M&T Best Songs of 2017

We've compiled a playlist of the 75 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 10 below. Make sure to subscribe Read More

M&T Best Albums of 2017

The moment you've all been waiting for...our favorite albums of 2017. We've compiled a list of the 40 best albums of the year and highlighted a Read More

January 2018 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Welcome to 2018. Hopefully we never hear the words 'bomb cyclone' ever again after this far-from-temperate January day here in NYC. To keep you Read More

January Spotify Playlist of the Month

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M&T January 2016 Spotify Playlist

The holidays are over, all of the best-of-2015 lists are out, the fireworks have been shot off, and the doors have shut on another year. 2015 you were great, but it’s time to dive into 2016. Our first playlist of the new year features new tunes from New York natives Frankie Cosmos and Adrian Daniel along with M&T favorites like Saintseneca, Miike Snow, and more.

Check out all those artists and more on the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

M&T Best of 2015

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M&T Best of 2015

That’s it folks, 2015 is a wrap. We’re off to Brooklyn Bowl to catch our old pals Deer Tick tonight, but before we go we’ll leave you with a few quick links to check out all of our favorites from the year that was. Thanks for a 2015 filled to the brim with music, see you on the other side.

Top 10 EPs of 2015

Top 50 Songs of 2015

Top 40 Albums of 2015

M&T Best Albums of 2015

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M&T Best Albums of 2015

We’ve compiled our 40 favorite albums from 2015 and you can check out the full list below and take a listen to each album via Spotify. We’re such nice people that we also put together a playlist featuring one song from each album, which you can check out on Spotify by clicking the link below. See you all in 2016 for more good jams and good times.

Full Spotify Playlist

40. EL VY- Return To The Moon

39. Amason- Sky City

38. Deerhunter- Fading Frontier

37. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit

36. Here We Go Magic- Be Small

35. Darlingside- Birds Say

34. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly

33. Tame Impala- Currents

32. Ratatat- Magnifique

31. Mini Mansions- The Great Pretenders

30. Action Bronson- Mr. Wonderful

29. Bad Bad Hats- Psychic Reader

28. Rah Rah- Vessels

27. Only Real- Jerk At The End Of The Line

26. Rayland Baxter- Imaginary Man

25. The Vaccines- English Graffiti

24. Modest Mouse- Strangers To Ourselves

23. Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color

22. The Decemberists- What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

21. Lady Lamb- After

20. Toro y Moi- What For?

19. Grimes- Art Angels


17. Father John Misty- I Love You, Honeybear

16. Sun Club- The Dongo Durango

15. Desaparecidos- Payola

14. Born Ruffians- RUFF

13. Bully- Feels Like

12. The Cribs- For All My Sisters

11. Saintseneca- Such Things

10. The Ballroom Thieves- A Wolf In The Doorway

As we mentioned in our Best Songs of 2015 post yesterday, A Wolf In The Doorway was well worth the wait. Unlike many people I still listen to CDs in my car and I can safely say that this one never left the #1 slot in the CD changer all year.

Essential Tracks: “Archers”, “Lantern”, “Oars To The Sea”, “Wolf”

9. The Arcs- Yours, Dreamily,

I wish The Black Keys could still be this cool. Or maybe Richard Swift could just join The Black Keys and make them cool again. Either way it’s great to see Dan Auerbach putting out an incredible record again.

Essential Tracks: “Put a Flower in Your Pocket”, “Stay In My Corner”, “Chains of Love”

8. Wilco- Star Wars

If you read this blog you know it’s not surprising that Wilco’s surprise album made its way into our top 10. And if you were lucky enough to catch Wilco on tour this summer you probably heard this album performed live in its glorious entirety.

Essential Tracks: “More…”, “Where To Do I Begin”, “Random Name Generator”

7. Built To Spill- Untethered Moon

Question: Has Doug Martsch ever made a bad album? Answer: No.

Doug and co. return to vintage BTS form with Untethered Moon and prove they can still hang with all the young guns in the world of guitar rock.

Essential Tracks: “So”, “Living Zoo”, “Never Be The Same”

6. Houndmouth- Little Neon Limelight

Houndmouth is 2-for-2 in releasing nearly perfect albums. No pressure for album #3 guys.

Essential Tracks: “For No One”, “Black Gold”, “Say It”, “Honey Slider”

5. The Districts- A Flourish And A Spoil

They own our top song of 2015, and with A Flourish And A Spoil, The Districts prove they’re no one-trick pony.

Essential Tracks: “Young Blood”, “Hounds”, “4th and Roebling”, “Peaches”

4. Sufjan Stevens- Carrie & Lowell

What can we say about Stevens’ masterpiece that hasn’t already been said? At this point you’ve probably read a billion and one interviews with Stevens about the content covered on the record, but if you haven’t read this Pitchfork interview with Lowell himself then definitely take a few minutes to understand this work of art from his perspective.

Essential Tracks: “Should Have Known Better”, “Fourth of July”, “All of Me Wants All of You”, “John My Beloved”

3. Hey Rosetta!- Second Sight

One of the best indie bands to descend from the Great White North in the past 10 years, Hey Rosetta’s Second Sight is certainly their best effort to date and one that’s more than worthy of a spot in our top 3 albums of 2015.

Essential Tracks: “Soft Offering (For The Oft Suffering)”, “Neon Beyond”, “Kintsukori”, “Promise”

2. Hop Along- Painted Shut

Hop Along’s 2012 release Get Disowned flew under the radar a bit (not on our watch though), but in 2015 everybody was watching (and listening) after they dropped Painted Shut and deservedly so.

Essential Tracks: “The Knock”, “Well-dressed”, “Waitress”, “Powerful Man”

1. My Morning Jacket- The Waterfall

The greatest live band of our generation (said it, sue me) has broken through to critical acclaim with their recorded material once again in 2015. The Waterfall is one of those records where I wish I could capture and bottle up the feelings of wonderment, awe, and excitement I experienced the first time I listened to it, even though those feelings have barely waned with subsequent listens. It’s safe to say that The Waterfall is My Morning Jacket’s best since 2005’s Z and is an album that we’re sure will stand the test of time as well.

Essential Tracks: “Spring (Among The Living)”, “Tropics (Erase Traces)” “Compound Fracture”

M&T Best Songs of 2015

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M&T Best Songs of 2015

To say 2015 was an incredible year for music would be an understatement. That means sifting and sorting through hundreds of tracks to choose the “best” songs from the year was quite the tall task. In the end we settled on 50 tracks, though we easily could have created a list double or triple that size with tunes that were just as good as those included below. Take a look at the full list and make sure to subscribe to our Spotify playlist of this year’s top tracks using the link below.

Full Spotify Playlist

50. Wolf Alice- “Your Loves Whore”

49. Natalie Prass- “My Baby Don’t Understand Me”

48. Lady Lamb- “Penny Licks”

47. Diet Cig- “Sleep Talk”

46. Long Time- “Victory March”

45. Tunde Olaniran- “Namesake”

44. Gallant- “Weight In Gold”

43. Miike Snow- “Heart Is Full”

42. Trails and Ways- “Skeletons”

41. Sjowgren- “Seventeen”

40. My Morning Jacket- “Spring (Among The Living)”

39. DILLY DALLY- “Desire”

38. Sun Club- “Tropicoller Lease”

37. EL VY- “Return To The Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)”

36. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats- “S.O.B.”

35. Only Real- “Backseat Kissers”

34. The Tallest Man On Earth- “Timothy”

33. Sam Cohen- “Let The Mountain Come To You”

32. Wilco- “Where Do I Begin”

31. Weezer- “Do You Wanna Get High?”

30. Foals- “Mountain At My Gates”

29. Ratatat- “Cream On Chrome”

28. The Arcs- “Put A Flower In Your Pocket”

27. Sufjan Stevens- “Should Have Known Better”

26. Saintseneca- “River”

25. The Cribs- “Different Angle”

24. The Vaccines- “Denial”

23. Bully- “Trying”

22. Desaparecidos- “City on the Hill”

21. Built to Spill- “So”

20. The Decemberists- “A Beginning Song”

Not only is it a damn good road trip song, it’s just a damn good song period.

19. Titus Andronicus- “Fatal Flaw”

A full-on romp of a jam with a singalong chorus makes it the standout track from TA’s 90 minute opus The Most Lamentable Tragedy.

18. The Ballroom Thieves- “Lantern”

We’ve been following this Boston trio nearly from the very beginning and after years of waiting we can safely say that their debut LP surpassed any and all expectations. It was tough to choose just one track to include, but it in the end it always came back to “Lantern.”

17. Hop Along- “Well-dressed”

Again, tough to pick just one here, but “Well-dressed” takes the cake for the most intriguing offering from Frances Quinlan and co.

16. Houndmouth- “For No One”

This time around Houndmouth’s true winner of a track wasn’t when they pushed the foot-stomping into overdrive, it was when they peeled back all the layers and got down to the basics.

15. Billington Sea- “Goodbye Old Friend”

Folk songwriting at its finest.

14. Level & Tyson- “Tied Up”

Hopefully this year’s Gruesome Twosome isn’t the last we hear from these Norwegian indie darlings.

13. Toro y Moi- “Empty Nesters”

Chazwick Bundick strikes again. This time with more guitars.

12. Hey Rosetta!- “Neon Beyond”

Dare we say the best Canadian indie band of 2015?

11. Here We Go Magic- “Ordinary Feeling”

A criminally underrated band and a criminally underrated jam.

10. Born Ruffians- “When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away”

“I feel like it’s nice to think the world falls apart when I go to sleep. Then I like to think the world comes together the second I wake.”

If we had a list for best lyrics of the year this one might be near the top.

9. Tame Impala- “‘Cause I’m A Man”

Didn’t think it was possible to have a song stuck in my head for a whole summer until I heard this one.

8. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone”

Instead of looking at your Instagram every two seconds, dance to this jam instead. It’s much healthier for you.

7. My Morning Jacket- “Tropics (Erase Traces)”

That guitar solo though…

6. Hot Chip- “Huarache Lights”

I don’t know who, where, or what Huarache is, but I’m glad it existed to inspire this oh so danceable jam.

5. Diet Cig- “Harvard”

Another challenger for best lyrics of the year.

4. Animal Flag- “Cathedrals”

Savor every second of this 10+ minute epic because you’re going to wish it was longer as soon as it ends.

3. Iron & Wine + Ben Bridwell- “Coyote”

Somehow this collaborative track is a cover of this song. I don’t know what Sam Beam and Ben Bridwell were on when they re-arranged this one, but I want some of whatever it was asap.

2. Alabama Shakes- “Gimme All Your Love”

The lyrics, the power of Brittany Howard’s voice, the guitar tone in Heath Fogg’s solo, all of it is just perfect.

1. The Districts- “Young Blood”

Holy guitars Batman. Don’t be scared off by this track’s nearly 9 minute long runtime, because much like Animal Flag’s “Cathedrals,” you’ll want to run this one back as soon as it ends. Often albums released near the beginning of the year are forgotten when it comes to best of lists, but A Flourish and a Spoil and this track especially, stood the test of time. Do yourself a favor and go see this band live whenever you can because 1) This song is even more epic in concert 2) They’re going to start selling out theatres before you know it and 3) Because I said so. Shouldn’t that be reason enough?

M&T Best EPs of 2015

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M&T Best EPs of 2015

2015 is nearly over, but we’ve still got a few more days to share our favorites from the year that was. This year we’re kicking things off with our favorite EPs from the last 12 months. Some may argue that EPs should be lumped in with albums when it comes to end-of-year lists, but we like to do things the logical way here at M&T so we’ll be comparing apples to apples and keeping the oranges separate. Check out the list below and subscribe to a playlist of one track from each EP here.

10. Baba Sonya- How To Land A Hot Air Balloon

Quite a fine debut from this New York based duo and we’re certainly excited to hear what’s next.

9. Zuli- Supernatural Voodoo

Yet another fine debut from another fine New York based band.

8. Eryn Allen Kane- Aviary: Act 1

No doubt a superstar in the making.

7. Mates of State- You’re Going To Make It

After a four-year absence they’re back and better than ever.

6. Hamilton Leithauser + Paul Maroon- I Could Have Sworn

Former bandmates reunite for five splendid tracks that make you wish The Walkmen never broke up in the first place.

5. Stars- Lost & Found

The Toronto group follow up their acclaimed 2014 LP with a short, yet oh so sweet, set of three nostalgic tracks that are better than any other b-side album leftovers we’ve heard in quite some time.

4. Diet Cig- Over Easy

If you missed this one you were probably living under a rock for all of 2015, and we’re sure the firecracker that is Alex Luciano will be everywhere in 2016 too.

3. Tall Heights- Back To Autumn

We’d be lying if we said we weren’t feeling like a proud uncle after seeing this one skyrocket up over 1 million plays on Spotify.

2. Billington Sea- Billington Sea

Not only are this duo of Jake Hill and Hayley Sabella some of our favorite people around, they also made some of our favorite tunes from 2015.

1. Animal Flag- EP 2

We’re loving this revival of emo and post-rock that has taken over in 2015 and you better like it too because this Boston based group led by Matt Politoski will be huge in 2016 and beyond. You heard it here first.

December Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month December 2015

It’s December which means this is our final monthly playlist of 2015, which also means the iconic Christmas pigs have returned. In order to go out with a bang we’ve got the best of the best of new music for all of you lovely readers. This month’s playlist features freshies from M&T mainstays such as Dr. Dog, Weezer, and Hey Marseilles along with some Boston favorites like Animal Flag and Amy & The Engine.

Check out all those artists and more on the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month in 2016!

November Spotify Playlist of the Month

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M&T Spotify Playlist of the Month November 2015

This month’s playlist features M&T favorites like Rah Rah, David Wax Museum, and French Horn Rebellion along with Boston and Brooklyn locals like Long Time, Tall Heights, Photocomfort, Big Eater, and Pavo Pavo, not to mention the epic comebacks of ELO and Bloc Party.

Check out all those artists and more on the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Win Tickets to Born Ruffians at The Sinclair 10/29/2015

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Born Ruffians at The Sinlcair

When Born Ruffians released their fourth full-length album, Ruff, earlier this month I was quickly reminded that their fabulous debut, Red, Yellow & Blue, was released over seven years ago. Oh how time flies when you’re making great music. The Canadian indie rockers have come a long way since their days performing in a Brooklyn club on Skins, but one thing hasn’t changed and that’s the band’s infectious energy. On Ruff songs like “Stupid Dream” and “We Made It” carry a similar torch to previous hits like “Needle” and “Hummingbird” while “When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away” is an immediate Ruffians classic and a contender for song of the year in my book.

This week the Ruffians bring Ruff and the rest of their lively stage show to the Sinclair on Thursday October 29 and we’re giving away a pair of tickets. All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is sign up for the M&T newsletter at the link below and we’ll pick one lucky winner on Wednesday. Until then enjoy some new Ruffians and get in the dancing mood for Thursday.

 Enter To Win Tickets

October Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month October 2015

It’s October which means everyone you loathe and despise in the world will be sharing apple picking, pumpkin spice latte filled photos all over your social media feeds, but have no fear we’ve got 40 new jams to take your mind off of your friends’ cringeworthy online behavior.

This month we’ve got freshies from Gardens & Villa, Swimm, Teen Daze, David Berkeley, Level & Tyson (our new favorite Scandinavian pop band), Stars (who put on one of the best shows of the year last week in Williamsburg), and many many more.

Check out all those artists and more on the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Gregory Alan Isakov: The Forefront of the Singer-Songwiter Movement

Posted on by Ryan Schmitz in M&T Favorites | 2 Comments

Photo curtesy of gregoryalanisakov.com

Beacon Theatre is an awfully big place for just a guy and his guitar to keep entertained.  But on September 24th, that is exactly what Gregory Alan Isakov was tasked to do.  The singer-songwriter has taken the road on his own these days, while occasionally grouping back up with his band, like last weekend at Boston Calling.

A few days before his show I got a chance to catch up with Isakov and talk about his influences, the tour, and some future plans.  Originally from Pennsylvania, now relocated to Colorado, Isakov’s influences are from all over the musical map.  “Originally I wanted to sound like Pearl Jam,” he says, when asked where his particular brand of music came from.  “But I feel like everyone goes through a phase where they want to sound like them.”  While Gregory and his band may not sound exactly like Pearl Jam, their catalog has found its own niche in the current indie music world.  With almost 10 years of music under their belt, this group has mastered a very particular sound that is extremely difficult to pin down.

One of the things that sets Isakov apart, is his songwriting abilities.  There is a very genuine feel to his lyrics, with songs like “Master and a Hound” or “Second Chances,” the listener is given a window into the world of the singer.  In regards to “Master and a Hound,” he said that “there is a lot of longing in that song, it’s about wanting to be in two places at the same time.”  Longing is probably a word I would use most often when trying to summarize a mood in his music.  There is always a strong emotional aspect to his songs, a sort of feeling that you may not be able to come up with right away but you can tell is there.  The power in the music is undeniably palpable and something that has not come easy.

“I’ve always written songs and thrown away more than I keep and once in a while I get lucky.  I really look up to Springsteen and Leonard Cohen, I hear them and think everything that comes out of them is genius, but no one sees their trashcan.  If the song doesn’t make me feel anything, that goes back into the scrap pile.”  That patience is the key to the consistency that his listeners get when they see his show or throw on his record.  It’s not about quantity it is all about quality.

Nowadays Isakov is mostly listening to the people he plays with.  At his shows he will always introduce his band members as his best friends, all of whom have their own music that they are creating in one way or another.  The group has two albums that are in the works, one being a live recording with the Colorado Symphony that should be out this December.

For anyone who is on the fence about seeing one of their shows for whatever reason, they are a must see.  Out of all the concerts I have been to in my life I don’t think I have ever come across a band that connects with the audience on such a personal level.  One of the most poignant examples of this is something Isakov has lovingly dubbed “the nerdy folk moment.”  Inspired by the frustration with amplifiers and microphones, at some point during the show, if the venue is the right size, the group will unplug all of their instruments, walk to the front of the stage away from the mics and just play out to the audience.  With nothing between us and the group, there is a tangible connection that one rarely finds in concert halls these days.  “There’s all these things between the songs and the audience that can get in the way, when we just say fuck it and unplug then we can at least connect in a real way.”  The intimacy that something like that provides speaks volumes to the kind of artists that these guys really are.  When they play a show they want the audience to connect to the music as much as possible, and this is one of the most effective methods I’ve ever seen to accomplish that.

Luckily for you all some hero has posted a video of them playing “Saint Valentine” during just such a moment.  Here you go, enjoy.