Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases ’14- Naomi Preece Circuit Sweet

December 23, 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, you would have already seen a fantastic array of labels, bands, musicians take over the site but now it’s time for Circuit Sweet’s founder- Naomi Preece to tell us her top releases of the year…

Circuit Sweet Naomi + Oli

Circuit Sweet
Naomi + Oli

Well it’s that time of year again, every year around the start of November, I scroll through the site to refresh my memory and then I spend hours contacting all the circuit sweeties that I want to include in our end of year special, I spend so long sorting the submissions I usually rush my own. However I had time to sit and think about those records that have made my year in music.

Top Releases

Bearcubbin- Girls With Fun Haircuts



This is without a doubt my favorite release of the entire year hands down. The band are no strangers to the site and released a 9 track full length in March and it’s just the best piece of work I have heard from the trio. Compelling, illustrious and addictive. Providing the right amount of sensual looping, alluring samples, stop-start hardhitting beats from one of the best drummers of our time, the trio are the kings of earpelting experimental mathrock fuzz. Love a band that provide straight up honest and raw orchestrations. I just love them, listen to the album!

The Afghan Whigs- Do To The Beast


First album from this iconic band in 16 years and this album has yet to leave my playlists. Do To The Beast is phenomenal. We were extremely lucky to cover the band when they played the prolific Manchester Cathedral earlier this year, one of the best gigs we’ve ever attended, really struggled with words to describe just how perfect their performance was. Do To The Beast is a record that will withstand any amount of time, every track flows into the next and you just find yourself putting the album on repeat forever.

Brontide- Artery

Where the hell did this album come from?! It blew me away. The album is intellectually one of the best, one piece of flawless music cut into several tracks. Incredible sophomore release and an exceptional follow up release, an album you need to hear in its entirety. Need to see this band touring again.

Dads- ‘I’ll Be The Tornado’


Again a band we regularly rave about on the site, but this duo can do no wrong in my eyes. I’ll Be The Tornado was released in October on the renowned 6131 Records, again another sophomore full length and a milestone release for the pair. ’ll Be The Tornado sees the group branching out into guitar-driven indie rock, with lyrics that drive home just how difficult it can be to transition from youthful angst to adulthood. Singer/drummer John Bradley’s powerful, poetic words make the record instantly relatable and his voice has a quality that makes the songs on I’ll Be The Tornado overwhelmingly warm and  human.

A Werewolf- Because Why Not? EP


If I was to get married, I have already told this local duo they have to play my wedding. These two musicians will always put the biggest grin on my face, I adore them. In my eyes they are one of the best local bands around. The duo consisting of Niall and Zack are quickly making an admirable name for themselves. Niall is already a familiar and much loved name to our site- known for his incredibly powerful instrumental solo act We Used To Have Horses, which is a resident artist in our online shop. His latest venture is simply outstanding. In fact the band are on the edge of achieving some incredible musical life achievements. A Werewolf are bursting with potential, Because Why Not hits my top release of the year duo the record having no boundaries – a frantic orchestration mixed with Zach Hill Esque Drums and a typhoon of unruly math and ever changing time signatures.

First Aid Kit- Stay Gold


Heading in a completely different direction to all this math rock in my end of year list, Swedish indie folk duo First Aid Kit released their third studio album in June and it’s the most delectable record around. The entire album resonates in honesty and thrives in sentiment, the album is huge on all scales, with a brilliant orchestra accompanying their soothing vocals, this album just hits all the right notes.

High Elders- Forest Of Pencils


Having only discovered this release about 2 weeks before the end of the year, this duo quickly grabbed their spot in my list. With their new album out on one of our favorite labels ‘Little L Records’ we needed to give this pair the time and I am thankful we did. Their creativity bares strong resemblance to that of Aesop Rock and Flying Lotus, this act deserves your attention. High Elders are an international duo comprising of renowned Gentle Jones known for his hip-hop attributes, from Delaware, USA and Auxiliary Phoenix, a young experimental hip-hop produce from Carlow, Ireland. This debut album “Forest Of Pencils” is an astonishing release, a real promising effort showcasing the best of the pair’s capabilities.

Yasiin Gaye: The Departure (Side One)

Genius. Amerigo Gazaway, the man behind the A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharycde mash-up album returned at the start of the year with an outstanding release, combining Brooklyn rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) and the legendary Marvin Gaye for a new series titled Soul Mates. Yasiin Gaye: The Departure is just soulful through and through, the producer crafted his own arrangements using samples from Marvin Gaye’s music, building a foundation for Yasiin Bey’s rhymes and Marvin Gaye’s voice. Very clever and a must hear.

We’re No Heroes- Shiver


Another upcoming act we can’t get enough of. We’re No Heroes are a Cardiff based trio simply bursting with potential and a band who soundtracked our summer with their quintessential EP release ‘Shiver’. Consisting of Tom Collins- Guitar + Vocals, Michael Owen- Bass + Vocals and Luke Llewellyn – Drums + Vocals, We’re No Heroes deliver the perfect mix of !!! (chk chk chk) style dance rock with some Data Select Party style gang vocals. Shiver from start to finish engages the listener, with intense energy, sticky hooks, soaring vocals and fun musicianship. Vibrant synth-like surges created by Tom’s guitar, concentrated abrasive percussion, elongated echoes provided from backing harmonies, addictive bass and illustrious lyrics all of which compliment the underlay of glistening elements found within the deep sonic textures of each composition. This is a band to watch, they are soon to become a very familiar name and we can’t wait to hear more from the trio.

Quadrupede- T O G O B A N

When I heard the duo were busy making a new record I became so excited. At the beginning of last year they released one of the best debut EP’s in the world, ever, fact. And we loved it so much we stock the self titled release in our store. 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. T O G O B A N which is out now on Black Basset Records is nothing short of perfection. The duo are masters at creating such deep layers of sound, with the intensity of a band double it’s size. It’s hard to believe this is the magnitude of just two musicians.

Caddywhompus- Feathering A Nest


Welcome back these two! There seems to be a pattern of talented duo’s making my end of year list, but after Caddywhompus released ‘Feathering A Nest’ on Community Records just a month ago, their fate was sealed, they deserved the top spot. This stunning release needs to be heard in full, streaming in it’s entirety in order to get the full effect. Wondering Sound described Caddywhompus’ sound as offering, ”start with feverish, math-y riffs, adding rollercoaster drumming and syncopated rhythms gradually, exploring the more perilous corners of experimental pop music. Feathering A Nest is flawless, an explosive mix of influences showcasing the band’s maturity as musicians and as individuals, they create intricate compositions and they’ve captivated me with this album.

DFA 1979- The Physical World


YES. 10 years on from their debut, Grainer and Keeler have created a release far better then any expectations. The Physical World is a monstrous effort and a must hear album.

Single Release of The Year-

Woahnows ‘Life In Reverse’


I can’t get enough of this track. Think Against Me! meets Japandroids and Les Savy Fav, with Dananananaykroyd-esque guitar work and gang vocals packed full of hooks and earworms. “Some songs just write themselves, and this is one of them” explains front man Tim Rowing-Parker “I don’t really feel like I can even take credit, one day it was just there. Certainly not one of our smartest or technical ones, but it’s fun to straighten out from time to time, so we did.” Fast paced, energetic and addictive. Looking forward to the next release from Woahnows!

EP Mention-

A Parliament Of Wolves- I Am A Knife With Legs


Using a range of hardware electronics, guitars and keys, A Parliament of Wolves will attack each listener with a composed aggression and a powerfully layered wall of sound, intricate compositions mixing analogue synths and electronic beats with an array of hard hitting angular guitar riffs . Their debut EP ‘I Am A Knife With Legs’ saw the light of day a week or so ago, December 15th, a longtime getting there but what an inspirational debut! Make sure you check out this intricate act, they’re on to big things!

Best Gig

I saw Prince during his run of UK shows earlier this year, that alone was the greatest evening. Other incredible shows include Afghan Whigs at Manchester Cathedral and A Werewolf’s EP release show at The Firefly Worcester. I’ve seen Broken Oak Duet perform live about 50 times this year, a two piece I can’t tire from. In February we saw local band Holy! play The Jailhouse in Hereford for the first time- they are incredible! Vasudeva toured the UK this year, we caught them in Swansea, that was a triumphant show. Jealous Lovers Club Microfestival was one of the best events we’ve been a part of and their recent show with Fago Sepia, unreal. Hereford promoters Never Mind The Bullocks returned to the live scene after a short hiatus, they bought God Damn to town that was pretty special. Melt Banana at The Fleece was a surreal night- so glad got to see this duo live.

Highlights of The Year

I have to say a huge huge huge thank you to all the bands, acts, artists, promoters, labels, press agencies and to our readers, this year has been the busiest but the greatest for Circuit Sweet. The continuing support is appreciated more than I can show. In March of this year we celebrated our 5th birthday, 5 years of Circuit Sweet. As many know, Circuit Sweet is my baby, the site is run by just myself, the lovely other half provides gig photography and sessions and this year we’ve added a few brilliant writers to our roster, to help when I am drowning in submissions. So there tends to be a delay in responding to certain requests straight away, but I try to aim to answer and to publish all that we receive, the aim of Circuit Sweet is to promote. But 5 years on, I can safely say we are going strong. To celebrate the birthday back in March we released our first ever compilation featuring some incredible artists including Tera Melos, Absalom Absalom, Alright The Captain, Signal Hill, Vasudeva, North End, Bearcubbin, A Last Salute to Byss and more- the release was a huge success and a milestone for us- you can still get that 21 track album for free here- http://circuitsweetrecords.bandcamp.com/album/circuit-sweet-compilation-5

One of the biggest highlights for me personally was sponsoring the first Jealous Lovers Club and Juxtaposed Microfestival back in May. Jealous Lovers Club are one of the most hard working promoters out there, bringing the best selection of live music to various venues in Cardiff, Newport and London. To help assist JLC with their first Microfestival and enjoy one of the best live events we’ve witnessed, that was something special. To see our logo on a billboard for that was pretty awesome! The day of the event at Cardiff’s prolific Gwdihw showcased 12 incredible arists from across the UK and we had the pleasure in chatting to most of the bands after their set. You can find all our live interviews here-  http://vimeo.com/circuitsweetmedia including of my favorite interviews with Her Parents, the microfestival happened to be the quartet’s last ever show and one of the most amusing and entertaining sets witnessed, the interview is pure genius! Jealous Lovers Club have announced Feels Like Summer Festival 2015- following on from the success of their first microfestival, we urge you to go!

Another highlight has to be sponsoring the first Noise Against Cancer local charity gig at The Firefly, Worcester raising money for Cancer Research. 3 great bands, a very sucessful raffle and circuit sweet cupcakes, that was a pleasure to be a part of.

This year we participated in Cassette Store Day, we welcomed a Little L Records release to the store, Syd Kemp’s limited edtion CSD release found it’s way on to our shelves which was a great day and event to be associated with.

My personal Circuit Sweet highlights could go on for days, but one main one to list has to be working with new duo A Parliament Of Wolves. Working two of the greatest people I know, Oli Montez and Simon Gore, has been a total pleasure. I have assisted with their debut EP release ‘ I Am A Knife With Legs’ which will be available in the shop soon, I have watched these musicians form this band and construct their compositions over a few years but to see their debut release finally see light and the positive feedback it’s received makes the hard work they’ve all put in, very much worth it. I love helping musicians work gets heard and this pair are a duo I urge you to support.

Artist To Watch for 2015

I’ll have to name a few here- All Tvvins, I need an album or something for this band, their track ‘Know Go’ is stuck on  repeat, looking forward to hearing more from them. Broken Oak Duet- I hear the Worcester two piece have an album in the works, please make my 2015. Alright The Captain, the trio’s new album ‘Contact Fix’ is due in 2015- keep an eye out for that. Local act Holy!, they’re onto some great things, I need a release from this band soon. U Sco, Chemistry Lessons, Aulos‘ drummer Josh Lamdin plans to drop a new solo record, looking forward to that. And finally come on Aulos I need a new release from my favorite boys!

Also make sure to follow promoters Never Mind The Bullocks, Surprise Attacks and Hereford Live and the wonderful people that make Slap Mag happen each month- we love you guys.

AND be sure to watch what Little L Records will be releasing in 2015, my god Callum is a genius- this label and this man is introducing us to so much talent.

Plans for 2015

I am very excited for the next 12 months, our little website will be having another make-over, which we can’t wait to show you thanks to our good friends at Oogly. I am hoping we have some more great releases in our shop, attend as many gigs as possible, review more than possible (might need to recruit some writers), hopefully we can sponsor some more shows/festivals, release a few compilations and help as many acts as possible.

Anyway that’s enough from me, again thank you to all that have helped us and supported us this year, you are the best!- For now keep checking the site as we return back to those awesome labels and musicians.


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.