It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2018 rapidly approaches we take a personal look back on familiar names, features and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been another crazy year of highs and lows- it’s the releases that have pulled a lot of people through the year. Now in it’s 8th year, Circuit Sweet will be hosting takeovers from the featured artists/musicians/labels and promoters of the site with their personal top releases of the year.
Continuing our annual end of year tradition; we let our
Last year we were thrilled to discover the promising label, Obi Records. We reached out to this incredibly hardworking label back in 2017 to stock some of their special Cassette Store Day releases and this year was no different. The UK based independent record label are ones to watch, they’re a mysterious entity but both driven and truly dedicated to getting their artists heard on tape.
Top 5 releases
Shame – Songs of Praise – Dead Oceans – 12/01/18
This album actually totally missed us until I saw them on Jools Holland performing ‘One Rizla’ and was absolutely blown away. Immediately bought it, loved it and told anyone and everyone that this had also missed to get on it as soon as they could. Choice cuts – ‘Concrete’, ‘Tasteless’ and ‘Friction’.
Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo – Night Time Stories – 26/01/18
We are long time Khruangbin fans here at Obi Records and this record did not disappoint us. Equal measures chill, funky and fun, we can’t get enough of this album. They also took The Shacks on the UK tour for this album who are awesome too. Choice cuts – ‘Cómo Te Quiero’, ‘Evan Finds the Third Room’ and ‘Friday Morning’.
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino – Domino – 11/05/18
We haven’t seen such a polarising album for a long time. It seems to have split the fanbase in two, some people love it, some people hate it. We love it. Its original, sounds great and has been accompanied by some of the most creative visuals paired with music for a while. Choice cuts – ‘Star Treatment’, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ and ‘Four out of Five’.
Ben Howard – Noonday dream – Island Records – 01/06/18
As huge fans of ‘I Forget Where We Are’ (in particular ‘End of the Affair’) it was very welcomed to hear Ben Howard performing more of that style of his music, with sprawling soundscapes, intricate instrumentation and world class production, we love this album. Choise cuts – ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’, ‘A Boat To An Island On The Wall’ and ‘Murmurations’.
Skinshape – Filoxiny – Lewis Recordings – 23/11/18
Skinshape is one of the most talented musicians releasing music today. ‘Oracolo’ and ‘Life & Love’ were both masterpieces showcasing an eclectic range of influences, ‘Filoxiny’ continues down that trajectory and highlights Skinshape’s excellent songwriting, playing and production skills. Choice cuts – ‘After Midnight’, ‘Life as One’ and ‘We Lose’.
Press To MECO – Here’s to the Fatigue
Demob Happy – Holy Doom
Fizzy Blood – Pink Magic
Jon Hopkins – Singularity
Leon Bridges – Good Thing
Hinds – I Don’t Run
Callow Saints/Sidewalk Express/Old Swing/Seafoam/Enjoyable Listens – Dukes in Aylesbury – 16/11/18
An all local affair for us, including the one night only return of a legendary Aylesbury band – Sidewalk Express – this night showcased some of the most talented musicians Aylesbury has produced and brought them all back to town for one special night. We even put out a very very special release of ‘Sidewalk Express Greatest Hits’ which sold out before they had even taken the stage.
https://youtu.be/1v0FbXQY59o – Callow Saints
https://youtu.be/kuWuXwa7Pkc – Sidewalk Express
https://youtu.be/GCgkYiGUfNE – Old Swing
https://youtu.be/LznpJxaafqk – Seafoam
https://youtu.be/tzUhmM1Tk20 – Enjoyable Listens
Working with Old Swing again to put out their latest release ‘Wonder’ on tape for Cassette Store Day 2018 was definitely our highlight of the year. The band are picking up real traction now and it’s a pleasure to continue working with them. We have been lucky enough to hear some demos of their future material, their fans are certainly in for a treat.
Artist/band to watch for 2019
We can’t choose just one, we still think you should keep your eyes on Old Swing as they will continue they will continue their crusade into peoples listening habits but also listen out for Fröst who dropped their debut ‘Matters’, Birthday Card and Blushes are coming back with new music so there is a lot to look out for.
Plan for the new year
We will continue to take things slow, we did releases with Blushes, The Hot Florida Pensioners, Seafoam, Sidewalk Express, Old Swing and Don Pierre this year, and would like to get back with all of those groups again in 2019 as well as some others and hit up Cassette Store Day 2019. We have some more ‘out of the box’ projects we have been working on and would like to get one of those out next year, but top on the agenda is to have another chill year.
A huge thank you to Obi Records for such a great feature. Another year we’ve loved crossing paths and know you’ve got great things and artists to showcase in 2019.