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.
This has been the biggest and the best Rad Releases end of year take-over to date. We’ve been doing this special for the past 4 years and 2013 has really been the best one yet, having a lot more artists with more input to their take-overs. It’s been a pleasure having such talent be involved with our site. A huge thank you to Bearcubbin, The Phaze, Mount Fuji, signal hill, Pipedream, Callum at Little League Records, Connor at Jealous Lovers Club, Aulos- both Oli and Josh, Alright the Captain, the wonderful Ross from The Eclectic Sessions, Edils Records, Orbits, Tief in Marcellos Schuld Records, Tom Roberts Illustration, Crisis Arm , North End, Fights And Fires, Chemistry Lessons, We Used To Have Horses, Killington Fall and We’re No Heroes who have all taken over our site for their Rad Releases contributions. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having you all here and in turn we’ve discovered even more records!!
It’s hard to follow up Oli’s penultimate Rad Releases yesterday but having been such a fantastic year for music and a great year for both of us at Circuit Sweet I thought I would give it a go. . Trying to think of all the records that have been played in the office is almost impossible but there are a few that have stuck around and will be seeing us into the next year. Some of these are artists we’ve featured on the site and some we’ve dabbled in a bit of PR for- others are mainstream records that went down a total treat but all of them have sound-tracked our life in one way or another and are yet to be taken off our playlists.
1. Vasudeva- Life In Cycles
This just is my record of 2013, hands down. When we had the opportunity to listen to the record ahead of its official release date for a review- we were thrilled to hear this highly anticipated release and since then it’s accompanied our lives every day since. Their EP ‘Roots Of The Tree’ released in 2011,made our 2011 Rad Releases list and now they’re back again with ‘Life In Cycles’. ‘Life In Cycles’ the 8 track album which hit the world in July is hands down a fantastic follow up to their back catalog and a release the boys should be so proud of. The music is so gratifying to listen to and whichever way you wish to interpret it the album reveals more on each listen- we are 5months in and we still can’t get enough. The record flows from start to finish without any urgency and it works just as well as individual tracks or a sum of all it’s parts.
2. North End- Cognoscere
Another band we instantly fell in love with. North End were welcomed to Circuit Sweet towards the tail end of the year with their explosive EP releases ‘Cognoscere’. We teamed up with the boys from North End for one of our most cherished interviews on the site. North End have released what is one of the best independent DIY releases of this year. Their triumphant 5 track EP ‘ Cognoscere’ was unveiled back in August. Their talents and passion combined have produced a simply flawless record. ‘Cognoscere’ is simply explosive- from start to finish the record engages the listener. Taking various genres, influences and ideas and making their own mark on music; North End are a breath of fresh air within the industry.
I for one fell in love with this act so much that I wanted everyone and anyone to listen to them and feel the same way- when we re-launched our store this year we were honored and delighted to see some North End in our shelves so the good people of the UK with their excellent taste could support the band- we’ve got EP’s and t-shirts which you can find here.
Seriously I can’t wait for what the next year holds for this band. Too good.
3. Quadrupède- Self Titled EP
Kickstarting us into this year all the way back in January we introduced the phenomenal sounds of 2 piece Quadrupède. Joseph & Damien are the powerful force behind the captivating Quadrupède. They are a two-piece Instrumental rock band that flirt with electronics to create their enchanting compositions. the band released a 3 track self titled debut EP which just amazed us, really is nothing short of perfection. Again I am honored to have this band and their release in our store!
4. Man Man – On Oni Pond
This release was introduced to me by Oli and I instantly fell in love with it. On our regular trips to various cities this has been the record that has accompanied our journeys. I mean have you heard the amazing voice on lead singer Ryan Kattner?!! It’s such a compelling record and one you can never tire from- it’s also one you just have to dance to.
5. Los Campesinos- No Blues
Having dabbled in a bit of PR for this release I was eagerly awaiting to hear the record in it’s entirety. A mature follow up to the band’s previous efforts. Having only been released towards the tail end of this year, this record has snuck into my favourite lists where it will stay for some time. Every song on this album is addictive. How can you not love a track with everyone chanting Avocado baby?!. For a while the only track I heard was the final track off the album ‘Selling Rope (Swan Dive to Estuary)’- that alone confirmed this was going to be an outstanding record.
6. Appleseed Cast- Illumination Ritual
For anyone that knows me they know the big three- Appleseed Cast, Modest Mouse and Maserati. The three that get me through every day in some way. I have been such a big fan of Appleseed Cast for as long as I can remember and this year a dream came true. Following the amazing release of Illumination Ritual the band confirmed a UK tour- one I wouldn’t miss regardless of any situation- and having been severely poorly and hospitalized just weeks before their Fleece Bristol date looked nearly impossible- but like I said there was no way I was missing the band’s tour- so poor Oli had to hold me up the entire night- but I was ecstatic. And hearing ‘Great Lake Derelict’ performed live after being played numerous times daily on any device I can get my hands on- this was just perfect.
7. Volcano Choir- Repave
Justin Vernon is a big influence in the Circuit Sweet cottage and is a man that brought both myself and Oli together in a way. Just weeks before Repave was released we had a conversation just wishing for Volcano Choir to tour so we could see their debut performed live. Then our wish came true, the release of Repave and a few UK tour dates. This record has been on repeat for some time and it’s beautiful. We both love it and we were thrilled to be apart of their live audience at Bristol O2 academy earlier this year.
8. Signal Hill- Chase The Ghost
A few bands that have contributed to our Rad Releases have seen their own release in our final countdown and it’s only fitting to see Signal Hill in our top 10 releases of the year. Following the release of Chase The Ghost earlier this year the band have not left our speakers. This is band that keep getting better!! Chase The Ghost was highly anticipated and did not disappoint. I’ve appreciated this band for a few years and it’s so fulfilling to see them continue and to thrive in their musical accomplishments. The band have already said they are working on a new album next year- we will keep a spot reserved for 2014 Rad Releases.
9. Mylets- Retcon
Henry Kohen is a young talented musician and genius! Henry is best known as ‘Mylets’ and his 13 track release Retcon on Sargent House is just one of the best releases of the year hands down. Retcon is made up of re-mastered tracks from three earlier released EPs. ‘Hungover Tehran’ is one of the best songs ever created and is a fitting tribute to the talents that Henry holds. A very rewarding year for this artist I’ve got a lot of hope that the next year will be even bigger.
10. Tera Melos- X’ed out
Come on- did you think I wouldn’t list Tera Melos?! They need no introduction either. We saw a few of these tracks performed during their UK tour last year and we loved what we heard and saw. Then X’ed Out dropped and we were ecstatic. Looking forward to seeing the trio again next year.
Notable releases and mentions: Make sure you go check out George Ezra. He released his Did you hear the rain EP and it blew us away. He is on the verge of even bigger things and he’s achieving the support and success you need. If you think the name is familiar and not because you have heard it from us he is on a lot of end of year list and you will see him sitting comfortably in the ones to watch for 2014. A Last Salute To Byss– Clever. Lovely. Indulging and Stunning. A musician with the abilities to make a masterpiece. Crisis Arm– Another fantastic act in the US. Having teamed up with the lovely guys at Already Dead Tapes and Records you can expect another rewarding year for this talented trio. These three so nearly made our end of year lists but still released some of the best records this year-A Great Big Pile of leaves. Enemies and We Used To Have Horses. Also make sure you check out Jealous Lovers Club, Little League Records and if you are local the guys at Hereford Live who are working hard to bring live music back to Hereford.
So our plans for next year– We are working hard on our online store which is open 24/7 at circuitsweet.bigcartel.com
We’ve recently re-launched the store with more products, available on all mobile devices and ready to ship with extra gifts day of purchase. We’ve welcomed North End, Bearcubbin, Aulos, Dios Trio, The Jezebel Spirit, A Last salute To Byss, We Used To Have Horses, Quadrupede and Olde Pine. Next Year we will be welcoming a few more acts to the store which are a suprise now but we can’t wait to tell you. We are working hard on getting our store presence the best it can be and we are looking forward to introducing you to a lot more amazing talent and releases on our shelves.
We will be teaming up with Ross at The Eclectic Sessions for a special Circuit Sweet show and of course we will be attending a lot more gigs- including Deer Tick in January and Tera Melos in February. We will be trying to increase our interviews and our reviews. Obviously Circuit Sweet is a two man workload but more often it’s just myself that does all the work for the site and Oli is available for all photography and videography needs. So next year I am hoping to put my time to best use and get more written work done.
We cannot thank you all enough for your continued support of all things Circuit Sweet. I personally want to say a huge thank you to all the well wishes I’ve received this year when I got ill. The past 4 month’s I’ve been off work and working on Circuit Sweet as I recover and you have all been amazing!! Incredibly understanding and you’ve all sent me a lot of love which is really appreciated.
We will continue to promote amazing music and get artists heard. Here’s to bigger things in 2014.
Circuit Sweet Shop – http://circuitsweet.bigcartel.com/