Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases ’15- Paper Trail Records

December 30, 2015

Skye Portman Rad Releases

It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2015 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 hosting takeovers from the featured artists of the site with their personal top 5 releases of the year.

Continuing our annual end of year tradition we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists, their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.

Our next label take over comes from a fairly new, very dedicated and extremely promising young label who have truly captivated us this year with their flurry of incredible releases, introducing us to some of the best musicians. We hand over to Dublin’s Paper Trail Records to find out more about their year in music, personally and for the label itself. We hand over to Jack Rainey half of the Paper Trail Records duo who are the force behind the company.

Top 5 releases of the year

This was tough to narrow down. If you were to ask me again tomorrow it might be different.

Natalie Prass – S/T


I’m a big Matthew E White fan, so I was interested to see what the first non Matthew Spacebomb release would be like. It doesn’t disappoint. It has the great Matthew E White punchy production sound. The record is beautifully orchestrated whilst not losing the intimacy at the core of the tracks, sung by her sweet soulful voice. A gem of a breakup album. There’s a lightness to the tracks that feel sweetly melancholic, not sad. It sounds like a classic already.

Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie


My favourite Irish release of the year. It’s a noisy, dissonant and brutal record. It somehow manages to be really humourous too. I recommend listening to it so loud that you cannot think. A thrill.

Vince Staples – Summer 06


This definitely lived up to the hype. The production is layered and unpredictable. It’s a really dense record. He is pretty relentless in his flow, rarely stopping for pause. Norf Norf is perhaps my song of the year.

Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style


This is technically a compilation, comprising songs dating back to 2011 that were re-recorded for his Matador debut. It’s a great entry point.

There’s the droll, meandering vocal delivery of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, the crackled pop gems of Guided by Voices, and an intimacy that is similar to early Modest Mouse. Really excited for ‘Teens of Denial’ in 2016.

Joanna Newsom – Divers

Her most accessible and compact batch of songs to date. Full band arrangements turn up more often, however Divers more than any other Newsom album allows room for the quiet moments to play off the grander moments. Like all of her albums it unravels and reveals more with each listen.

Label Releases

I want to quickly give some props to the releases we did. I felt I couldn’t include them in the top five for fear of bias!

Cloud – Zen Summer


It was amazing to do the Cloud ‘Zen Summer’ release. We were both huge fans of ‘Comfort Songs’. ‘Zen Summer’ is a really lush record, full of layered pop songs. The opener ‘Fly Into The Mystery’ is the highlight for me. FFO Beach Boys/ Animal Collective/ Galaxie 500.

Beach Moon/ Peach Moon – Kite Without A String


Beach Moon/ Peach Moon is unlike anything I’ve heard. It has an other wordly, mystical feel. It manages to combine the intimacy of lo-fi music, with more widescreen post-rock/ shoegaze influences. There’s amazing interweaving guitar lines, that combine with off-beat drums. FFO American Analogue Set/ Sparklehorse/ The Microphones.

Best gig: Viet Cong (Workman’s Club – May 13th)

I didn’t think they’d be able to match the intense nature of the record live. If anything they surpassed the nervous intensity live… it sounded bigger and more majestic. The 11 minute epic Death had my bones shaking. I was lucky enough to see them three times in 2015.

Label Highlight

Our launch event was cool. The experience of doing our first releases Cloud and Beach Moon/ Peach Moon. We did a charity compilation for Console, a mental health charity here in Ireland. It managed to raise about 1000 euros and get some

discussion going on the topic. It was lovely to see how generous and willing people were in donating songs, both Paper Trail label artists and other artists we love. If anyone is interested they can find it here –

Artist/ Band to watch for 2016

Hot Cops. They’re a three piece alt-rock band from Belfast. FFO Deerhunter, Pixies, Pavement (e.g. all the good stuff!).

Plans for the New Year

We have a vinyl release coming out in early spring. That will be announced in the next month or so. Then we’re doing a bunch of singles/ releases with different artists. Our main focus is really on growing our artists live profiles. They’ll be a lot more live shows next year. We hope to put on some Paper Trail Events in Dublin. We’re looking at doing a SXSW event but that’s still a bit up in the air.


Thanks so much, really been a pleasure working alongside this label over the last 12 months, we can’t wait for their 2016 accomplishments.

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