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 favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists. Telling us their favourite events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next take over comes from the dedicated independent label Reckless Yes. We absolutely LOVE this label and their passion for live music, new music and their plethora of talented acts. Both Pete and Sarah behind RY are a force to be reckoned with, their talents are endless but they’re united in their mission to introduce music to more. We hand over to discover more about their busy year in music…
Reckless Yes – our 2018 releases
This year has been our biggest yet at Reckless Yes – an exciting whirlwind with a full card of releases. In total we welcomed four LPs, an EP and a novel into the world and have grinned like fools at what our artists have created.
We kicked off the year with the third album from multi-instrumentalist Grawl!x, closing his trilogy on grief and including guest spots from the likes of Haiku Salut and Dani of Pet Crow. It was the duet with the latter – Don’t Do It To Yourself – which should rightfully be making its way onto end of year lists everywhere for being an almost perfect slice of melancholy indiepop. An underrated artist – those who don’t get to know Grawl!x are truly doing themselves a disservice.
This record was quickly followed by the highly anticipated and long-awaited debut album from LIINES. The Manchester post punk three-piece have had an amazing year and next year is set to be even bigger – they’ve already been announced as tour support with Sleaford Mods, a handful of headline dates, and are currently working on new music.
Summer came around and we released the debut EP from electro indiepop three-piece Mighty Kids. This record had felt a long-time coming for us after we got into them back around the time they formed in 2016 and it was great to mark its release with a packed out show on the Church Stage at Indietracks.
We’ve ended out the year with a pair of indiepop albums in Fightmilk’s debut Not With That Attitude and Chorusgirl’s Shimmer and Spin. Fightmilk have taken a nostalgia for that ‘90s Britpop sound while Chorusgirl dip further back for indie-inspiration with an ‘80s sparkle. Both have flown and completed an amazing year for us and gave us one of our live highlights when they played for us at Rough Trade Nottingham – perfect indiepop singing your feelings back at you from the stage.
Other music we’ve loved in 2018
It’s been a great year for music – although there will always be naysayers who declare new music dead, they are – as always – unequivocally wrong. While many albums of the year lists are celebrating Idles and Low it’s worth looking beyond the big hitters in indie to the wider underground and DIY scene, which is thriving despite increasingly harsh conditions for artists.
Easy contenders for albums of this year have been the instrumental electro-pop of Haiku Salut with their most cohesive work in There Is No Elsewhere; the indiepop and angst of Wolf Girl’s Every Now and Then; and the post-punk dance vibe of Sink Ya Teeth’s self-titled debut.
Recently we’ve spent a lot of time with the folk noir of Sara Forslund’s Summer Is Like A Swallow, and Big Joanie’s Sistahs – undoubtedly the most important punk album of the year. Early in the year it was the angular noise rock of Crime Wolf and the no wave of Slumb Party. For math rock a-tota-so has been our go to, and having been fans for a while we’ve continued to love the experimental electronica of Elsa Hewitt’s Becoming Real compilation too.
Our albums of the year 2018
* LIINES – Stop-Start (Reckless Yes)
* Fightmilk – Not With That Attitude (Reckless Yes)
* Chorusgirl – Shimmer and Spin (Reckless Yes)
* Grawl!x – Appendix (Reckless Yes)
* Haiku Salut – There Is No Elsewhere (PRAH)
* Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth (Hey Buffalo)
* Big Joanie – Sistahs (Daydream Library Series)
* a-tota-so – a-tota-so (self release)
* Slumb Party – Happy Now (Drunken Sailor Records)
* Crimewolf – Crimewolf (Head of Crom)
You can find a playlist of tracks we’ve loved from this year here – we’re still adding to it so give it a follow: https://open.spotify.com/user/serenstars/playlist/6LAK3bqU8whn1Igdpe4LN9
What we’re looking forward to in 2019
With new music from LIINES, a release with Lorna, new music from Grawl!x and revealing at least a couple of new signings.
We’re excited about music away from our own roster in the New Year too – Last Night From Glasgow are proving themselves a label to watch – not only for sharing our ethical approach to supporting artists but for the release they’ve got coming up. We’d particularly recommend listening out for the new indiefolk album from Sister John in January and the latest from eternal electropop kids bis in February.
We’re also hoping to hear new music from Sex Jokes (the project of Shelley Jane Newman of Mighty Kids), looking forward to what Dystopian Future Movies are currently working on, and we’re hoping those patriarchy-smashing punk witches Dream Nails get to make a full length release. We’ve also got fingers crossed for something new from indiepop royalty Mammoth Penguins (who we had play with Chorusgirl and Fightmilk in November) and to hear more from flirting, who we were lucky enough to catch at the Fightmilk album launch.
The music we’re most excited about is the music we’ve not heard yet and don’t even know is coming – discovery is the best part and we can’t wait to have a 2019 filled with new sounds and new artists.
You can find a playlist of tracks from bands on the Reckless Yes roster here: https://open.spotify.com/user/serenstars/playlist/3PzR5meKkkEuF83aNG7btm
A huge thank you to Reckless Yes for your involvements with our end of year feature. We can’t wait to hear more from you all over the next 12 months.