Posts Tagged ‘Southerly’

Day four of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs of the past 10 years.

140 Chelsea Light Moving – Groovy & Linda (2012)

 

A distorted, bloody jam in tune with the bloody, violent nature of the 1960s shooting it narrates. Any Sonic Youth undertones? What do you think.

 

 139 Dan Auerbach – Heartbroken, In Disrepair (2009)

The gritty guitar sound sets up a soulful, dirty blues where hopelessness finally overpowers determination.

 

138 Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis – The Lonesome Death Of Johnny Ace (2008)

Biopic-epic groover shows the two musicians playing off a southern fried radiation telling the tale of a famous singer’s Russian Roulette tragedy on Christmas day.

 

137 Houndmouth – For No One (2015)

Spare and epic. Surreal and vivid. Plaintive and slyly humorous. An absolute gem of Dylan-esque storytelling that manages to be anything but derivative.

 

136 Deer Tick – Chevy Express (2011)

Sombre, reflective, and undeniably sobering. Chevy Express is the soundtrack to a heavy heart and lonely regret washed by the first light of an early morning dawn and may well be the best thing they’ve ever done.

 

135 Howling Owls – Family Tree (2010)

 

Sinister, noir-ish folk from the Howling Owls. Family Tree is ominous, forbidding, baleful – all the things we love from one of our favourite discoveries of the past ten years.

 

134 The Silver Jews – Strange Victory, Strange Defeat (2008)

David Berman’s lyrics were amongst the sharpest, wittiest, pithiest and most potent in the whole of indie-rockdom. The rumbling Strange Victory, Strange Defeat’s opening verse is Squirrels imported from Connecticut / Just in time for fall / How much fun is a lot more fun? / Not much fun at all and it just gets better from there…

 

133 Tweak Bird – A Sun / Ahh Ahh (2010)

 

Brilliant mix of full-on old-school metal riffing with psychedelic overtones and an absurdly heavy climax. Rock on dudes.

 

132 A.A. Bondy – I Can See The Pines Are Dancing (2009)

Both intriguing and evocative, A.A. Bondy’s lovely, road-weary voice conveys a rarely felt depth of experience on the back of a melody steeped in warm melancholy.

 

131 Angus Stone – It Was Blue (2012)

Borrowing a Stooges’ style riff, It Was Blue is a stunningly good, modern day excursion into fuzzy 70s psychedelic rock.

 

130 Joe Pug – Hymn 35 (2009)

Classic singer-songwriter fare, but set apart from the crowded competition by the the consistently thought-provoking lyrical wordplay and the chance to holler along in the car with I have done wrong / I will do wrong / There’s nothing wrong / With doing wrong.

 

129 James Arthur’s Manhunt – Killzone (2016)

 

An intense, tribal, maelstrom of churning, filthy guitars and pounding percussion that veers into space rock by way of spaghetti westerns and Italian horror films.

 

128 Nightjar – Poor Man’s Son (2008)

 

A wonderfully simple tale of a son done wrong set to a classic bluegrass inflected folk-strum.

 

127 Southerly – Desolation Row (2013)

 

Darkest of dark pop, infectious melody, ominous drone, sparing song structure and astute lyricism.

 

126 Protomartyr – Pontiac 87 (2015)

 

Brilliantly hypnotic riff. Brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

125 Julie Ruin – I Decide (2016)

 

Somehow manages to be outrageously catchy, while simultaneously sounding like an angry bunch of wasps trapped in a jam jar.

 

124 Low – Plastic Cup (2013)

 

Moody and smart-ass sarcastic story of substance abuse, a lifetime of dependence on others, and the soul-crushing future of pointless drug tests. All set to an understated, super-low tempo, and wonderful co-ed vocal harmonies between Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

 

123 Port O’Brien – I Woke Up Today (2008)

 

A chaotic, swelling modern day seafarer’s shanty. And the biggest damn sing along chorus in the whole list.

 

122 Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight (2008)

What can you say. Overblown, theatrical, bombastic and yet still one of the greatest indie rock songs of the past ten years. The bluster eventually revealing the true pain and sorrow of desolate heartbreak.

 

121 Fritjof Norrmo – Set Me On Fire (2015)

 

Swedish singer-songwriter’s endearing and somewhat nostalgic tale of a brief, but passionate love encounter. A true heart warmer.

 

Don’t forget to check out tracks 200-181, 180-161, 160-141.

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Chris T Popper's Best of 2013

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year that we’ve posted over the past few days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Next up is Mr Chris T Popper.

20. Coathangers – Adderall

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19. GRMLN – Summer Days
Download GRMLN – Summer Days mp3

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18. Willie Nile – American Ride

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17. Mickey Gloss – Are You Happy

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16. Orwells – Who Needs You

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15. Chelsea Light Moving – Lip

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14. Wooden Wand & World War IV – I Hate The Nightlife

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13. Vandaveer – Omie Wise

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12. Coma Cinema – Virgin Veins

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11. Quiet American – Wild Bill Jones

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10. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Gammy Leg
I underestimated this offering from Australia’s finest when I first listened to it. Essentially a tale of the immense bad luck befalling the protagonist and his ‘gammy leg’ it’s easy to dismiss. That would be a mistake. The wonderful deadpan, matter of fact delivery is laced with some brilliant throwaway lines and the black humour never wavers for a second.

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9. Water Liars – Fake Heat
I kind of loved this song despite trying not to if you know what I mean? In the end I gave in gracefully (which wasn’t difficult, there’s a fair bit of imploring in this one) as the heart should always overrule the brain when it comes to music. It does have an undeniable glory to it as well though which can’t help stirring even this most cynical of souls.

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8. Jesse Woods – Cold Blood
As traditional as the aching sadness of yet another year wasted Christmas always brings, there will undoubtedly be a latecomer to my top 10. Step forward Jesse Woods. I was listening to this song in the car when I first got the CD and when I finally heard to it on a ‘proper’ music system it blew me away. Woods has great timing to his delivery and an even better voice. It’s bloody magnificent.

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7. Foxygen – No Destruction
This was pretty much nailed on. With the opening line of I’m sending you this photograph of me in my new car I had already signed up on the Foxygen dotted line and was awaiting further instruction. A subversive laid back and slightly peculiar song. Kept me thinking all year, as I never knew where I really had it.

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6. T Hardy Morris – OK Corral
Sad, sad songs eh? Love ‘em myself and T. Hardy Morris delivers a tour de force with OK Corral. You can’t help it as you’re dragged in to the drowsy chorus and it’s tangible sense of sorrow. It’s also another song from this year with a great opening line. Swear me in, I’m good at making promises…

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5. Terry Malts – I Was Not There
As my previous top 10s bear out I do like a proper modern punk song. Terry Malts can do that. Heavy drums and a real hurry-up guitar combine to great effect. It’s an enjoyably unforgiving song.  And ‘I was not there’ are four words that have constantly come in useful throughout my own life.

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4. Burning Hell – Grown Ups
An instant hit. From the very start Grown Ups is a treat, with the most arresting opening lyric I’ve heard for some time. Guitar meanders along as the tale unfolds about nostalgia and the joy of hanging around graveyards being ‘little goth idiots’. I had a goth stage in my teens – trench coat, skinny black jeans, miserable outlook and an utterly appalling haircut. The quintessential goth you might say and a really great effort from me.

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3. Southerly – Desolation Low
Now I mean this in a good way, but I just love the damn ‘seriousness’ of this song. Serious without being shit that is. And for that Southerly must be congratulated and lauded. Instead we have a climatic build up and an epic finale that gave it a deserved top 3 status. It just picks me up and carries me away no matter how many times I hear it.

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2. Low – Plastic Cup
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like this song after the very first listen. I think Low may have cracked it. There’s a dreamy kind of stillness to it and a perfect example of the genius of simplicity. It never tries too hard because it doesn’t need to.

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1. Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
In a recent interview Matthew Houck talked about Song For Zula and how he felt he had achieved something with the song that he thought was beyond his ability. An almost unconscious level of quality he hadn’t perceived was there. I know exactly what he means… apart from never having achieved anything to my ability or beyond it. But I can imagine, so I won’t let it hold me back. Just the best song I’ve heard in ages.

MM's Favourite Tracks Of 2013: 25 - 1

So this is it, the final countdown of our favourite tracks of 2013…

As voted for by MM luminaries: the luminous Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), the newly teenaged Middle Sprat (MS), Marston’s Mr Big, Chris T Popper (CP), the criminally insane Dr. Roddy (Dr R), and patricide obsessive Polly Pocket (PP). A motley crew it is true, but all united by their love of a damn good tune.

So, here then are their final selections from 25 down to top spot.

25 Big Sun – Pants
Quirky, frothy and sardonic. Sung with tongues so far in cheeks it should have sounded funny. Instead we got idiosyncratic indie-pop genius.

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24 James Yorkston – Just As Scared
Every couple of years I seem to find the perfect smoky bar song. Here’s just such a tune: a cheek-to-cheek intimate duet that shuffles around the piano with a bluesy feel that gets my foot a-tapping. Now where’s your shoulder, let me very gently lay my head…(Mrs M)

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23 Martha’s Vineyard Ferries – Blonde On Blood
Like the best ever Fall single played at 78rpm. This is, of course, a very good thing indeed. (MM)

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22 I See Hawks In L.A. – One Drop Of Human Blood
Hypnotic, trippy, country rock par excellence.

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21 Augustines – Cruel City
Of course Augustines feature in my Top Ten again – how could they not? Their voices are my favourite of all. The music fits with the lyrics and their voices, and the whole of it captures the mood of the song perfectly! I can’t wait for to hear more songs by them! (MS)

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20 Cave Singers – Have To Pretend
What a groove this song has – it chugs away happily. Down the line the drums are pounded relentlessly, their only company is a bass line that seems to have the demeanour of a drunken Sunday afternoon. Pete Quirk’s voice is a wonderful accompaniment and his lackadaisical delivery of lyric, it’s as if it would kill him to pronounce any word properly. This just adds to the song’s swagger. (Dr R)

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19 Southerly – Desolation Low
Now I mean this in a good way, but I just love the damn ‘seriousness’ of this song. Serious without being shit that is. And for that Southerly must be congratulated and lauded. Instead we have a climatic build up and an epic finale that gave it a deserved top 3 status in my songs of the year. It just picks me up and carries me away no matter how many times I hear it. (CP)

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18 Cash Savage & The Last Drinks – Hypnotizer
Full of attitude and lots of swagger. This is definitely a Friday night cocktail favourite (goes particularly well with a Dirty Martini). If you don’t end up singing along with the gospel choir you are not listening to it right. (PP)

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17 Georgia’s Horse – Thistlebomb
Tales from the battlefield: an unusual, almost discordant arrangement with sublime vocals. If I was looking for an influence, maybe a hint of Kate Bush? Quite unique and utterly brilliant. (Mrs M)

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16 Nick Cave – Jubilee Street
It has taken me longer to love Nick Cave than it should and I am sorry to those who have tried to show me the right path in the past. Thankfully I have learnt the error of my ways and it is Jubilee Street that helped me see the light. Storytelling at its best. (PP)

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15 Phosphorescent – Ride On/Right On
While I might be at odds with my shoalmates, this track from Phosphorescent’s peerless Muchacho album was my tune of the year. A little bit of funky rhythm and a whole lot of country grit combined to make the most compelling and enduring song of 2013. (MM)

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14 Houndmouth – Casino
This song is my favourite of the year, only just though. It always has me awkwardly singing and bopping when I can! With the country twang in their voices and the electric guitar in the background, I can’t help but love this song. (MS)

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13 Wooden Wand – Southern Colorado Song
I could rename this Southern Devon song: late July, lying on the beach with the waves rushing into my ears.  Can you hear the cymbal tremor throughout this song? Nowhere seems the only place to go; aye, Captain. (Mrs M)

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12 Laura Marling – Devil’s Resting Place
There’s menace and a brooding darkness in this devil’s resting place as LM returns to the pared back sound of Alas I Cannot Swim.  But there are many layers to this music and her latest album has an intensity and intelligence that means she’s still my number one gal. (Mrs M)

I couldn’t have a top ten without Ms Marling featuring in it somewhere (23, how can she be just 23 and getting better with every album?).  I love the exotic, dark sound to this song. Once I Was An Eagle is a very fine album, if you don’t own it you should. (PP)

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11 Junip – Line Of Fire
Sold to me in wistful and reflective mode; there’s more than a kernel of truth in these insightful lyrics: You realise it’s just a whim/And you notice it matters/Who and what you let under your skin. (Mrs M)

This has been in the top spot since the beginning of the year. Beautiful vocals courtesy of Jose Gonzalez, it all sounds so effortless whilst building up to that epic finish. Unfortunately, this song also reminds me of seeing Junip this Autumn where, having got Mr Gonzalez to sign my album I then proceeded to tell him that he and the band were ‘awesome‘. He was a gentleman about it but it remains embarrassing. (PP)

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10 John Grant – GMF
This song was a real grower upon first hearing it I thought “Oh that’s alright”, then I carried on about my business. Then one day I properly listened. Any song that has the line “Half of the time I think I’m in some movie / I play the underdog of course / I wonder who they’ll get to play me, maybe / they could dig up Richard Burton’s corpse” is a winner in my book. This song really is a lyric driven tune – the melody underneath is a vehicle for some wonderfully arrogant word play but what would you expect from a song entitled GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker). (Dr R)

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9 Wild Child – Crazy Bird
Never whistle in songs goes the old adage, well tell that to Otis Redding and these guys, fuckos! This tune has a such a feelgood factor to it, it positively bristles with fun and bounce. The melancholy sound of the fiddle in the background gives it some real gravitas, so you can feel serious when you are whistling along to it. You know you will! (Dr R)

I love this song. The catchy, tuneful whistling and always get stuck in my head and the harmony in their voices when they sing together are my favourite factors of this song. This means that this song is placed at number two in my top ten. (MS)

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8 Jesse Woods – Cold Blood
This one’s a bit of a swayer and despite the title, Cold Blood is lyrically beautiful and uplifting. You can drift into the rise and fall of the music and the harmonies – and, like the man says, we’ve got places to be and nothing to prove. (Mrs M)

As traditional as the aching sadness of yet another year wasted Christmas always brings, there will undoubtedly be a latecomer to my top 10. Step forward Jesse Woods. I was listening to this song in the car when I first got the CD and when I finally heard to it on a ‘proper’ music system it blew me away. Woods has great timing to his delivery and an even better voice. It’s bloody magnificent. (CP)

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7 Water Liars – Linens
Pull up a chair, I wanna tell you a story about tormented man. To be honest, he’s too much trouble for me (cook your own bacon, change your own sheets boyo), but I like a good yarn and a telling verse: The mind is a place unto itself/ And in it makes a heaven of hell/And a hell of heaven. Quite. (Mrs M)

I don’t think I have the vocabulary to describe the beauty of this song, so I’m not going to try. If you know this song then you will know that at some point everyone has, or does, share this song’s wants, needs and ideology. If you don’t know the song, catch yourself some quiet time, a good whisky and indulge….. (Dr R)

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6 Terry Malts – I Was Not There
As my previous top 10’s bear out I do like a proper modern punk song. Terry Malts can do that. Heavy drums and a real hurry-up guitar combine to great effect. It’s an enjoyably unforgiving song.  And ‘I was not there’ are four words that have constantly come in useful throughout my own life. (CP)

To do simple, balls-to-the-floor, screw-you punk rock this brilliantly well takes real talent. Terry Malts have it. (MM)

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5 Burning Hell – Grown Ups
An instant hit. From the very start Grown Ups is a treat, with the most arresting opening lyric I’ve heard for some time. Guitar meanders along as the tale unfolds about nostalgia and the joy of hanging around graveyards being ‘little goth idiots’. I had a goth stage in my teens – trench coat, skinny black jeans, miserable outlook and an utterly appalling haircut. The quintessential goth you might say and a really great effort from me. (CP)

You were a Nazi hunter / I was a cockney punter” sings Mathias Kom. After hearing that opening line I thought, “Hello, that’s different, that’s got my attention”. A wonderful singalong track that has the sound of a heavily stoned grunge record. I still feel guilty that it isn’t higher in my list. (Dr R)

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4 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral
Sad, sad songs eh? Love ‘em myself and T. Hardy Morris delivers a tour de force with OK Corral. You can’t help it as you’re dragged in to the drowsy chorus and it’s tangible sense of sorrow. It’s also another song from this year with a great opening line, “Swear me in / I’m pretty good at making promises“…(CP)

The sound of a ghost town set to song. (MM)

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3 Foxygen – No Destruction
It’s the lazy, laconic drawl and the finger-clicking rhythm – just one hand if you’re me, as the other doesn’t seem to work – and the way you can sing along to ‘No destruct-shaan’ quite happily, even in modest company. (Mrs M)

This was pretty much nailed on. With the opening line of “I’m sending you this photograph / Of me in my new car“, I had already signed up on the Foxygen dotted line and was awaiting further instruction. A subversive laid back and slightly peculiar song. Kept me thinking all year, as I never knew where I really had it. (CP)

We may have lost Lou Reed this year, but his spirit lives on in No Destruction, a natural pretender to his throne, and this song has the best use of “weaseled” in any song we’ve heard. (MM)

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2 Low – Plastic Cup
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like this song after the very first listen. I think Low may have cracked it. There’s a dreamy kind of stillness to it and a perfect example of the genius of simplicity. It never tries too hard because it doesn’t need to. (CP)

One of those few songs that feels like it could have been written any time in the past 40 years. Timeless is over-used, but this really is that good. (MM)

From the first listen this song has been a real contender. Lyrically a tour de force, witty, poignant, accompanied by some beautiful harmonies and a vast yet warm soundscape. I love the song’s theme of having to piss into a plastic cup then it being dug up In a thousand years and heralded as the cup the king drank from every night. It is the kind of faux pas that wouldn’t look out of place in a Python sketch. A truly wondrous piece of work that has welded itself to my brain and is having a sit-in. (Dr R)

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1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA
Matthew Houck
Matthew Houck’s ragged voice was not always to my taste. But time has altered us both and it’s his strong yet fragile vocals that stitch together Zula’s imagery, which cuts far and deep. Intensely poignant lyrics, sweeping strings, pulsing drum machine: it all weaves together to form an emotional testament to the end of a relationship. Ever had your heart broken? This is what it feels like. (Mrs M) 

In a recent interview Matthew Houck talked about Song For Zula and how he felt he had achieved something with the song that he thought was beyond his ability. An almost unconscious level of quality he hadn’t perceived was there. I know exactly what he means… apart from never having achieved anything to my ability or beyond it. But I can imagine, so I won’t let it hold me back. Just the best song I’ve heard in ages. (CP)

What an epic tune this is with its fine strings and heartbreaking lyrics to match. A timeless classic. (PP)

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Check out the rest of our top 100 here: 100 – 76, 75 – 51, 50 – 26.

Videos of the Day

Enjoy music videos from Mice Parade and their beautiful film for This River Has A Tide and London based folksinger Lucy Cait’s strange and hypnotic Gabriel’s Wharf, the title track from her debut EP.

After taking a couple of years off to focus on other projects, Krist Krueger returns to the Southerly moniker and celebrates with a new single and video for Desolation Low.

And last, but not least, we have Autumn Owls video for Great Atlantic Drift features Irish actress Elga Fox. Recorded on a frigid November day along the northern Dublin coast, the video is a stark and captivating view of one woman’s descent into something dark and absolute.

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