Rad Releases 20 – Bedtime Khal
It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2020 rapidly approaches and we quickly want to move away from this year- we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a challenging year for all, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time and it’s those releases that have the audience has depended on to get them through the year.
This year the Rad Releases special celebrates 10 years, to mark the decade-long feature we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have kept them going throughout this trying year. Telling us how they’ve adapted, if they’ve returned to a loved record and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next takeover comes from Bedtime Khal. Back in May earlier in the year, Devil Town Tapes introduced us to the new EP “Fog” from Michigan-based artist Bedtime Khal which they released via digital and cassette format. Their first release on Devil Town Tapes, but the third release from Bedtime Khal– this record is the perfect introduction to this bedroom project of Khal Malik. The EP has to be one of the most influential releases of the year and we were thrilled to premiere the release ahead of its official release day. We speak to Khal Malik to find out more about their year in music…
In no particular order:
“Cherry Hell” – Greg Mendez
This album got me through some really difficult times this year. Greg is also a really great person, and I’m glad I got to meet him through working with Devil Town Tapes. These songs are stuck in my head, and in my heart.
“batch_six” – boxset
Another release by Devil Town Tapes (how does Jack find these artists!). This was a huge inspiration for me, the esoteric vocals and distorted guitars remind me of some of my favorite bands like Guided by Voices, Pavement and Duster.
“SAWAYAMA” – Rina Sawayama
This was the most fun record of the year for me. I love everything about this album.
“Innocent Country 2” – Quelle Chris & Chris Keys
My favorite rap project of the year by fellow Michigan native Quelle Chris and UK producer Chris Keys. Amazing jazz pianos, smooth bass and dusty drum samples. Quelle is one of my favorite rappers. His odd flows and layered adlibs come together really artfully here. The features are amazing as well.
“The Neon Skyline” – Andy Shauf
A great indie folk and baroque pop record that hugs me like a warm blanket.
The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
I played a great show in my basement that my friend organized in February. Artists set up tables to sell prints and other creations while 4 great local bands provided the tunes. It was the last time I got to see a lot of great people before quarantine started, so I cherish that memory a lot.
Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
Pretty much any record that I listened to this helped get me through this year. A lot of great music came out this year, and I also had more time to discover more music. My spotify wrapped said I listened to 1,600 artists this year, which is pretty outrageous to consider. I bought more music and merch than I ever had (bandcamp friday is lit as f***).
Here are some albums I listened to a lot this year:
1. Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers
2. Color Theory – Soccer Mommy
3. Auto-Pain – Deeper
4. Stratosphere – Duster
5. Blowout Comb – Digable Planets
6. Every Pavement record
How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year?
I feel like I’ve been recording and writing more than ever this year. Everyone has had a lot of time to reflect on this traumatic time we’re living in, so the art has flowed very continuously. If i’m being honest, playing live has always made me anxious, so I’ve enjoyed just writing and releasing music on the Internet. People have been kind and supportive which I’ve appreciated greatly.
Best discovery this year?
My favorite discovery has been the band Cheekface. They rule. Please release an album in 2021.
As this is our 10th year of Rad Releases, we want to look back on your 10 years- has there been on standout moment/standout record of the past 10 years for you?
Congrats on 10 years! My favorite project of the last decade has to be Clash the Truth by Beach Fossils. I’ll never forget how that record made me feel the first time I listened to it in high school. In terms of musical landmarks, To Pimp a Butterfly will stand as the most significant musical release in my life so far.
Plans for the New Year
I’m hoping to release a tasty new record next year as well, so stay tuned for that!
Thank you Bedtime Khal, excited to hear more from you.