Posts Tagged ‘Stornoway’

Stornoway – Get Low

Posted: March 3, 2015 in Folk, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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Here is the latest track, and new single, from orchestral folk rockers Stornoway taken from forthcoming album Bonxie.

Get Low breezes along on the back of expansive vocal imagery keeping their oft-visited connection to coastal landscapes and the shoreline close to their hearts.

Have a listen.

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Our regular weekend feature highlighting some of the tunes you really ought to have heard already this week is back. First one of 2015 kicks off with no less than nine new tunes and some real corkers too.

1. Iron & Wine – Everyone’s Summer of ’95
2. Stornoway – The Road You Didn’t Take
3. Sonny & The Sunsets – Happy Carrot Health Store
4. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
5. Girlpool – Alone At The Show
6. Screaming Females – Criminal Image
7. Wand – Self Hypnosis In 3 Days
8. Of Montreal – Empyrean Abattoir
9. Beech Creeps – Times Be Short

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For Folk's Sake 2013

A great Christmas compilation for a great cause – all profits from the sale of this album go to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.

Merry Christmas one and all!

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Videos of the Day

Videos to enjoy from local folk heroes Stornoway, singer-songwriter John Smith with a track from upcoming album Great Lakes, and blues-punk par excellence from the Burning Condors with their track Honey Trap.

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The Return Of Stornoway

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Folk, Indie, Music, Pop, Rock
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The Return Of Stornoway

MM faves and local boys Stornoway are following up the success of their excellent 2010 debut album Beachcomber’s Windowsill with Tales From Terra Firma which sees a release on 11th March via 4AD.

It was mostly written in a camper van in land-locked Oxford but on listening, the yearning for adventure and the freedom of the coast and wild places is palpable. Whilst the band strengthened their grip on experimenting, arranging, song writing and the artwork underneath; the majority of the tracks are simple, melodic pop songs that are warm and inviting and quintessentially Stornoway.

The first single from the record is called Knock Me On The Head and you can listen to it below.

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And their UK Tour Dates

Fri 8 Feb Hebden Bridge Trades Club
Sat 9 Feb Pocklington Arts Centre
Sun 10 Feb Middlesbrough Westgarth SC
Mon 11 Feb Glasgow Oran Mor
Tue 12 Feb Gateshead Sage Gateshead
Thu 14 Feb Oxford Town Hall
Fri 15 Feb Oxford Town Hall
Sat 16 Feb Folkestone Quarterhouse
Mon 18 Feb Newbury New Greenham Arts
Tue 19 Feb Poole Mr Kyps
Web 20 Feb Pontardawe Arts Centre
Thu 21 Feb Kingston New Slang/McCluskys
Mon 11 Mar Liverpool Kazimier
Tue 12 Mar Manchester Band On The Wall
Wed 13 Mar Leeds Cockpit
Fri 15 Mar Norwich Open
Sat 16 Mar Sheffield Leadmill
Sun 17 Mar Preston 53 Degrees
Tue 19 Mar Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Wed 20 Mar Brighton Concorde 2
Thu 21 Mar Bath Komedia
Sat 23 Mar Leamington Spa Assembly
Sun 24 Mar Exeter Phoenix
Mon 25 Mar Gloucester Guildhall
Wed 27 Mar London Forum

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In addition to the Wilderness Olympic medal awards handed out by youngest sprat (see Mrs Mackerel’s post here) Saturday at the festival was another day of glorious sunshine, bizarre moments (badminton matches joined table tennis, the official skinny dipping world record attempt, miming cats and much much more) and a stellar musical line-up.

The timeless, beautiful harmonies of The Staves set everyone up perfectly in the mid-afternoon sun, but their mix of softly strummed folk and a-cappella hides a steely core – these three sisters from Watford are nothing if not feisty when the mood takes them. Jake Bugg was next up, a rockabilly prodigy from Nottingham who you suspect has pictures of boxcars and Woody Guthrie on his bedroom wall. Clearly talented and with a classic three-piece line-up he kept the crowd entertained in a way that belied his tender years and finished with his “hit” Lightning Bolt – the perfect song to accompany Usain’s efforts in the Olympics.

Cloud Control fizzed and popped with their psych-tinged indie and sing-a-long choruses, and elsewhere Robbie Boyd’s funky folk cooked up a storm and created a mini-hoedown in the London Folk Guild tent. Local boys Stornoway enjoyed their clearly growing popularity with a perfectly judged set of melancholy tinged folk and The Temper Trap picked up the pace as the sun went down with a crowd-pleasing set of widescreen, epic electro-rock with soaring falsetto vocals.

Finally in the gloom, amidst the dry ice, guitar virtuosos Rodrigo Y Gabriella took the stage to showcase their six-string wizardry amongst video backdrops and pyrotechnics – perfectly melding Metallica riffage with flamenco, jazz, and everything in between, the crowd bumped, swayed, salsa-ed, and grooved their way through a blistering set from a couple (and Band) who were clearly enjoying themselves immensely.

Eventually, they took their leave, and us ours, with the last notes fading away to join more chinese lanterns and glowsticks in the sky and all of us looking forward to tomorrow.

Download Cloud Control – Gold Canary mp3 (from Bliss Release)

Download Stornoway – Zorbing mp3 (from Zorbing Single)

Download The Temper Trap – Love Is A Losing Game (Amy Winehouse cover) mp3 (from Q Presents Back To Back To Black)

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Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

So last, but very much not least, is the lovely (though flu-stricken) Mrs Mackerel and her choices for 2010.

We all sweat a little over our top tens and I don’t know why really. This is just what I think, you will undoubtedly think a little different. But I’ve always found my fellow top ten contributors a great source of new sounds that maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise chosen myself. And if you find one song you like that you didn’t know before, then job done really. So to all the musicians that kindly let us post their wares, a heartfelt thank you – here’s to the next 12 months.

10. Kurran & The Wolfnotes – Your Four Limbs (Download here)

Sunny upbeat music with a beautiful harmonies, juxtaposed with a rather a dark message. A masochistic love of complete surrender; one-sided blind devotion and infatuation. It doesn’t end well.

9. Adam Green – What Makes Him Act So Bad  (Download here)

Appeals to the latent rock chick in me: she may lie sleeping, but she’s still in there. The laconic, growling delivery of the lyrics makes this tune twist and dip. Late night smoky bar sort of song, bit of a hip swayer over a cocktail or two. “I know you’re a wonderful dancer” – why thank you, Adam, I expect I’m the one with the answers too.

8. Lykke Li – Get Some  (Download here)

A proper bit of girl power in the form of a punchy, irrepressible foot-stomping beat. It’s not one to get your daughters to sing along to, but I love the rhythmic no-messing attitude of this song. It’s not often you hear such a drum/percussion-dominated track but this only means it beds into your mental song library very easily. And unlike with say, Two Little Boys (sorry Rolf), you don’t end up irritating yourself.

7. Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol  (Download here)

A sleazy, sultry mix which tips a nod to Chris Isaacs and maybe even the Raveonettes too; the drums sound like a heartbeat, the guitars borrow a little from Hank Marvin. This song belongs to a different era, where women had beehives and men wore hats and chain-smoked. Just fabulous.

6.  Tallest Man On Earth – King Of Spain  (Download here)

Off we gallop at a rollicking pace before yep, here he comes, the Tallest Man on Earth, this time masquerading as the King of Spain. He has a unique and idiosyncratic voice that truly sets him apart from many of his contemporaries, and my great musical regret of 2009 is that MM and I were unable to make his London gig in last autumn.

5. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

Oh I do like a man with a voice as deep as the night. Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Hypnotic offering from a band that have been waiting in the wings for some much deserved recognition from the wider world.

4. Haunted Windchimes – Sea Bride  (Visit their website here. We can’t post the song or find a stream or a video…but you can listen via spotify here)

I loathe wind-chimes. Pointless instruments of aural torture. But once I got past the name, well this is a finger-pickin’ good tune. One of my outstanding films of 2010 was Winter’s Bone and there’s a scene in it where a hill-billy Nan and her mates are sat round in what looks like someone’s front room/bar. What they make is real music for the soul. I could imagine the Haunted Windchimes pulling up a chair and being right at home – and I mean this musically, not in an in-bred, gun-toting sort of way (she adds hastily).

3. Stornoway – I Saw You Blink

To me this is our MM summer of 2010 song: it’s sunshine and dreaminess and love. There’s self doubt and possibly even a Shelley-esque metaphor used (eyes being the window of the soul and all that). All sung to a back-drop of retro, up-tempo, carefully layered music. He’s in love, distracted, missed his train, and constantly wondering what she’s thinking. Dammit, Lucy, he needs to know – are you one he’s been waiting for so, so long? I’m rather glad I’m not 20-something any more …

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2. Laura Marling – What He Wrote

What she writes, what she sings, what she plays is incomparable to any of her peers. But age sometimes belies wisdom. I struggled to choose from the riches of her second album, but this wins over Goodbye England by a smidge, simply because I prefer the latter in its unaccompanied arrangement. Here we have a piece of Greek mythology entwined with some war time letters; cause and effect; love and loss. “I am broken too and spoken for, do not tempt me.” A talent of rare and precious mettle.

1.Avalanche City – Ends In The Ocean  (Download here)

This snuck up when I wasn’t looking: the more I listened, the more I liked it. Kiwi Dave Baxter is Avalanche City; he taught himself to sing, plays all the instruments (apart from the drums) on this track, and recorded his debut album, solo, armed with a week’s supply of veggie curry. I like that in a person. And the song? It’s about losing yourself, and finding yourself again. It’s uplifting and positive and life-affirming – and it has a goodness that radiates through my very skin. “But now all that I see is life breaking free, so long captivity for me.” Not a bad way to end the year.

This year’s honourable mention goes to…

Jason Ward – Bless You  (Download here)

Bless you, Jason Ward. And bless you, MM. It’s quite a feat to make someone laugh when they’re in that much pain. Lies, deceit and fraud just ain’t enough for some people – let’s chuck in assault and battery too. Bless You is the anthem for the lesser common psycho. Delusional and toxic, they often hunt in pairs. Napoleon and Squealer. The Liver Turds. All should be sealed in a room and made to listen to Alexandra Burke on a loop. All together now, “How horrible are you …”

Bubbling Under:

5. Isobel Campbell & Willie Mason – Cool Water

4. Gorillaz – Melancholy Hill

3. Pancake BreakfastBallad of Maynard Noe

2. Mumford & SonsUnfinished Business

1. Port O’BrienMy Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)

And the Mrs Mackerel “Missed the Boat” or Songs I love that are not 2010

She Keeps Bees & Sharon Van EttenCuddle Alone

Just about the saddest song ever written. There’s nothing else to say really. Haunting.

The Dutchess & The DukeScorpio

Well, often timing is everything; I became aware of D&TD about ten days after they split up. Was it something I said? Scorpio is a particular favourite, a painfully observed lament about a dying relationship.

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

So here are MM’s ten favourite tunes from 2010 – no claims on them being the best, but for many different reasons, these are the tracks that most struck a chord (no pun intended).

10 Phosphorescent – The Mermaid Parade (Download Here)

Phosphorescent just seem to get better and better. A wonderful album provided this superb tale of failed love told in a resigned, accepting way and accompanied by mournful pedal steel and piano.

9 Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain (Download here)

Always loved a good dose of black hearted, downbeat, gothic country and Red Clay River deliver in spades with this skeletal gem.

8 Strand Of Oaks – Alex Kona

Alex Kona was 12 feet tall, his mother was killed by a bowling ball“, how could you not want to know the rest of the story? A standout track from a wonderful album of sparse fingerpicked folk and occasional psychedelic wigouts…Fast forward to track 5 below, or just stream the whole wonderful record.

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7 Local Natives – World News (Download here)

While others in the Mackerel shoal may have been seduced by Airplanes, it was the propulsive, upbeat rhythms and effortlessly catchy chorus of World News that claimed my ears.

6 Stornoway – I Saw You Blink

The runaway feel good hit of the summer. Catchy, uplifting and a perfect soundtrack to the setting sun at the Truck Festival.

5 No Age – Fever Dreaming (Download here)

This song steamed out of the traps like it had just been released from the punk heydey of 1977 – and there is no higher praise in my book. Turn up loud and abuse the neighbours – especially if they’re like some of ours. Wankers.

4 Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True

On a par with their classic Black River Killer – a wonderfully surreal and compelling story of murder, trains, truth and gardening. Exceptional.

3 Howling Owls – Family Tree (Download here)

My favourite new band discovery of the year. One after another they sent songs MM’s way and all could have been top ten contenders. In the end it was this majestically malevolent ode to a dysfunctional family life where nothing is at it seems, or as it should be, that won out.

2 Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill (Download here)

A wonderfully poignant and nostalgic paean to a relative who is casting a knowing eye over his nephew’s mistakes and while he knows, he doesn’t tell. With lyrics that cut to the chase and tell a story that is as warm as it is personal. In a different day and age Wooden Wand would be a household name.

1 Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride

Who cares if the riff is nicked from another song, or if it sounds like 1972. I don’t when it as good as this. Probably the one song in 2010 that I never ever skipped, that I always turned up to 11, and which, seen live at the End of the Road cemented its place as my number one.

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Bubbling Under

1. Dr Dog – Later

2. Lumerians – Burning Mirrors

3.Tweak BirdA Sun Ahh Ahh

4. PaleoThe King James Fakebook

5. Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Revenge Of The Extra From Zulu

Best Songs First Heard in 2010, but not 2010

1. Joe PugHymn 35

2.The Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer

3.Knife In The Water – Young Blood In The River

Guilty Pleasure

I’m with Dr Roddy. Pure Eurovision perfection…Lena Mayer and Satellite.

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

Following Polly Pocket’s submission yesterday, today is Starbar’s debut top ten. Enjoy!

10 Young Rebel Set – Measure Of Man

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9 Erland & The Carnival – Trouble In Mind  (Download Here)

8 Lykke Li – Get Some (Download here)

7 Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Get Better

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6 Mystery Jets – Show Me The Light

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5 Kings Of Leon – Pyro

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4 Biffy Clyro – Many Of Horror

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3 Local Natives – Airplanes  (Download Here, Daytrotter Session)

2 The XX – VCR

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1. Stornaway – Zorbing