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

Best of 2011

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #9

Posted on by doucebox in Best of 2011 | Leave a comment

#9. Dawes- “Fire Away”

“Fire Away” starts off as a nice, soft folk tune, and just when you think it’s about to end, oh that’s when we get to the good stuff. It starts with the push of the kick drum, then the call and answer vocals from the Goldsmith brothers, “When you need someone to walk away from/When you need someone to let you in/Through each stumble, shift and sway.”

At that point even Jackson Browne, yes that Jackson Browne gets involved. Add in a shredding guitar solo from lead man Taylor Goldsmith and you got yourself a Top 10 song of the year. If you’ve seen Dawes live you know that the elder Goldsmith brings out his best Springsteen swagger on this one and I’m sure that Browne knows a thing or two about that.

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #10

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#10. Aunt Martha- “Bloodshot”

After the votes were tallied from the M&T crew on our favorite songs and records of 2011 there were a few of us who were very excited to see that this track ended up in the top 10, right where it should be. “Bloodshot” comes off of Aunt Martha’s EP of the same name and if we had done a Best EPs of 2011 list like our friends at Visible Voice, Bloodshot EP definitely would have made the cut.

At the surface the song is a simple folk ballad, but at its core are the smart and endearing lyrics that make Aunt Martha so easy to sing along to– “They tell me a man is just the sum of his parts/Well I’m body and blood and a terrible heart/And it all adds up to every different person I’ve been.”

In the song’s chorus the theme of longing emerges, a theme that is quite familiar in Aunt Martha lead singer/songwriter Tim Noyes’ music. After listening to Aunt Martha’s most recent release, Norway, ME, where unrequited love is ever so prevalent, I almost want to track down Noyes’ former lovers and give them a stern talking-to for breaking his heart.

The vengeance for a jilted lover is neither here nor there, but what is important in the context of this countdown is that “Bloodshot” is a finely crafted song and Aunt Martha is a band you need to keep your eyes and ears on in 2012.

M&T Best Albums of 2011: #10

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2011 | Leave a comment

#10. Radiohead- The King of Limbs

The critics may say that The King of Limbs is not Radiohead’s best work and even more to that point, these same people say that Radiohead is only making all of the end of year lists because of the mystique that has built up around their music over the years.

I’m not going to argue with that…I’m right there with all those naysayers, but why aren’t those characteristics all the more reason to have them in your “Best of” list?

The fact that Radiohead has stayed relavant for 20 years is a triumph that should warrant this designation all on its own. I don’t mean relevant in that they still get invited to play on Saturday Night Live, but relevant in a way that they are still pushing the limits of their creativity and inspiring other bands to do the same.

I can only think of a handful of bands that are still propelling music in a new direction after getting their start in the ’90s and Radiohead is certainly one of them. With TKOL Radiohead has created an album that allows you to hear something with every listen that didn’t come through in the last. Although this can easily be said for the whole album, I find it to be especially true on “Little By Little” and “Bloom.” It’s almost as if it depends on the mood I’m in or the means through which I am listening that determines the layers that I hear, a trait which makes it easy to put all 8 tracks on repeat.

Sure it’s not their best full-length (if you can even consider it full-length) effort, but their ability to perpetually make music that is of a higher quality than 90% of the rest of the music produced in that same year is incredible.

Featured Tracks: “Little By Little”, “Bloom”, “Codex”

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #11

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#11. The Belle Brigade- “Losers”

On “Losers”, the brother-sister duo of Barbara and Ethan Gruska tell you that, “You’re the best…Don’t care about being a loser!”. And… They actually don’t sound stupid. The Belle Brigade gives us the most uplifting anthem of the year without chanelling Raffi. They start small, and slowly add layers on their patented CSNY style harmonies.

The song builds to staggering heights, with a booming chorus that features Ethan and Barbara listing off all of the shit they’re simply not gonna do. The duo wail their hearts out, and successfully give us an honest testament of  inner strength. At the end of the day, the song is basically the “I Believe I Can Fly” of the indie world… How could it NOT be on our countdown?

 

M&T Best Albums of 2011: #11

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#11. Cymbals Eat Guitars-Lenses Alien

Ever have those moments when you’re scanning your iPod, looking for something to listen to, stopping every so often, contemplating, but then continue scrolling because you’re just not feeling anything? Then you find that one artist, and you’re like “how did I scroll over that?”, press play, and you’re relieved that this music exists? Yeah, that probably doesn’t happen to you, but it did to me every time I got to the Cy… section of my iPod library on the second or third time around.

Lenses Alien was the follow-up I was hoping for from this upstart New York outfit, fit with extended jams, more layers of sound than you can count on one and a half hands, and stream of consciousness lyrics that provide an enthralling and descriptive mini-story each and every time you listen. Lenses was the rock album I needed this year and part of me can rest easy knowing these guys will be around to inject a shot of adrenaline into my iTunes library when it needs it the most.

Featured Tracks: “Definite Darkness”, “Keep Me Waiting”

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #12

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#12. Dirty Gold- “California Sunrise”

The perfect song for a lazy summer morning, one with an afro-beat flavor and harmonies that make everyone wish they could wake up on the California coast. The track’s light and breezy feel is what makes it especially alluring in these cold winter months and even more impressive is that the boys of Dirty Gold aren’t of legal drinking age. Not only does this song provide a dazzling array of musical textures, but also features one of my favorite lines of the year– “Where our love ends my end begins.”

M&T Best Albums of 2011: #12

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#13. Liam Finn- FOMO

Fear. Of. Missing. Out. Liam Finn’s follow up to 2007’s I’ll Be Lightning is a testament to the acronym, his lyrics touching on everything from backing out of a delicate relationship to throwing caution to the wind and grabbing the object of your affection. The album cements Liam’s status as one of the better songwriters out there today, having a pretty impressive catalog of songs to run through for live shows just between the two releases. And live venues are the showcase where Liam and his band truly shine, putting on high energy shows while constantly keeping the crowd engaged. He’ll be bringing his act to his new home of NYC for the entire month of January at The Rock Shop, which the crew here at M&T are just about to purchase tickets to. See y’all there, and if you’ve ever wondered how sick a drum set looks when being played in slow motion, look no further.

Featured Tracks: “Jump Your Bones”,”The Struggle”

 

 

M&T Best Albums of 2011: #13

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2011 | Leave a comment

#13. We Are Augustines- Rise Ye Sunken Ships

Back in my freshman year of college my school subscribed to a now defunct music streaming service called Ruckus. For all of its pitfalls it did bring me one great thing, the debut full-length record from a Brooklyn band called Pela. One day the band was featured on the front page of the site and I took a chance on what became one of the defining records of my young college career.

After hearing that the band had broken up in 2009 I was left thinking of what could have been. Little did I know that Pela lead singer Billy McCarthy and bassist Eric Sanderson had begun to put together the pieces of a broken Pela album that would be called Rise Ye Sunken Ships.

Now under the moniker We Are Augustines the duo independently released their debut which is undoubtedly one of the most raw, emotional and utterly heartbreaking albums of the year. The record is mostly biographical, centering around stories of McCarthy’s upbringing and his family.

On the band’s webpage Ryan Berg explains the tragedies of McCarthy’s life, “Growing up, his mother was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Unable to provide for her children, the state took them away from her. None of her children knew their father…After years of struggling with chemical dependency and psychic deterioration, [she] ended her life by overdosing on painkillers and cocaine. Her body was discovered on a cot in a homeless shelter. Next to her was a business card from a local mortuary, her children’s name scrawled across the back.”

Berg also details the story of McCarthy’s younger brother Jim for whom the song “Book of James” was written. Diagnosed as schizophrenic himself, Jim’s life ended in suicide shortly after spending four years in solitary confinement for seriously injuring a shelter worker. After a brief respite in a psychiatric hospital he overhead that he was to be sent back to solitary and soon after hung himself.

These terribly tragic stories are highlighted throughout the 12 tracks on Rise Ye Sunken Ships, but not as a morbid manifestation of McCarthy’s emotion, but rather in the form of a love letter to his deceased family members.

Featured Tracks: “Book of James”, “Barrel of Leaves”, “Chapel Song”, “Patton State Hospital”

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #13

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#13. Typhoon- “The Honest Truth”

Portland based indie-folk group Typhoon has been making music for more than 5 years, but has only been gaining widespread notoriety since their last two releases, 2010’s full-length Hunger and Thirst and a 5 track EP entitled A New Kind of House which was released this year. The band boasts a lineup of between 10-13 members at any given time featuring multiple horn, string and percussion players but the focal point is always lead singer and songwriter Kyle Morton.

His sometimes morbid lyrics are concise, but always allow for some interpretation by the listener. What makes this track stand out above the rest on A New Kind of House is its inauspicious ending in which nearly the whole band joins in for a gang vocal chorus exclaiming “You let the devil in your home.”

In my interpretation it’s a sort of I-told-you-so lyric which becomes all the more powerful when it is comes through your speakers being chanted by 10 people at once. According to their website, a new record is in the works for Typhoon, but for now we’re quite content having “The Honest Truth” on repeat and chanting along with the band.

M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #14

Posted on by Neil in Best of 2011 | Leave a comment

#14. My Morning Jacket-“Holdin’ On To Black Metal”

Knee sliding in to the countdown at #14 is “Holdin On To Black Metal” by M&T favorites MMJ. The release of this year’s Circuital was highly anticipated and Jim James and the boys did not disappoint, crafting a quintessential MMJ record consisting of both bangers and growers which all translate into live gold. And the standout for me from that record had to be the awesomely titled “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” with the opening guitar lick that slaps you in the ass right off the bat and doesn’t give up, all the way through the chorus chanting “ooowoa-woa’s” and down until that very last note of Carl Broemel’s melt-status guitar solo.