It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2019 rapidly approaches and we somehow end this decade- 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 filled with plenty of highs and lows- it’s the releases that have once again pulled a lot of people through the year.
Now in it’s 9th year, we let our favourites take over the site to tell us the records that have made their end of year lists. Telling us their most loved events/gigs and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next Rad Releases take-over comes from the intricate sounds of Bull. The York based quartet have grown courageously over the years and we still urge you all to fall in love with this promising and fresh act. Seriously obssessed with this band, each single they release showcases their talent and ability to capture any genre and unique atmosphere they wish to curate. Some of their projections can be compared to the likes of legendary act Built To Spill, newcomers Middle Kids and Calpurnia and that of Pixies to Pavement. Their sound is easy to define yet so unique to the act. We hand over to the band to find out more about their year in music….
Top 5 releases of the year
We played with Squid twice in Europe thanks to our then manager, ricochet member and terrific lady Inès de Puyfontaine. Thanks! It was a real eye opener for me & all of us I think watching their professionalism and skill. Also, that singer’s got a real fine set of pipes. I’m sure you already have but dig “Rodeo” again and the whole Town Centre E.P –
Steve French are a crackin band with a debut album so full of hits, you’ll be scratching your head saying: how does he do it? That’s Cees Paris or ‘Steve French’, Netherland’s native and seasoned pro playing with more of his kind. Names like Willem Smit of the world renowned Canshaker Pi and Personal Trainer. Ruben van Weegberg (also a Canshaker) plus pro rock legends Killian Kayser and Able Tuinstra – these guys seriously rock. Listen to the whole album Lightening Tiger Running and dig all the hooks, not least “Graveyard”, “B Side” and “I Dream of Being a Machine”. Certainly one of the greatest releases of the year.
Matt Ellin / Theophobia
We encountered Matt Ellin in Baltimore two years ago. He’s an incredibly talented musician and songwriter who made a big impression on all four of us. Unfortunately not a release but this live video on PBS shows the new and exciting direction Matt is going with his new band Theophobia. His guitar playing and songwriting are great. Check out this video and look out for a release from these New Yorkers
Also, check out this song – ‘Friends’ by Matt from 2017:
Personal Trainer are probably my favourite band in the world right now (the rest of the band probably agree). Last time we played after them and they were the hardest act to follow EVER. They are everything I like to see in a band. It is artistic, heartfelt, happy, calm, hard rocking and most of all, FUN. It’s no mistake though because every member of the revolving line up is a pro and Dutch rock royalty. Dan from our band Bull actually toured with them on their recent UK/Northern Europe Pip Blom support tour. So the musicians are all class acts but it’s all put together by Willem Smit, who is a very cool guy and knows what’s up. He’s also a great songwriter and musician as his track record in Amsterdam’s Canshaker Pi will attest to. Listen to The Lazer and dig this dancing video, featuring a bunch of the ‘personal trainers’:
•The best show you have played this year and why
For me (Tom) it was supporting Squid in Belgium. The sound was excellent, apparently the monitors cost 5 grand or some shit. It was just really good gear and everything sounded sweet as. Also, we’d already been on tour for ages, so were really getting down to the nuances of the sounds and the performance and it was great. Honourable mentions are Whitby, again – phenomenal sound and felt like nothing could go wrong, and we were all super aware that this was THE BEST WE’VE EVER PLAYED! Which was cool. That and the last gig with Spiral Stairs in London. Super amazing, Dan played guitar on Kennel District. That’s 3 isn’t it, haha, good year!
• The best gig you have attended
Big Thief at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. All of my friends were there! Not just my friends but their best friends, too! It was also super beautiful and felt like you were seeing musicians play at total perfection and synchronisation. Plus great songs. And about 100 pints of Guinness!
• Highlights of your year
There’s been loads come to think of it! Gig we played in Glasgow at the hug and pint. Top sound and was the first one (day before the Whitby one) where I got a bit overwhelmed with the nuance and how bloody good we sounded! Made me very happy. I’m sure the rest of them would agree although everyone has their own moments.
Getting to go on tour with Spiral Stairs, that was amazing. Particularly the Manchester gig where Spiral said some really nice stuff about how he’d ‘always loved these towns’ (UK cities). I dunno – it was a good atmosphere and me and Dan deffo felt pretty emotional. Realised how many great songs he has and kept thinking how he was such a big part of my favourite band, Pavement. It was cool. Especially because the inspiration for Bull was 100% Pavement, so it’s kinda amazing that we got to meet him. Ya get me?
Having our music on vinyl for the first time, “Love Goo” and “Eugene”, pressed at Deep Grooves, Leeuwarden. Pretty sweet.
• Artist/Band to watch for 2020
They will most likely have their first release next year. They are super awesome and heavy, and tuneful, and good friends, based in Amsterdam. They’ve just recorded with Remko in Ijland studio (same as us). Can’t wait to hear what they’ve made!
• Best discovery this year
It’s tricky because I think mine changes every month or so, so I can’t think about it through a year long perspective. I think it might be the song “Caught in the Rain” by Spiral Stairs. We went to see him supporting Wilco when we were in Copenhagen and he played it and said: ‘here’s an old Preston school of industry song… Caught in the Rain’ and we really liked the song. Then he played it pretty much every night of the tour and I’ve not stopped listening to it since. It’s a magic song, very calm, doesn’t matter what it’s about at all. Very cool.
• Plans for the New Year
We’re going to release more singles that we recorded last year. We’re going to potentially release a compilation of those singles. We’re going to record lots more starting in January. We’re going to tour lots more, and we’re getting serious baby.
Thanks so much, so thrilled for our input into the feature and we’re excited to hear more from you in 2020!