Posts Tagged ‘Violet May’

New Music Round Up

It is getting to that time when we’re feeling like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland – so many tunes to share, so little time! So at the risk of doing somewhat of a disservice in terms of the prose to describe these, here are a collection of tunes that have landed in our in-box or mailbox and that really deserve some ear-time from you.

Kicking us off, Sydney’s Liam Gale & The Ponytails are an eight-piece collective blending blues, folk and elements of psychedelic rock. Try Antipodean Honour, which walks a strange line between old country and early 70s rock.


Chad Kichula is a singer-songwriter and the title track from his forthcoming new album The Whale’s Back (available Sept 10) is a shambling, ragged ditty, with dueling electric guitar, harmonica, and upbeat spirit lifting the track far above standard, melancholy alt-country fare.


The debut single from London trio Polterghost is Beast, a guitar driven garage rocker with more than a nod to the heavy metal heroes of yesteryear.


Chastity Belt have featured on MM recently and they are now sharing their single Black Sail from forhcoming long-player No Regerts (not a spelling error we promise), and it is another gem of quirky, indie rock carried along on the back of a great vocal.


Shoegazers Tape Deck Mountain’s sophomore album Sway will be released on the 1st October. Check out the MBV comparisons for yourself with the first two tracks from the record.


California’s noisiest surf-punks Cosmonauts are streaming the lead track, Shaker, from imminent new album Persona Non Grata. It is a triumph of feedback, chaos, and drone-pop!


Cloud are the latest signings to the wonderful Audio Anti-hero and as might be expected it is a off kilter mix of shimmering psychedelia and off-kilter bedroom pop. Check out Mother Sea, a free taster from the album Comfort Songs.


The Violet May return with their new EP release Strange Lives on August 19th. We have a couple of tracks for you – the barbed guitar hooks of opener Letters Of Love and punk-edged closer Long Fall.


The Oyster Murders are another band to have regularly featured on MM in the past and they are back with a new single Disaster Flower Bloom. It is typically disquieting and moody with some brooding synths and eerie vocals.


King of Cats is sometimes just Max Levy and is sometimes Max Levy and his all-star backing band. Either way, shrill and sweet vocals flicker from a scream to a whisper in a second, while distortion and guitar freak-outs give way to lyrics that are equal parts funny, surreal, pissed off and downright sad. Bright Lightbulbs come from a split single release with Ides, who is in fact the Joanna Gruesome / A Grave With No Name vocalist Alanna McArdle.


Hex Maneuvers is the fourth single from Feels Weird, the debut album from Boston indie-pop trio, Bent Shapes. It is as caustic and sharp-tongued as you could wish for…


A Mad Affair is an acoustic trio out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who offer a warm, and poetic experience of classic backporch Americana melding elements of blugrass, folk, pop, jazz and country into a sweetly melodic whole.


Melbourne’s Magic Bones new single Fire Song is a blisteringly raw, driving, 70s rock duet with a knowing nod to new wave punk and 60s garage thrown in for good measure.


The Holy Orders have just released their debut album For the Ears of Dogs to Come, and Paper/Scissors/Stone is a pretty good introduction to their brand of energetic, sweeping indie rock. One to play loud.


Lastly Americana trio The RhineTones have released their new EP Over The Hills. Take a listen to the rather good title track.


Mad Mackerel's Best of 2011.Our sixth guest top ten comes courtesy of our very own Chris T Popper, a small but perfectly formed (and often irritating) younger sibling who has been stealing my records since he had invisible friends as a small child.

Chris T Popper’s Top 10

10. Little Barrie – Tip It Over

The Nottingham trio start off my top 10 with the fabulous Tip It Over. Heavy guitar providing a great riff coupled with a momentum that creeps up on you. There’s some storming guitar solos too that never get self indulgent, which is quite an achievement in itself. The album was produced by Edwyn Collins who’s very name could send an old flat mate of mine in to a frothing rage. Merely humming A Girl Like You in his company could send him puce coloured. Which is why I did it. A lot.


9. Wye Oak – Civillian

Jenn Wasner’s eerie vocals are a revelation to me – she has a wonderful delivery and a quality I can’t quite put my finger on. That keeps me interested alone. The song’s pace is something to admire too, keeps you right on the edge until a second half that is nothing short of epic. Great fuzzy guitar reverb (Velvet by Big Pink was a former number one of mine so you can tell I like a bit of feedback…) and that pounding drum just beats you in to submission.

Download Wye Oak – Civilian mp3 (from Civilian)

8. Young The Giant – My Body

Chiming guitars with a sing along chorus… anthemic you could say.

These words would usually have me running for the hills. Not this time, no sir. In fact I metaphorically run with arms wide open towards Young The Giant ready to embrace them. Why? Because sometimes you need to give in, admit defeat and just sit back and enjoy. Is it Simple Minds and Matt Cardle’s bastard love child? If that’s the case then two wrongs did make a right.

Download Young The Giant – My Body mp3 (from Young The Giant)

7. Smith Westerns – All Die Young

Heard this one really late. but it still forced its way in to my affections. Unlike Young The Giant this ticks all my traditional boxes. Has a lazy blissed out vibe, like it’s been down a coffee shop in Amsterdam for a while before rocking up red eyed to eat all your biscuits. Also feels a bit 70s which frankly I like, happens to be my favourite decade for lots of things – Punk, The Wicker Man, the 3 day week… And it has a wonderful Hammond organesque start, which I always enjoy.

Download The Smith Westerns – All Die Young mp3 (from Dye It Blonde)

6. Natural Child – Hard Workin Man

The guitar riff alone is addictive, enough to make you realise how great it must be to be able to play it. I wish I could. I have a ukulele and a games console guitar in the cupboard so I’ll move on. The room can sometimes fill with a faint smell of bourbon and sweat when this gets played and always has me reaching for a beer. Not good when listened to in the car… I keep the cans in the back and it’s dangerous reaching over when negotiating oncoming traffic.

Download Natural Child – Hard Workin Man mp3 (from 1971)

5. Timber Timbre – Bad Ritual

The sheer originality of this song, in harness with the hypnotic beat that plods mercilessly in to your brain, has got me. I give in. It’s a bad ritual, but it calms me down. Another latecomer that gate crashed the top ten, this wonderfully dark offering always makes me stop what I’m doing (which to be fair isn’t usually a lot) and listen. There is always room for an air of menace in my top ten.


4. Dennis Hopper Choppers – Good To Me

Mariachi horns, violins, trumpets galore – what is there not to like? A magnificent vocal from Ben Nicholl sends the whole piece off to soar in to that vast Americana sky (pretentious, moi?). An instant hit with me – and everyone I’ve ever played it to… which is quite a lot of people. In a parallel Earth somewhere this is the year’s biggest seller.


3. Country Mice – Morning Son

There’s something strangely comforting about this song. I genuinely love country music… and when it’s done so perfectly I could listen to it on loop. Has a melancholic beauty which can send me a bit dewy eyed.

Which is exactly what I’m after quite frankly.

Download Country Mice – Morning Son mp3 (from Twister)

2. Toby Burke – Cantina Crawl

Lyrically this is a tour de force. I won’t repeat my favourites here because there’s too many. Although ‘dead as a rat’ and ‘smoked like a borrowed car’ might just get a mention. Toby Burke is also a writer so it comes as no surprise he’s so skilled with words. I just need to get hold of one of his books now because if there anything like this I’ve found my new favourite author.

Download Toby Burke – Cantina Crawl mp3 (from Mexico City)

1. Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano

Not only song of the year it’s my favourite song for… well ages. Sometimes something comes along that sounds pretty close to perfect. I am in absolute awe of Darren Hayman, it’s quite simply a work of genius. Lyrically it bobs along on the back of that piano playing in the background, Hayman delivering each line so perfectly. I guess it can be instinctive when a song gets to your heart – your absolute favourite place, and that’s The Ship’s Piano. From about the third listen I knew I had found something I will always love listening to. And considering how many times I’ve played it the last three months that’s quite a relief…

Download Darren Hayman – The Ship’s Piano mp3 (from The Ship’s Piano)

Bubbling Under – 5 that came so close…

Monument Valley – Dear John Letters

Danny Brown – Die Like A Rockstar

Roadside Graves – Double Feature

Violet May – What You Say


Vacant Fever – Heavy Leather

Best Song Heard But Not This Year:

White Buffalo – Black & Blue

Song That Was In My Top 10 All Year Until I Realised It Was 2010:

Al Lover & Gus Cutty – Part Of The Game

Download Al Lover & Gus Cutty – Part Of The Game mp3 (from Part Of The Game / All Mine Single)

Best Cover:

Siskiyou – Revolution Blues

Guilty Pleasure: 

The Dirtbombs – Shari Vari

Download The Dirtbombs – Shari Vari mp3 (from Party Store)

Introducing…The Violet May

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Rock

The Violet May’s frontman Chris McClure is the chap pictured on the Arctic Monkey’s debut album. He is also the brother of Jon McClure of Reverend & The Makers.

Some pedigree then…the Sheffield band formed in early 2009 and self-released their debut, Bright Or Better as a limited edition single in 2010.

Now having just returned from a German tour with The Chapman Family, they have been in the studio finishing recording their debut EP ready to release in June.

We have What You Say for your consideration – with echoes of Kasabian or Detroit Social Club, it is a promising debut of catchy, powerful, indie rock with a classic stoner-riff. Nice.

Have a listen.

Download The Violet May – What You Say mp3

Introducing…The Violet May

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Rock

You might not know it yet but you already know The Violet May’s lead singer Chris McClure. He was the iconic dishevelled figure on the front cover of the massive selling debut Arctic Monkeys album, Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and also the brother of John McClure of Reverend & The Makers. Now fronting his own band The Violet May, he looks set to become an icon in his own right.

The band were touted by The Guardian at the start of the year as one of the “15 acts to watch in 2010”, they burst onto the scene with their blistering debut single Bright Or Better in late May 2010; an urgent, high-octane statement of intent, marrying Queens of The Stone Age-esque guitars with the wry lyrical delivery of vocalist McClure.

The brilliant new single Jennifer Lies takes the high energy that has earned the band a reputation for a wild live show and puts this onto record. Have a listen and see what you think – we’re loving it.


Visit their MySpace here where you can also grab a free download of their track Teen Queen.

You can get their previous single via eMusic here.