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.
The next musician rad releases take over comes from Martyn Jackson. Martyn is a compelling artist who fuses post-rock inspirations with his own touch. The instrumental unsigned artist is a must hear for anyone who loves Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You and Sigur Rós. The musician hailing from Portishead, has already received positive praise for his remarkable 8 track album release ‘Home’ which saw the light of day in November of last year. Earlier this year we had the pleasure in hosting and streaming an exclusive single from Martyn which we were thrilled to feature. Martyn takes over to tell us his top albums of the year and why.
Top 5 releases of the year
1. The Lonely Forest – Adding Up The Wasted Hours
This band are just the epitome of West Coast indie. Sadly they’ve recently disbanded, but hey, if you’re going to go out – might as well go out with an incredible album like this!
2 & 3. MONO – The Last Dawn/Rays Of Darkness
Even though these were recently released, I can’t not write about these guys! I saw them play live for the first time at ArcTanGent this year, and they were just incredible. Easily one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a long time.
4. Conor Oberst – Upside Down Mountain
Conor Oberst (to me) is this generations Bob Dylan. Other than John K. Samson, I don’t think anyone can write lyrics quite like him. He really is incredible, and like the rest of this projects, this album is no exception. This album is also a top contender as it has a high nostalgia factor for me. Ah .. to be 16 again, listening to Bright Eyes and drinking whiskey from the bottle, drowning in apathy.
5. Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m obsessed with this band. Just downright obsessed. They’re the epitome of “stalwart”. This album returns to their brutal roots, with some serious heavy “riff-age” and an added political punch .. TO THE FACE!
The best show you have played this year
The best show I played this year was supporting Waking Aida on there “Eschaton” tour in Bristol. This was my first gig with a full band in over 5 years, and we were all really excited. The crowd were great, and of course, so was the main act!
The best gig you have attended and why
I recently went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds. I love the Final Fantasy games, and I especially love the music. Nobuo Uematsu, the composer behind the music for majority of the series, is a real inspiration to me. He’s the reason that I started to write music all those years ago, after I bought my first games console and started to play Final Fantasy VII.
Highlights of your year
Earlier on in the year a tape label called Breathe Plastic released “Home” on cassette. I received an email from Armand (who runs the label) and he asked me if he could put the tape out. Of course, I was absolutely stoked and immediately agreed. I love the analogue sound, and if you haven’t already, pick up a copy *shameless plug* because it sounds great on tape!
My other highlight was being able to meet a talented bunch of musicians, namely Stephen Forrest, Gregg Price, and Adam Sarrington. These guys helped me put a new spin on my solo efforts, bringing their own playing styles and intricacies to “Home”. This really brought it to life, and I was lucky enough to play live with these guys, and support some awesome bands, such as Waking Aida, The Shaking Sensations, El Ten Eleven, Nanook of the North, and Wicket.
Artist/Band to watch for 2015
One songwriter I’ll always have time for is Greg Counsell from The Maple State. I loved that band, as did so many others, and I was gutted to hear that they’d split up. However, since then, Greg has released some music under the moniker Ghost Saddles, and recently he’s posted some information about his new band, Mount Hood. They’ll be releasing material in the new year, and if Greg’s previous efforts are anything to go by, this should be awesome.
Also, would it be incredibly wrong of me to suggest myself. Watch out for me in 2015 .. please?
Plans for the New Year
So far I’ve got a few plans for 2015. The first, some of you might know, is to release a new album. I’ve posted a few teaser clips online for “52”, and I’m sure I’ll release a few more during the process of recording. However, I’ve decided to take my time on this one (unlike “Home”) and really write something that I enjoy. I’m hoping to include a few collaborations in this album as well, so you Bristol and Cardiff folk might recognise a few appearances.
Other than that, I’m also working on a collaborative effort with a Bristol based electronic producer. I don’t want to let on too much about that just yet, as we’re currently just sketching out ideas, but it’s looking pretty good so far.
As well as all of that, I’m also hoping to be working on a short film score (or two). One of which will be drawing on my Post Rock/Ambient skills, and the other, well .. we’ll see!
Martyn we wish you all the best for next year, you won’t be slowing down any time soon that we can guarantee, looking forward to hearing more in the next 12 months.