As the countdown to the end of 2013 quickly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. Circuit Sweet will be featuring the featured artists of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.
The past 12 months truly has been an incredible year for releases, hard to follow last year in the records produced but this year has uncovered exceptional talent- most of which discovered, promoted and featured right here on this site.
In our end of year special we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favorite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Continuing our rad releases take over- our good friends Mount Fuji. For those unaware- Mount Fuji are four friends from Birmingham making music without boundaries. Formerly Conquistadors, the unfortunate trademarking of their name by another performer meant having to start over. But following a brief hiatus they’re back with their eclectic tastes and unstructured style intact, making for high-energy, catchy songs that can be infectious pop one second and hellish noise the next. From headlining shows to supporting Tera Melos, Shapes, Blacklisters, &U&I, The JCQ, Kong and Blakfish as well as countless other distinguished and hardworking bands, Conks – as they were affectionately known – leave behind a memorable legacy. Mount Fuji now aim to build on the solid fan base they gathered under their previous guise. The four piece consist of Adam Jaremko – Guitar, Andy Palmer – Drums, James Sharp – Guitar/Vocals and Oz Powles – Bass. We love this band and you should too. It’s been a good 12 months for the act as they’ve returned to the live scene and gained more fans!- But it’s 2014 which we believe will be their year!
Adam Top 5 releases.
Manchester – Kraak – ACP Festival – Was nice to play a gig out of Birmingham and felt nice be a part of such a carefully planned festival. Also, Maps & Atlases (Birmingham)
Plans 2014 – Finish recording new album, try and play as many gigs as we can and push ourselves musically, physically and metaphysically.
Top 5 releases. Been a bit slack with listening to music this year, preferring podcasts so haven’t listened to much:
– BONUS PODCAST RECCOMENDATION: Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 5 film podcast.
Best gig played:
Hare & Hounds w/Maps & Atlases. Why? Because we played with Maps & Atlases
Best gig attended:
Maps & Atlases at Hare & Hounds. Why? Loved M&A for years but never seen them before and they were superb.
To finally finish our new EP.
Top 5 releases of the year and a brief reason why.
Fight Cloud – Simple Structures
I absolutely love this EP – chilled, mathy and free from their Bandcamp. It’s got a really dreamy vibe that, combined with (ironically, given the title) some really intricate song structures, feels really fresh.
It’s a ludicrous idea for an album – one CD of crushing metal, the other a combination of folk, jazz, big band, a capella choral singing – but every song is great. It’s easy to forget how good a song-writer Jamie Lenman is.
It took me a while to get into this album as it was so different to their earlier stuff. Patagonian Rats was such an awesome progression, it felt like Tera Melos had hit on the winning formula, so the decision to push X’ed Out into such avant garde territory was unexpected. But after a few listens I just got it – it’s a real grower of an album, so you’re rewarded for the effort of sticking with it.
This is just a really fun EP from start to finish, full of complexities and intricacies that reward multiple listens. We’ve had the privilege of playing with Delta Sleep a few times this year, and they’re even better live than on record. Plus they’re lovely people, so thumbs up all round really.
I love how much this EP oozes energy – it’s so much fun to listen to. Always puts a smile on my face.
The best gig you have played (or put on) this year and why
We’ve played tons of cool shows this year with the likes of Maps and Atlases, and a load of awesome bands at Carefully Planned in Manchester. But actually my favourite gig was with Delta Sleep and Suffer Like G Did at the Flapper. It just felt like we nailed it, plus both bands are awesome – the whole night had a great vibe. We also put on a show at the Victoria with Delta Sleep and a local duo, Tales. It was Tales’ first live show and they were amazing.
The best gig you have attended and why
Jamie Lenman at the HMV a couple of weeks ago. Although I’ve been a big Reuben fan since Racecar, I’d only heard one or two songs from his new solo album going into this gig so didn’t know what to expect, but the whole show blew me away. He even threw in a few Reuben songs which was unexpected. The crowd were so up for it – great atmosphere. Since the show, the album has been on repeat in my car.
Finish that album we keep banging on about. Promise.
Like all great bands, Tera Melos are evolving. The latest stage in their evolution has upped the pop dosage, kept their famed complexity and mashed together a load of genres with catchy falsetto vocals. If that sounds like your thing, check it out! They are on tour throughout the UK and Europe next February and I can’t recommend their live show highly enough *cough*CHOOSETHEBIRMINGHAMGIG*cough*.
Delta Sleep – Management
I ruddy love this band. We’ve been lucky enough to see/share a stage with them twice recently and it would have been a perfect hat trick had it not been for an unfortunate timetabling clash between us and them at this year’s Carefully Planned Festival.’Management’ veers between the poppiest of rock, mathy noodling, electronic wizardry and….well, all sorts. I can’t do it justice here so just listen to it, go see them live, buy the t-shirt, wear the t-shirt and scream Glen’s name really loudly between songs, he likes that. If you’re not sold, check out 16:40AM on youtube. It will be stuck in your head for months. Months.
Jamie Lenman – Muscle Memory
The former Reuben frontman’s debut album is a double album split into a ‘heavy’ and ‘soft’ side. The former is heavier than Reuben ever did incorporating punk, metal and big riffs galore. The latter is a big band, swing jazz, folk and bluegrass orientated effort and it’s this half of the double album that I can’t stop playing. You may think that it’s a cop out to pick half an album for a top 5 choice but as there are effectively two very distinct albums in this bundle I am highlighting the wonderful ‘Memory’ side of the double release as it is really a standout effort.
Red Fang – Whales and Leeches
This album follows picks up from where Red Fang left last left us, at the end of Murder The Mountains. Murder The Mountains in turn picked up from where their self-titled debut finished. Suffice to say, if you don’t really like or the beer belly, stoner rock brand of music that they peddle, then this album is not for you.
Nick Reinhart – Nick Reinhart’s Scary Sounds
I enjoy a wildcard in any top 5 list and for a second year running Nick Reinhart, the Tera Melos frontman, has afforded me the opportunity to include one. Last year was Satan’s Power, an off kilter Christmas album full of festive cheer. This year was a Halloween themed release, which is basically an ambient noise album entirely made from odd guitar sounds. It’s a hard listen, sure, but remember this album next October and have the scariest Halloween party in your area…guaranteed (no guarantees). Both releases are on bandcamp, check them out.
The best gig you have played(or put on) this year and why
The last gig we played was with Delta Sleep and Suffer Like G Did and that was cool. I’ll stick with that.
The best gig you have attended and why
Jamie Lenman. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I never expected singalongs, dancing and such enthusiasm from the crowd for a guy on his first tour, especially since his album had only just come out!
We are hosting and playing a gig with Tera Melos gig on the 6th of February at Birmingham’s The Victoria Pub. We have some weird new songs to play come and check it out…oh and did I mention that Tera Melos are playing?
Thank you so much to Mount Fuji for another amazing take over. As Oz mentioned they are of course hosting a Tera Melos gig in Birmingham- the last Tera Melos gig they put on a few years ago had the best line up a gig could and was one of the most enjoyable evenings any music lover could ask for- so get excited and get your tickets now- http://www.theticketsellers.co.uk/tickets/stone-cold-jane-austen-presents-tera-melos-mount-fuji-and-special-guest/10029383?ref=let_aft and for those on facebook join the event here- https://www.facebook.com/events/184450345094113/?ref=22
As for Mount Fuji we cannot wait to hear this new record.