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 take over comes from an incredibly dedicated and hardworking label- Super Fan 99. We’ve had the pleasure in seeing and hearing some amazing releases from the label and their acts this year and we got to stock their curated ‘band sourced’ Secret 7th compilation for Cassette Store Day with Alcopop records, which has now sold out from the shop shelves. Luke Barham the man behind the label, tells us his personal favourite albums of the last 12 months.
Top 5 releases of the year and a brief reason why
It’s hard not to pick records I’ve released on Super Fan as I’m so close to them SO….
Winter – Supreme Blue Dream.
Lush dream-pop from LA via Brazil. This record does everything you want it to and more. Samira is such a talented writer. It was a real pleasure to do the UK release and bring it to more ears over this side of the water. It has some fiercely catchy pop as well as more introspective shoegaze that reminds me of the Cocteau Twins.
Cotillon – Cotillon.
This guy really lit the ticker tape for Super Fan as he was the first artist after myself on the label. It was produced by JR formerly of GIRLS and was recorded in part at the same studio Pet Sounds was made. Members of King Tuff and The Modern Lovers play session, what more can I say? It’s a real adventure of an album. Again, I can’t believe I got to put it out. We’ve become good friends too which is always nice.
Dante Elephante – Anglo Saxon Summer.
70s styled Dream-pop lushness and a band I had been pursuing to release from the start. It’s a really strong set of songs as was the EP that preceded it. It was produced by Jonathan Rado of Foxygen and has a real 70s San Fran analogue sound that it’s hard not to fall in love with.
Matt McKee – The Body You Ride Around In.
Matt has been a friend for years and I’ve always been aware of his talents but he really raised the bar with both his writing and performances this year. Although the album doesn’t have huge arrangements or vast amounts of different instruments it really takes you on a journey. I was proud to put this out.
Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear.
Ok, so they can’t all be releases from my label. I loved Fear Fun so much that this was a really anticipated album for me and it didn’t disappoint. I guess it’s more of the same but his alter ego has somewhat grown and like all good sequels everything is slightly bigger and bolder. Jonathan Wilson again produces so it’s nice to see they didn’t mess with the formula too much as Fear Fun was seamless. He’s just the best in the game right now, I imagine by album three he’ll be headlining festivals.
The best gig you have attended and why
My favorite gig this year was Father John Misty at Village Underground. I think he was only a week in to touring Honeybear but his band sounded like they’d been together for years. It was just electric from start to finish. He’s such a great showman and the lyrics and music are so on the money.
Label Highlights of the year
The label is only 1 year old and I don’t think there was a month or release that went by where it didn’t feel like a highlight. It really has gone beyond my wildest dreams and hopes so I’m grateful to everyone who bought a record and also the bands I’ve put out for agreeing to work with me. I guess if pushed I’d say the first release with Cotillon selling out in two hours was a great feeling. I also loved our triple color dip 7” we did for Natural Anthem, working with Pearl Charles and seeing her do so well was great to be a part of. Back home working with Zooz and Goddam Nobody was ace as they became good friends along the way and both records had great feedback from the world. The cassette day split with Alcopop! Records was an ambitious project where we put out 56 bands on one release. The thought of it scared the life out of me but having it all come together was not only a relief but very satisfying and a release I think people really loved.
Artist/Band to watch for 2015
I’m gonna say Queen of Jeans. They are girl gang from Philly who sound like Warpaint covering The Ronettes. I think Husband Material who I’ve been working with are a wonderful band. If there is any justice then they will really fly in 2016. I’ve also been digging Pale Hound, Summer Peaks, Jesuits, Globelamp, Magic Potion and Las Rosas.
Plans for the New Year
I hope to put out more unique releases and reach more people. I have my first couple planned and they are really strong. I’m hoping to do a summer all dayer where hopefully some of my US bands can come over for the first time like Dante Elephante and Winter.
Thank you so much Luke, look forward to working with you and the next load of great releases you churn our next year!