Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases ’14- Kevin Duquette Topshelf Records

December 22, 2014


As the countdown to the end of 2014 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.

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.


2014-02-08-dj-grafiti-topshelf-records-23661Continuing our annual tradition is a label we adore, we’ve valued the hard work of Topshelf Records since we first discovered the label and we will continue to promote the wide array of talent they support.  Founded in 2006, Topshelf Records is an independent record label from Boston, MA, 2014 has been a great year for releases for the label and most you can see featured on the site. Kevin Duquette of Topshelf spends some time with us to discuss his personal favourite releases of the past 12 months and why.


1.) Happy Diving – Big World
Wave after wave of big riffs and even bigger hooks. I’m obsessed.
2.) Alvvays – S/T


This was my summer go-to.
3.) Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy


A melancholy smile.
4.) Angelo De Augustine – Spirals of Silence


Nick Drake in 2014.
5.) Creepoid – S/T


Shoegaze by punks.
6.) tide/edit – Foreign Languages


Memorable math rock — great hooks and melody.
7.) Colossal Wrecks – Waste the Moments


Imagine if two Braid records came out in 2014.
8.) Elephant Gym – Angle


Bass-driven mostly instrumental math rock.

9.) Pianos Become the Teeth – Keep You



Their post-rock infused post-hardcore magnum opus.

10.) Cassilis – Quitting


Ignorantly loud.
Also of note: Shellac – “Dude Incredible”, Greys – “If Anything”, Caddywhompus – “Feathering a Nest” and Adult Jazz – “Gist Is”. I guess I should mention that this list is strictly full length albums and omits releases that Topshelf released this year.
Best gig:
Honestly, I’m not even really sure about this one. I go to 80-100 shows a year just because, I dunno, “work” or whatever. It’d probably be something we hosted like our SXSW party or CMJ showcase just because of all the friends — I always have so much fun at those. It was probably something Caravels played.
Label Highlights:
We released a Braid record which would be enough for me, but this year also saw both Seth and myself go full time with the label as our careers, two of our releases charted in the Billboard top 200, we had our first ever Topshelf “label tour” and we met so many wonderful people along the way. The whole year was one big highlight!
Artist to Watch:
There are so many! Independent music’s in a really great place right now. I’m very, very excited to see what Nai Harvest come up with next spring.
Plans for 2015:
The first half of 2015 will see new music from Caravels, Octaves, Kind of Like Spitting, Warren Franklin, Special Explosion, Nai Harvest, Donovan Wolfington, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Suis La Lune and several others I can’t yet mention. We’ll be busier than ever.
Thank you so much Kevin, we wish the best for you and the label next year, lets see if you can top 2014

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