Posts Tagged ‘Vanish Valley’

It has been a good while since we’ve posted a round up of some of the best videos (and songs) that have found their way into our in box. So we’re righting that wrong this weekend with a Sunday collection for your viewing and listening pleasure.

We have the Mynabirds, Dirty Blonde, Vanish Valley, Buffalo Rodeo, The Tarantula Waltz, The Worry Dolls, Phobophobes, Charles Howl, Lonesome Heroes, Ava Marie and Kevin Morby.

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Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: September 2011. Another bonanza month of top tunes, all rounded up for you in one perfect download mix. Here are the September highlights together, as always, with a couple of top-notch new tracks too.

Download The Migrant – The Hurricane mp3 (from Amerika)

Distinguished by a slow blues refrain, handclaps and a mournful vocal, it is one of those tunes that sounds like it has been around forever.

Download Diarrhea Planet – Warm Ridin’ mp3 (from Loose Jewels)

A magnificent cacophony of guitars, pounding bass, thundering drums and begs for an open road, a booming car stereo and a warm night.

Download Black Pussy – Marijuana mp3 (from On Blonde)

Another track crying out for the open road, beer, and a bag of weed. This one comes barrelling down the road a whoopin’ and a hollerin’, wearing a shit-eatin’ grin and its anthemic heart firmly on its sleeve.

Download Vanish Valley – The Bottom mp3 (from Get Good)

Perfectly blending elements of folk, country and psychedelia into a roll-your-window-down backcountry cruise.

Download Kurt Vile & The Violators – The Creature mp3 (from So Outta Reach EP)

Another cracking slice of woozy, indie rock.

Download Ha Ha Tonka – Made Example Of mp3 (from Death Of A Decade)

Country rock par excellence.

Download Brown Bird – Thunder And Lightning mp3 (from Salt for Salt)

Darkly dramatic folk.

Download Acid Baby Jesus – Oh, Aurelia mp3

Full throttle, scuzzy garage rock.

Download Sic Alps – Breadhead mp3 (from Breadhead 7″)

A lo-fi, garage gem of tambourine, guitar squall and hippy vocals.

Download Icarus Himself – On Your Side mp3 (from Career Culture)

Built on a loop of a drum machine hi-hat and a fuzzed-out Casio synth and recalling artists like Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, and David Bowie.

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

Raw blues boogie, and song of the month for us!

Download Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler mp3 (from Carrion Crawler / The Dream)

Loose, rattly garage with sneering vocals and a sinewy riff.

Download The Soft Moon – Total Decay mp3 (from Total Decay EP)

Ominous, swirling, bleak and nihilistic.

Download Acid Glasses – My Pale Garden mp3 (from My Pale Garden 7″)

Tripped out psychedelia in an outlandlishly hallucinogenic world.

Download Wooden Wand – Nails And Spikes mp3 (from Archives Vol 3)

Another gem of lo-fi folk genius from the most underrated lyricist around.

Download The Skeleton Dead – Keep Your Eyes To The Ground mp3 (from The Skeleton Dead)

Pure, mesmerising folk melancholia.

Download Woodsman – Specdrum mp3 (from Mystic Places EP)

Another cut of sublime spacey, psychedelia from their forthcoming Mystic Places EP.

Download The Felice Brothers – Behind That Locked Door mp3 (from Mojo Tribute To George Harrison)

The ramshackle Americana of The Felice Brothers take on George Harrison. Win.

Download Real Estate – Green Aisles mp3 (from Days)

Spacious, fluid, psych-tinged pop from the new album.

Download Sick Figures – Whiskey Song mp3 (from Two Ghosts)

Military beat, chaotic sounds and chanted lyrics that calls to mind a nursery rhyme composed by Charles Bukowski at his most pissed (and pissed off).

Download A.A. Bondy – Surfer King mp3 (from Believers)

First cut from folk troubadour’s eagerly awaited new album.

Download Bleached – You Take Time mp3 (from Carter 7″)

Ultra-catchy garage goodness.

And the new ones: we have a taste from Giant Sand’s Chore of Enchantment anniversary reissue in the shape of Music Arcade (which originally appeared on the tour only CD The Rock Opera Years), an epic slice of alternative rock Aussie style from Eddy Current Suppression Ring, a new one from unusual Welsh folkie Cate Le Bon, and punk rock ‘supergroup’ Wild Flag’s single Romance.

Download Giant Sand – Music Arcade mp3 (from Chore Of Enchantment 25th Anniversary Edition)

Download Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Walking In Unison mp3 (from Walking In Unison)

Download Cate Le Bon – Puts Me To Work mp3 (from CYRK)

Download Wild Flag – Romance mp3 (from Romance single)

Vanish Valley Album Out Tomorrow. Vanish Valley release their new album Get Good tomorrow. Here is another track from it, the easy rolling, country singalong The Bottom.

Order the album here.

Download Vanish Valley – The Bottom mp3 (from Get Good)

Download Vanish Valley – Races mp3 (from Get Good)

New Album From Vanish Valley. We were big, big fans of Vanish Valley’s self-titled debut album (a lovely mix of rootsy folk and hazy country psychedelia) that we got hold of back in the summer of last year, so we were delighted to learn that the band have expanded in number and will release new album Get Good in September on the Hard Bark label.

Once again, perfectly blending elements of folk, country and psychedelic rock, the songs on Get Good ramble their way through hushed landscapes and into roll-your-window-down backcountry cruises. Try Races on for size – it is every bit as good as we’d hoped.

Pre-order the album here.

Download Vanish Valley – Races mp3 (from Get Good)

And if you missed these two gems from the debut record – grab them now.

Download Vanish Valley – Become The Night mp3 (from Vanish Valley)

Download Vanish Valley – Bad Things mp3 (from Vanish Valley)

Now that we’ve had the top tens from all the Mad Mackerel contributors, we will give you a definitive overall top ten in a couple of days. Before that is our penultimate top ten list of the year – the favourite new bands and artists that have come our way in 2010 which was perhaps the hardest list of all to compile.

So with honourable mentions to Gaoler’s Daughter, White Noise Movement, Pop. 1280, The Vaccines and White Dress, here we have our favourites. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of them all in 2011…

10. Pulled Apart By Horses (MySpace)

Pulled Apart By Horses play hard, and fast, and mean and remind us in a good way of the wonderful Mclusky. They also released one of our favourite singles of the year in Back to the Fuck Yeah and followed it up with a quite excellent debut album. Brutal, noisy, tongue in cheek, marvellous.

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Download Pulled Apart By Horses – I Punched A Lion In The Throat mp3 (from Pulled Apart By Horses)

9. Grass House (MySpace)

A favourite in the MM household ever since we first heard the ominous growl and heavy drums of A Cockroach from their Plough More Sky EP. They followed up with the equally good Ant Giant Ant release.

Download Grass House – A Cockroach mp3 (from Plough More Sky EP)

Download Grass House – Mind Can Walk ‘n’ Wall Can Stay mp3 (from Ant Giant Ant EP)

Download Grass House – Lazy Bones mp3 (from Ant Giant Ant EP)

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8. The Sunderbans (MySpace)

Offering the perfect blend of UK indie rock, The Sunderbans meld classic influences like the Cure, the Bunnymen and the Smiths into a modern, fresh sound that first captured our attention with the excellent Roadkill single. They’ve followed it up with a couple of excellent singles and we’re hoping for big things in 2011.

Download The Sunderbans – Road Kill mp3 (from Road Kill 7″)

Download The Sunderbans – Death Stalks The Forest mp3

Download The Sunderbans – We Only Can Because We Care mp3 (from We Only Can Because We Care 7″)

Download The Sunderbans – Saw You In The Dark Light mp3 (from Demos)

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7. Pancake Breakfast (MySpace)

Announcing themselves with the utterly infectious The Ballad of Maynard Noe, Pancake Breakfast served up an album of country songs and folk songs and rock songs – there are songs about truckers, songs about angry birds, songs about magic cards, and songs about unfortunate fish.

Download Pancake Breakfast – The Ballad Of Maynard Noe mp3 (from Pancake Breakfast)

Download Pancake Breakfast – Little Bird mp3 (from Pancake Breakfast)

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6. Vanish Valley (MySpace)

Vanish Valley hail from Los Angeles and offer a lovely mix of rootsy folk and hazy country psychedelia that has quality stamped all over it.

Download Vanish Valley – Become The Night mp3 (from Vanish Valley)

Download Vanish Valley – Bad Things mp3 (from Vanish Valley)

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5. The Migrant (MySpace)

With his blend of wonderful psych-folk and tall stories, The Migrant provided one of our favourite albums of the year with Travels In Lowland. Effortlessly drawing you in to a world of his own making, it was somewhere we were happy to come back to again and again.

Download The Migrant – The Organ Grinder mp3 (from Travels In Lowland)

Download The Migrant – In The Sun mp3 (from Travels In Lowland)

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4. Red Clay River (MySpace)

The songs on Red Clay River’s demo CD Cover Our Faces With Soot And Dreams take a trip through gypsy dances to somber drifting nights. Using string-band instrumentation mixed with creative percussion including an oil drum and bare walls, Red Clay River tell their stories with shadows and characters that slip through the pines and get lost in the night.

Download Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain mp3 (from Cover Our Faces With Soot And Dreams)

Download Red Clay River – Ain’t No Blues mp3 (from Cover Our Faces With Soot And Dreams)

3. The War Crimes (MySpace)

Describing themselves as wilfully uncommercial, it didn’t detract from the fact that this duo produced some of the most unsettling and lyrically vicious music we heard in 2010. They simultaneously conjure up the grey, suffocating monochrome of dreary Eastern European streets and the relentless, inexorable decline of our industrial heritage, of jobs lost and hopes evaporating. It is a mix that they seem to pull off brilliantly with each new track we hear.

Download The War Crimes – Enamour Me And Roll mp3

Download The War Crimes – Stillness Beckons mp3

Download The War Crimes – Levin As I mp3

Download The War Crimes – The Cost mp3

Download The War Crimes – Calling Time mp3

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2. Two Wounded Birds (MySpace)

A late gatecrasher to the top ten. Two Wounded Birds released their EP Keep Dreaming Baby towards the back-end of 2010 and still managed to get two of the five tracks into MM’s Top Ten series (Barry-Sean’s and Mrs Mackerel’s). It’s all menacing twang over a sultry, velveteen croon – Mrs M said they belong to a different era, where women had beehives and men wore hats and chain-smoked. Just fabulous.

Download Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol mp3 (from Keep Dreaming Baby EP)

1. Howling Owls (Myspace)

From the moment we heard Snake Charmer (No Money In The Bank), we knew Howling Owls were going to be MM faves. A brilliantly named and slightly mysterious three piece from Orlando that trade in the sort of sparse, sinister, dark-hearted folk that resides in the shadows, and all too easily suggests the flickering ghosts of the Everglade swamps. Ominous, baleful, and captivating.

Download Howling Owls – Snake Charmer (No Money In The Bank) mp3

Download Howling Owls – Family Tree mp3

Download Howling Owls – My World mp3

Download Howling Owls – Mood Ring mp3

Download Howling Owls – My Kinda Luck mp3

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.

Fifth in line is the indomitable lion of Hixet Wood…Mr Christy-Popper.

10. Local Natives – Airplanes  (Download here, Daytrotter Session)

The first big tune of the year for me, I sort of rediscovered this while compiling my top ten. A classic sing-a-long chorus shouldn’t, and doesn’t thankfully, overshadow the rest of the song, which is arranged perfectly.  All of it fits in so seamlessly – as comfy as an old pair of slippers (and responds very well to be playing loud after a night out). Is there any greater praise?

9. Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know (Download here)

As infectious as Rabies it bumbles along with a great hook and a kind of 70s’ feel. I imagine the lead singer looking like a young Lemmy without the warts. This is of course no bad thing. I can vaguely remember (through the smoke and wine) the sudden realization I loved this song. A real foot stamper, get me to that barn dance and put the Sheepdogs on!

8. Vanish Valley – Become The Night  (Download here)

This song seems to have an indefinable quality to it, not that I’ll let that stop me…I could mention the honey-laden chorus, Andrew McAllistair’s perfect vocal or the understated but utterly brilliant guitar. It just instinctively hits the spot like music does sometimes. Truly a sum of its parts.

There, I tried.

7. Wooden Wand – Ragtop Ruby

Ahhh, Wooden Wand. At nearly 6 minutes this is a rare ‘long’ song (my attention span isn’t great) but it still makes number 8. You have to adapt for a genius… From the start we know we’re in Wooden Wand territory. Lonesome guitar and his familiar drawl, along with the line of the year – “with just enough rope in his trunk to make you uneasy”. We’ve all been there I think, although my own personal memory is a man with a lump hammer on his dashboard when hitching a ride at 15 years old. But hey that’s another story.

6. Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do  (Download here)

True, it’s simple country… basic some would say (shame on them). And I say, so what. It’s a magical song, with all the right ingredients for a country classic. Strayfolk let the song do all the work, while I sit with drunken tears streaking my puffy face, asking where it all went so wrong. Don’t you just love songs that have no happy ending? If Kenneth Williams was here today he’s commit suicide all over again after hearing this… what’s the bloody point!

5. Tallest Man On Earth – King of Spain  (Download here)

Throughout 2010 I have never tired of listening to this song. Manic strummed guitar like a cracked out flamenco dancer it spins and twists whilst TMOE sings in ‘that’ voice. Despite my best efforts it never annoyed me, unlike so many others. The combination of the voice and guitar gives it a unique quality, the most distinctive sound of the year for me and well deserving of a top 5 place.

4. Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill  (Download here)

Mr Wand’s second entry is an absolute beauty. I am an Uncle. I think I may be a bit like Uncle Bill. I certainly hope so. I can remember as a small person sneaking in to my brother’s record collection, although I never picked ‘Heroin’ or ‘Cocaine’. That came later. I am genuinely in awe of WW, he is without doubt my man of the year (bollocks to Mr Facebook). It’s all so effortless, with lyrics that are poignant yet laced with the darkest humour. I make no apologies for picking out another of his brilliant lines (which always makes me wince/smile in silent acknowledgement) “I seen you when you think I ain’t looking son, you don’t need no help doing bad…”

3. What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge  (Download here, live version)

On first listen I loudly declared this would be my number 1 so it is with a heavy heart I place it third. And it’s a belter. I love the back and forth insults with that brutal guitar riff, frankly the best I’ve heard all year (at least it won something). A twisted Islands In The Stream for people like me. That’s cynical and sarcastic and exactly how I like it. Also what would Jesus drive..? My guess is a Hillman Avenger.

2. Common Prayer – Us Vs Them  (Download here)

This is my song okay. No one else is allowed to like it as much as I do. The change of key just before the first chorus… That’s just for me alright. I can only suggest Common Prayer got together and discussed how to get in my head before writing this masterpiece. I know that word is banded around lightly and I freely admit to doing it now. Who knows I’ll probably read this in June and think what the hell was I saying. But right now… well it’s a masterpiece with a tinkly piano and a snare drum to die for. Just remember it’s mine, all mine.

1. Avett Brothers – January Wedding

This is indisputably the best song of the year. I wouldn’t be so short sighted as to accuse my fellow Mackerel scribes of being wrong, but… you know, they are. I got married in June, what a clutz! If I had my time again I would obviously have gone for January, then I would have made 18 months instead of the frankly disappointing 14. By the end of the song I find myself genuinely hoping they live happily ever after. This is the complete opposite to how I usually feel, so just for that it’s unique. A beguiling song, complete with Audrey Hepburn name check and the laid back tempo of a country classic. Perfect.

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Bubbling Under – 5 that just didn’t make it…

5. Elf PowerStranger In The Window

4. Fist FamSF Bay

3. Nathaniel Rateliff – Brakeman

2. Vitamin SeesIlluminati Mind Control

1. Tapes ‘n’ TapesFreak Out

Best Songs first heard this year, but not 2010

3. Wilco – Handshake Drugs

2. Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey

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

Guilty Pleasure

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Lets Go Fucking Mental

Here we are again. A round up of our favourite postings of the month. Twenty one outstanding songs from July plus three new ones to make the perfect mix tape. From folk to garage to stoner rock and summer pop it is all here for you. Download, burn to CD, play – groove!

1) Sharon Van Etten – Love More mp3

A slow burning, mesmerising song that envelops like a soft blanket with that always captivating and haunting voice to the fore

2) Roadside Graves – Everything mp3

Another absolute gem of ramshackle, atmospheric country rock

3) Bombay Bicycle Club – Jewel mp3

Acoustic folk standout from classy new album

4) Vanish Valley – Bad Things mp3

Short, mournful folky lament about being used by the Devil as “the sun slips down the ceiling“.

5) Best Coast – Boyfriend mp3

More 60s inspired lo-fi pop goodness from flavour of the month…

6) Dax Riggs – No One Will Be A Stranger mp3

Scuzzy, hypnotic blend of swamp rock with buzzsaw guitars and a healthy dose of psychedelia

7) Javi Garcia & The Cold Cold Ground – The Pills mp3

A mix of gothic country, bitter folk, full on righteous, reverb heavy southern rock, and straight-up country. All with ominous, brooding fiddle

8) Big Blood – Lay Your Head On The Rails II mp3

Comes across like an outtake from Rust Never Sleeps – feedback buzz and a big fat riff powers from the speakers while the reedy, but determinedly unbreakable vocals fight to the finish to make themselves heard

9) Ten Kens – Screaming Viking mp3

Heavenly vocals appear hauntingly over dark sludgy guitars with a surprisingly spiky post-punk riff

10) Lower Dens – Hospice Gates mp3

Weirdly beautiful, it is throbbing, insistent drone-pop on the one hand and haunting, ghostly freak-folk on the other

11) Rare Grooves – Cause For Concern mp3

Hybrid of anthemic chanting, finger-picked twang, and sometimes experimental sounding guitar

12) Fungi Girls – Doldrums mp3

A shuffling groove and dynamic hook – three minutes of pure joyful escapism that tips its hat to Bo Diddley by way of the Jesus & Mary Chain.

13) Secret Colours – Jellybean mp3

Psych-pop with warm, hazy guitars and vocals to match. Evocative of lava lamps, kaleidoscopic displays and some heavy weed man.

14) The Bees – Silver Line mp3

A little summer breeze of a taster, trademark harmonies and the sunshine are there in equal measure to put a smile on your face

15) Bridal Party – Made Me mp3

A freak folk extravaganza, a heady concoction of pulsing rhythms, drone and echoing, downtrodden vocals

16) Screaming Females – I Don’t Mind It mp3

Grungy, distorted and catchy as hell

17) Ghost Animal – In Shrouds mp3

Frantic, but eerie, slice of garage psychedelia that is fuzzy, distorted and deliciously sleazy.

18) The War Crimes – Levin As I mp3

More down-tempo, minimalist pessimism from MM faves

19) Black Mountain – Hair Song mp3

Classic rock. Enough said.

20) Moulettes – Talisman mp3

Avant-garde folk with strands of classical, gypsy, jazz, and rock that create a complex yet accessible whole.

21) Minks – Ophelia mp3

Reflective, 80s tinged dream pop

And three more corking new ones. Enjoy the jangly, indie pop perfection of French Films and the breezy summer pop of The Knocks and then immerse yourself in rock ‘n’ roll’s sleazy underbelly that is Nick Cave’s brilliant Grinderman.

Download Grinderman – Heathen Child mp3 (from Heathen Child 7″)

Download The Knocks – Make It Better mp3 (from Make It Better 7″)

Download French Films – Golden Sea mp3 (from Golden Sea 7″)

Vanish Valley hail from Los Angeles and offer a lovely mix of rootsy folk and hazy country psychedelia that has quality stamped all over it. Their MySpace page says they have a (presumably) self-titled album due out later this month on the 27th.

The two tracks we’ve heard are destined to become regulars on the MM playlist. Become The Night chugs along on the back of sparse, but utterly effective percussion with a plaintive vocal that is reminiscent of Mark Everett fronting Murder By Death. By contrast Bad Things is a short, mournful lament over being used by the Devil as “the sun slips down the ceiling“.

Both wonderful tracks and we look forward to tracking down the album in three weeks time.

Download Vanish Valley – Become The Night mp3 (from Vanish Valley)

Download Vanish Valley – Bad Things mp3 (from Vanish Valley)