Being natives of Oxford we are lucky in having a still vibrant local music scene thanks in no small part to the success of heavyweights like Radiohead and Supergrass and new indie superstars Foals, as well as genre influencers like Ride and Swervedriver.
So there are a few bands on the brink of making the step-up to being genuine ‘big-name’ contenders. Trophy Wife are newly signed to Moshi Moshi, Stornoway released one of the singles of the summer in I Saw You Blink, and the Jonquil bandwagon seems to keep gathering momentum.
However, we’re hoping Little Fish (MySpace) get some of the acclaim and rewards their hard work and talent undoubtedly deserve. A duo playing dynamic, raw garage-rock that sounds like it was honed in the bawdy roadhouses of the mid-west and bristles with attitude and power. Their recently released debut album Baffled and Beat is full of pure rock’n’roll and surely deserves a wider audience in 2011.
(Little Fish coverage on Mad Mackerel)
On Mad Mackerel the band we would love to see get some real exposure in 2011 is Howling Owls (MySpace). Hailing from Florida we have featured a number of consistently good demos over the course of the year and they are working hard to raise the cash needed to fund a debut EP.
They play a particularly unique brand of sinister, dark-hearted indie-folk with caustic, deadpan lyrics and a healthy lack of respect for human nature. By picking at the fabric of supposedly happy family life and domestic bliss, they pull back the carpet to expose secrets that were probably best left unsaid and unseen.
Ominous, forbidding, baleful, and perhaps a little malevolent – all the things we love. Superb.
(Howling Owls coverage on Mad Mackerel)
Blogger Picks Home & Away is our way of showcasing 12 of the best music bloggers around as we move towards 2011, and getting out of them a favourite band from their home town alongside a more international act they would like to hear more from. This post was written by John Grain of Mad Mackerel which has remained a bit of a hidden gem of the music blogging world over the past few years. Those who know it, love it and I’m definitely one of those.