellac – Prayer To God

Download Shellac – Prayer To God mp3 (from 1000 Hurts)

5. Fugazi – Waiting Room

Download Fugazi – Waiting Room mp3 (from 13 Songs)

Guilty Pleasure (Go on hate away!)

Lana Del Rey – Video Games

Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: November 2011. Despite the end of the year fast approaching, thankfully the quality of new music shows no signs of slowing. Here are the best of our November offerings, together with some tasty new tracks to round off the mix.Over thirty great songs – just right for the roaring fire and the cocoa!

Download SiskiyouTwigs And Stones mp3 (from Keep Away The Dead)

Brilliantly judged restless blend of country rock, folk, and grand orchestral rock.

Download The Cloud Nothings – No Future / No Past mp3 (from Attack On Memory)

Intense indie rock – their best yet?

Download The Morning Birds – Born To Be Alive mp3 (from Surrender To This EP)

Skips along on the back of a groove so funky that it sounds like it was kidnapped from a 1970s New York disco and dragged into the new Millennium.

Download A Place To Bury Strangers – So Far Away mp3 (from Onwards To The Wall EP)

This on the other hand is a storming slab of pulverising noisemongering!

Download D.B. Rouse – The Hungover Lowdown Beat Up Burnt Out Blues mp3 (from Repent EP)

Folk yes, but beautifully judged with poignancy and pathos, self-reflection, regrets and dreams.

Download New London Fire – The Dirt The Blood The Faith mp3 (from The Dirt The Blood The Faith)

Sumptuous folk-western that howls its defiance and stands righteous in its anger at injustices suffered.

Download Black Creek – The Mustang mp3 (from Ragged Shark)

Dirty country rock and barrelling bar-room boogie.

Download Wounded Lion – Roman Values mp3 (from IVXLCDM)

Two and a half minutes of insane garage punk that is driven along by a heavyweight riff, pulsating percussion and a classic shouted vocal.

Download The Whalers – Lighthouse mp3 (from Paddle Easy EP)

Hypnotic, surf-inspired indie rock.

Download Lissy Trullie – Madeleine mp3 (from Lissy Trullie)

Slow-burning indie with echoes of the Velvets, even a bit of shoegaze maybe, but all is anchored by a distorted groove and her brilliant voice.

Download The Great Lakes – Blood On My Tooth mp3

Country jam given a healthy injection of rockabilly rhythm.

Download Monument Valley – Dear John Letters mp3 (from Tongues EP)

Excellent slice of introspective, melancholia from new singer-songwriter.

Download Bear Driver – Never Never mp3

Woozy, four-minute slice of delicious fuzz-pop.

Download Sharon Van Etten – Serpents mp3 (from Tramp)

Stunning advance track from forthcoming new album.

Download Fairlamb – The Way It Goes mp3 (from People Change)

Waspish lyrics and gently strummed acoustics.

Download The Dodos – So Cold mp3 (Previously Unreleased)

More indie-folk par excellence.

Download Galaxy Sunrise – When Pigs Fly mp3 (from When Pigs Fly single)

Lovely excursion into hazy psych-pop.

Download The Boombox Hearts – Crank It Up mp3

Lo-fi melancholic folk from Denmark.

Download Electric Flowers – Circles mp3 (from Electric Circles EP)

A sonic epic. Nuff said.

Download The Quiet Americans – Be Alone mp3 (from Medicine EP)

Old fashioned, fuzzed-up rock’n’roll.

Download Joakim Fritzner – Thoughts On Us 23-3 mp3 (from It’s Not Me…)

Catchy, folkish strum and guaranteed earworm.

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

Masterful ramshackle countryish-rock.

Download The Dead Jerichos – Please Yourself mp3 (from Please Yourself EP)

Drenched, droney guitar lines and shattered fragments of disco, punk, and post hardcore rhythms.

Download The Royal Sea – This Summer mp3 (from The Royal Sea)

Surf-drums and sugar coated adrenalin rush – this should have been the woozy, feel good hit of the summer. Our pick of the month.

Download Pontiak – Lions Of Least mp3 (from Echo Ono)

Pulverising psych-rock.

Download Secret Colours – Faust mp3 (from EP3)

Channels the finest of the greats of late ’60s psychedelia, ’90s newgaze reverence, and a touch of driving, bucolic, no frills RnR straight from the greasiest of garages.

Download i am Love – Truest mp3 (from Truest 7″)

Rich, thoughtful folk with beautifully paced ebb and flow.

Download Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea mp3 (from Weald)

Simply stunning excursion into a shifting, twilight world that slowly builds on the back of a sparse, plucked guitar and almost spoken vocals into a swirling, epic peak of rhythmic guitars and cracked vocal harmonies.

And there’s more. To round off the mix we have a gorgeous new one from MM faves, the folky Bowerbirds who will release a new album in March on Dead Oceans, the first taste of individual bubblegum garage from Hunx (as in & His Punx) solo effort appropriately called Hairdresser Blues, the effortlessly sleazy Black Bananas (formerly RTX) and Rad Times from their forthcoming album Rad Times Xpress IV and lastly former Dawes member Alex Casnoff has a new band Harriet and a new EP Tell The Right Story. I Slept With All Your Mothers is the brilliantly named and gripping lead track.

As always…enjoy!

Download The Bowerbirds – Tuck The Darkness In mp3 (from The Clearing)

Download Hunx – Always Forever mp3 (from Hairdresser Blues)

Download Harriet – I Slept With All Your Mothers mp3 (from Tell The Right Story EP)

Download Black Bananas – Rad Times mp3 (from Rad Times Xpress IV)

Here are a few more of the videos that we have been sent recently that have appealed to our eyes and ears.

First up is Monument Valley whom we posted about recently. This is the off kilter video for Round And Round together with a download for Dear John Letters from the forthcoming Tongues EP.

Download Monument Valley – Dear John Letters mp3 (from Tongues EP)

Next is Secret Music’s T.O.Y.S. with a video directed by TV Carnage, whose library of hundreds of hours of bad TV over the past 25 years has turned into an intriguing, humorous assortment of clips for the music video.

Download Secret Music – T.O.Y.S. mp3 (from T.O.Y.S. single)

Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands release their second album this month. This is Drowned Out from it.

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Canadian band Said The Whale have a new video with a surprisingly accurate homage to Back To The Future. Check it out to see their interpretation of the classic Enchantment Under The Sea dance, which is also the video for their single Lines from their upcoming EP New Brighton.

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Download Said The Whale – Lines mp3 (from New Brighton EP)

Based in Portland, Oregon, Keith and Hollie Kenniff are the husband-and-wife team behind the sublime dream pop of Mint Julep. Save Your Season – the debut UK album will be released on November 21st through the newly launched independent label Village Green. This is Why Don’t We.

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This is the video for the Bell Beat’s lovely track Labrador from their album Our Manderley. Buy the album on a pay what you want deal from their Bandcamp page here.

Download The Bell Beat – Labrador mp3 (from Our Manderley)

This is the new and rather good video from Mister Heavenly for Bronx Sniper, taken from the band’s Sub Pop debut Out of Love.

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Crushed Beaks shared love of horror films is evident as they continue the build up to their debut single release with a brand new video for lead track Close-Ups.

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Okkkervil River have released another video to accompany the single Your Past Life As A Blast.

Download Okkervil River – Your Past Life As A Blast mp3 (from Your Past Life As A Blast 7″)

The lo-fi, dream pop of His Clancyness gets another outing on a new split 7″ with Shimmering Stars. Here is the video for Carve A Peach and a download of the Shimmering Stars contribution, Not Growing Up.

Download Shimmering Stars – Not Growing Up mp3 (from His Clancyness / Shimmering Stars split 7″)

And lastly, Glasgow band Kick To Kill’s excellent new single Black Kisses is out next Monday on Flowers In The Dustbin. Watch the video!

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Introducing…Monument Valley

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Folk, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
Tags:

Introducing...Monument Valley. Monument Valley is the musical world of London-born Ned Younger. Inspired by classic 1950s rock and roll, Postcard-era indie-pop and the modern poets of hip hop, Younger weaves all his musical touchstones into a passion for timeless story-telling and song-writing. His first release, the Tongues EP is due December 5 on Tritone/PIAS UK Records.

Despite the expansive moniker, it is under the Monument Valley alias that Younger has created an introspective and articulate EP. The seeds of this project had been unwittingly sewn some time ago, during the accumulation of an extensive collection of strangers’ ‘lost’ photographs, which Younger had gradually amassed from markets and car boot sales. It was whilst surveying the hundreds of anonymous faces of these ‘John Doe’ albums that Younger was struck by the thought which spawned Tongues – to narrate the imagined stories behind these images, and thus to articulate the silent and the unfamiliar.

Fittingly, the Tongues release format reflects its distinctive origins- the EP will be accompanied by a beautiful book comprised of lyrics to several of Younger’s ‘imagined’ songs, alongside the original photographs which inspired them and accompanying illustrations by Mikey Smith.

The EP resonates with a narrative ability not dissimilar to the tendencies made so compelling by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Chris Isaak and Elliott Smith. Elsewhere, the guitar intricacy of lead track Round and Round displays a childhood spent hooked into Buddy Holly records, and later tempered with the sardonic poetry of Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian.

Have a listen.