MPFree - December 2015
Beach House - Space Song
Wednesday 30 December, Team Mary Anne Hobbs
What day is it? Does anyone know? Does it matter? Not when you have this gem of a free download from Beach House, it doesn’t! Relax into your post-Christmas daze with this easy breezy song from our favourite Baltimore duo…
‘Space Song’ comes from Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s 2015 album ‘Depression Cherry’. Today we will be dedicating it to our favourite astronaut, Tim Peake, who has just spent his first Christmas up in space! Huzzah!
The Charlatans (Peter, Bjorn & John Remix) - Keep Enough
Tuesday 29 December, Team Mary Anne Hobbs
After a four year break from the music scene, Swedish trio Peter, Bjorn and John returned this year with the release of 'High Up (Take Me To The Top)'. Full of Christmas spirit, they've now decided to gift The Charlatans with a special remix of their track 'Keep Enough', which they published online for the band on Christmas Eve...
The original version of 'Keep Enough' appears on The Charlatans' twelfth excellent album, Modern Nature. Peter, Bjorn and John are huge fans of the band, and decided to remix 'Keep Enough' after going to see one of their recent shows in Stockholm. We dig their festive spirit!
Radiohead - Spectre
Mary Anne’s MPFree this morning comes from a little group called Radiohead. We thought they might need a small leg-up the career ladder.
Here’s the story … Thom, Jonny, Ed, Colin, and Philip were asked to write the new Bond theme.
Unfortunately what they came up with wasn’t used on the film, and Sam Smith took the glory instead. Thankfully we can enjoy it anyway, since Thom Yorke decided to upload the track anyway for Christmas. Cheers Thom!
We’re all very much looking forward to a new Radiohead record (hopefully in 2016) … but for now this will do nicely.
Jennifer Reid – The Humours Of Holy Day Time
Our MP Free this morning comes from Jennifer Reid, a Manchester based folk artist and a collaborator of the Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, who has given her creative life to keeping the tradition of singing old Broadside ballads alive.
Broadsides were song lyrics printed in the daily newspaper, which were popular in the UK from the 16th to the 19th centuries. According to Jennifer “While broadside ballads physically had no staying power, being sheets of cheap paper, the songs and ideas they contained maintain their relevance to the present day and can teach us a lot about our history.”
Download, enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas
Levelz - Slow Down
Wednesday 23 December, by Helen Team Mary Anne Hobbs
With just 2 days til Christmas, 6 Music gave to me … a Levelz MPFree!
Okay, given our lyrical failings, we aren’t expecting to join Manchester crew Levelz any time soon. That’s fine because Black Josh, Bricks, Sparkz, Truthos Mufasa, T-Man and the rest of the family have got this nailed, as you can hear in this exclusive MPFree they’ve gifted to us all.
This track is a taster of the new ‘Level 11’ mixtape, which you’ll be able to find up at the Levelz Bandcamp page from January 11th. Levelz are a Manchester based collective of musicians, artists, MCs and DJs directly inspired by their city. One of the most exciting creative forces to come out of the North West in recent years, they mix everything up. We could go on about their fusion of hip-hop, grime, dubstep, drum & bass and jazz all day, but it’s probably easier for you to just download, listen and love.
Powell – Angry Elf (Stocking Mix)
Tuesday 22 December, by Helen Team Mary Anne Hobbs
Mary Anne has commissioned some very special festive MP Frees for you from some of her favourite artists of 2015. Yesterday we had a track from Iglooghost, today it’s the turn of Powell who spent an afternoon blending lo-fi beats with samples from film, Elf.
Oscar Powell is a producer who does things his own way. Drawing inspiration from artists such as seminal US act Suicide, he takes the post-punk/ no wave provocative attitude and applies it to electronic music, blending elements of his favourite bands with samples and modern technology.
Previous track ‘Insomniac’ famously samples noise god Steve Albini and is accompanied by a video (and at one time a billboard), which transcribes the remarkable email conversation between the pair that arose from Powell seeking sample clearance. If you haven’t seen it we urge you to check it out as soon as you’ve downloaded our little ditty.
Powell – Angry Elf (Stocking Mix)
IGLOOGHOST – Ice Face (Feat Mr Yote)
Monday 21 December, by Helen Team Mary Anne Hobbs
Mary Anne has commissioned some very special festival MP Frees for you from some of her favourite artists of 2015. The first is from teenage wunderkind producer IGLOOGHOST featuring MC Mr Yote….Hark The Herald it ain’t.
At just 18 years of age, London’s IGLOOGHOST is our favourite teenager of the moment. He’s just signed to FlyLo’s Brainfeeder imprint and released a 4 track digital EP titled CHINESE NÜ YR, which is a “story about a gelatinous worm-shaped creature who wears a witch hat called xiāngjiāo. He/she is really sad because his/her existence consists of infinitely being blasted through endless wormholes into different worlds that don’t make any sense – full of floating fruit and pink mist”. Before Brainfeeder he released ‘Yoteghost Milk Empie’, another collaboration with MC Mr Yote. The record was released as a giant pink helium balloon with a download code. We can’t quite manage that, but ours is free at least … get stuck in!
IGLOOGHOST : ICE FACE (FEAT MR YOTE)
Dormouse - Christmas Time Is Here
Thursday 17 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For today’s MPFree we return to a Christmas mystery – last year we discovered a lovely version of Christmas Time Is Here by a band/artist called Dormouse, who we could find next to no info on. Well after a year of intense research, we’re still none the wiser. What we do have however, is the music, so we thought we’d give this delicate tune another airing. Bobbie hats and sledges at the ready everyone!
The much loved original came from The Vince Guaraldi Trio, first appearing on the album A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. This version is taken from a free EP called Christmas Yay Christmas, so you’re actually getting 5 tracks for 1 (well it is Christmas after all) . The EP was originally released online in 2011 by those kind folk at Hawkshead Recordings , who we also have very little information on, so if you’re reading this Dormouse & Hawkshead, thanks and Merry Christmas Again!
Tom Williams - Christmas (So Much Better When You’re Here)
Wednesday 16 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We’re returning to a recent Christmas favourite for our free download today, because it’s a track that deserves to be on all of your Xmas playlists. There’s even a mournful but festive harmonica solo thrown in there for good measure. You’re welcome.
Tom Williams originally released this ballad for the For Folk Sake It’s Christmas compilation back in 2012 - in fact the comp sold out and For Folk Sake are running a competition to win the FINAL copy as we speak - so it’s an opportune time to secure Tom’s offering for prosperity. More recently Tom’s been on the road showcasing his latest record New House, so keep your eyes peeled for more chances to catch him live in the 2016.
* Follow this link and right click + save as on the song title to download
Farao – Walking In The Air
Tuesday 15 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
For our Tuesday gift-wrapped MPFree to you, we thought we’d send some festive nostalgia with a Nordic twist. It’s not officially Christmas until The Snowman’s been on the telly, that’s just a fact. To keep you going until then, here’s Farao with a delicate rendition of its centrepiece.
This beautiful cover popped up a few of years ago, and just like the Raymond Briggs’ animated masterpiece, we think it deserves an annual airing. It appears on the Norwegian blog ‘Alternativ Julekalender’ and sees Farao (multi-instrumentalist songwriter Kari Jahnsen) in typically ethereal form.
Loose Tapestries – Can’t Wait For Christmas
Monday 14 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Happy Monday morning, we’re officially on the festive home straight (hopefully you are too) so we thought we’d kick start this week with a surreal slice of Christmas oddity. It’s gifted to you be Loose Tapestries AKA Vacuum Cloud & The Decision (AKA Noel Fielding & Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno) and it’s unsurprisingly bonkers.
Loose Tapestries formed back in 2012 to record the music for Noel’s psychedelic TV show Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. With one album released and another in the pipeline, the pair felt it was time to enter into the Christmas single market. All they needed was someone to drop a Christmas wrap (sorry…) on the record. Idris Elba? Go on then. If there’s an odder and catchier song out there at the moment, then we haven’t heard it.
Goldfrapp – Stranger (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)
Friday 11 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
December is rollicking along and everyone’s getting in the festive spirit. Today’s little gift comes from Goldfrapp, who’ve shared an orchestral live version of Tales of Us track, ‘Stranger’.
‘Stranger’ was inspired by Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt. Now that book has been adapted into the critically-acclaimed film, Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and Goldfrapp have marked the occasion by sharing a live version of the track as recorded at The Royal Albert Hall with the London Contemporary Orchestra, November 2014. Get a load of those strings!
Shaun Keaveny – Please Don’t Get Me Anything for Christmas
Thursday 10 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
It may feel like mid-September outside, but Christmas is fast-approaching. To mark the occasion, 6 Music’s very own Scrooge has swooped in with some festive cheer. We knew he was a big old softie really.
Featuring the legendary Rod Stewart, Bernard Butler, Mark King, Matt Everitt and Early Breakfast presenter Chris Hawkins (not to mention the frankly show-stealing work of the 6 Music Choir), ‘Please Don’t Get Me Anything for Christmas’ is our present to you in this festive season. Shaun pulled out all the stops for his holiday masterpiece, recruiting super-producer Steve Levine to make the track glitter and shine like the diamond bauble it is. In true festive spirit, he’s giving the thing away for free. You can also watch a behind-the-scenes video over here.
The Milk – Trouble Gonna Bring Me Down (Tall Black Guy Remix)
Wednesday 9 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Yank open the door marked ‘9’ on the sonic advent calendar and tuck into Tall Black Guy’s ultra-smooth remix of The Milk’s already-silky latest single.
Offered up by Wah Wah 45s, this rework of ‘Trouble Gonna Bring Me Down’ comes as part of a festive season full of downloads from Stamp the Wax. On each of the twenty-five days leading up to Christmas, Stamp the Wax will offer up a new track from one of their favourite labels and artists, and all for a good cause; whilst this is the MPFree blog, today's track is offered as a Bandcamp 'Name Your Price' download, with all proceeds going to mental health charity, Help Musicians (more info here) . Today’s treat sees Detroit beat-maker, Tall Black Guy give a Dilla-esque update to The Milk’s distinctly nostalgic soul jam.
Ash Walker & Zeb Samuels – Lost Cranium (Alphabets Heaven Remix)
Tuesday 8 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
It’s grim outside. Best get wrapped up in this spiralling downtempo jam from Ash Walker and Zeb Samuel via Alphabets Heaven. The warm and pastoral ‘Lost Cranium’ is your MPFree today.
Offered up as a free download over at XLR8R, Alphabet Heaven’s remix of ‘Lost Cranium’ was released to coincide with Ash Walker’s highly anticipated debut full-length, Augmented 7th – out now on Deep Heads. At the LA producer’s hands, the album track takes the form of a playful tug of war between analogue and digital; heavy usage of natural field recordings and the prominence of a plucked guitar part lend the track an organic, pastoral vibe in spite of its cut-and-paste electronics.
Elf & Stacy – So Lonely
Monday 7 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
The week’s free music begins with a weird and wonky one from Sussex act, Elf & Stacy. ‘So Lonely’ is a dub-heavy electronic slow-burner, and it’s yours to download and explore right now.
Formed on a West Dulwich building site in 2012, and now based in St Leonards on Sea, Elf & Stacy is the project of Toby Warren and sometime-collaborator, Flow Stacy. Though they’ve now released a total of four EPs, ‘So Lonely’ is a cut from their second ever release, 2014’s Fracking Town EP – a track they describe as ‘Flying Lizards gone all cold wave’. Sounds about right to us.
Tom Ellis - Envelope
Friday 4 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Friday’s here, well done one and all. To celebrate, today’s MPFree is an airy wave of tribal house, courtesy of Freerotoation member Tom Ellis. The vocals tell us to let the music take your mind – with that shuffling beat and jazz infused keys it’s pretty tough not to Tom.
Tom Ellis has been releasing funk & jazz inspired house & techno worldwide since 2003. Forever steering into the weird, he tries to anchor himself with his experience as a musician, having played drums, bass, keys and guitar from an early age. With a discography already too vast to detail, his latest EP Half Century was the 50th on Newcastle’s 22 Digit Records and can be streamed via his Soundcloud, so you should check that out too.
The Comet Is Coming – Do The Milky Way
Thursday 3 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
We thought a bit of celestial sax might go down a treat this morning. Up step The Comet Is Coming, whose space jams have just been sent into the ether on The Leaf Label. Luckily we’ve tied one down long enough for you to download for free.
The Comet Is Coming comprise of Danalogue The Conqueror, Betamax Killer and King Shabaka, and according to their website they’re here to spread light, joy and fire. The project of Melt Yourself Down saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, their debut EP Prophecy was released by Leaf at the end of last month, and if ‘cosmic explosions and musical mantras as seismic as an earthquake’ (their words…) are your thing, then you should definitely check it out.
Jeff Wootton - The Eternal (Reconstruction ) Feat. Nick Zinner & Bootie Brown
Wednesday 2 December, by Matthew Mills Team Laverne
Our midweek offering is a raucous one, because it’s Wednesday and we think you can handle it. It’s a reconstruction from master-collaborator Jeff Wootton, who’s drafted in some rather talented friends.
‘The Eternal (Reconstruction)’ is a dramatic reworking of Jeff Wootton’s recent single, and the man who’s worked with Damon Albarn in Gorillaz, The Heavy Seas and the Arfrica Express project, has brought in some impressive talent for this offering. The jangling acoustic guitars are lowered in the mix to make room for Bootie Brown (of Pharcyde & Gorillaz fame) and some suitably scuzzy guitar from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner. His debut album The Way The Light is due to drop in April next year.
Plastic Mermaids – Painted Lady
Tuesday 1 December, by Frank Palmer Team Laverne
Another day, another download. 'Painted Lady' comes from Newport psych-quintet, Plastic Mermaids, and it’s a shimmering slab of full-blown dream pop.
‘Painted Lady’ is the first track to be taken from Plastic Mermaids’ forthcoming third EP, entitled – wait for it – Everything Is Yellow and Yellow Is My Least Favourite Colour. The tongue twister of a record will be available on Cross Keys Records at the beginning of next year, but we’re happy to offer this mammoth first single for free download right now.
Everybody loves a spot of free music, so open your minds and get downloading now.