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.
For our next Rad Releases take over we hand the site over to a key contributor to Circuit Sweet. The incredible music journalist Gavin Brown. Gavin has been writing for the site for over 4 years and he is such a brilliant and vital member of our team. If you’ve had a positive feature on the site chances are the review came from the dedicated Gavin. This year Gavin has been busy focusing on some in-depth interviews with artists and we love to see and read his input on the site. We handover to Gavin to find out more about his year in music…
Top 5 releases of the year
1- Brutus – Nest
Brutus follow up 2017 debut Burst with an album that is equally, if not more, as energetic and awe inspiring and shows just how they are elevating as a band. A wonderful collection of not only songs but call to arms anthems, executed in the most vibrant way.
2- Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild
Living up to the World Eater and Dumb Flesh albums was always going to be challenging but Blanck Mass takes it all in his stride with another searing collection of warped but life affirming electronic music that turned up the heaviness and distortion all the way. Songs like Death Drop and Hush Money really are as good as it gets.
3- Kevin Richard Martin – Sirens
In another extremely prolific year for Kevin Martin aka The Bug, there could have been a number of choices for top albums be it the long awaited Zonal album with Justin Broadrick or the new King Midas Sound album, both of which were amazing but Sirens, the album he released under his own name was something else. A deeply personal album and a deeply personal listen, Sirens is an immersive listening experience that exudes hope even under the darkest of circumstances.
4- St Pierre Snake Invasion – Caprice Enchante
The long awaited follow up to debut album A Hundred Years A Day proved that St Pierre Snake Invasions second album was dry worth waiting for as the album took the energy levels through the roof. Songs like Remystery, Braindead and The Idiots Guide To Music showed off different sides if the bands powers and the whole album sounded as good as you hoped it would, full of the bands caustic humour and energy.
5- Torche – Admission
Torche returned with Admission and with it brought much more of their catchy riff laden soundscapes. The songs on this album brimmed with both vivacity and vision and it is definitely a worthy addition to the Torche catalogue and was on repeat again and again as soon as it came out.
Best gig attended this year
From the grandiose soundscapes of Neurosis, the crushing industrial fury of Godflesh and the dystopian beats of The Bug to the full on utopian rave madness of AJA and Big Lad, The upbeat punk of Big Joanie, the inspiring sounds of Yob and the lush noise of Matters, this year’s Supersonic, the fifteenth edition of the festival, had it all. The vast range of artists and performers they had on was staggering and the entire festival is so well run and stacked with an awe inspiring bill, so many like minded fans and an amazing vibe all weekend made it the best festival of its kind in the country. All the acts were on point throughout and it made for the best weekend of the year.
Highlights of the year
Seeing as there will never be a another chance to see Fugazi again, witnessing The Messthetics who feature the Fugazi rhythm section of bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty was a definite highlight. The band were something special in Bristol on their first ever UK date and meeting Joe Lally after the gig was great too. As just mentioned, Supersonic was an immense experience and a massive highlight. Doing some cracking interviews with some amazing artists was certainly a highlight as well with a chat with the wonderful Jo Quail definitely being up there as well as a great interview with Big Brave.
Artists to watch in 2020
St Pierre Snake Invasion
Full Of Hell
Emma Ruth Rundle
Plans for new year
To continue seeking out and writing about the best new music and to see many more live gigs including artists that I’ve never seen before (Faith No More, Pearl Jam, Brutus, Acid Cannibals and Chelsea Wolfe are top of the list) as well as catching old favourites on the road again (can’t wait to see St Pierre Snake Invasion And Torche again). Hitting Supersonic Festival again is right up there as well after how good it was this year. I’m also looking forward to interviewing a lot more interesting artists throughout the year.
A huge thank you for everything you’ve done for Circuit Sweet this year, looking forward to reading more. Very grateful for all your contributions and time!