Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, Reviews

Rad Releases 20 – Cowgirl

December 21, 2020

Rad Releases 20 – Cowgirl

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 York-based noisemakers Cowgirl. This duo have been instrumental to our 2020, the band has released some essential tracks throughout the year. The first was featured on a compilation from Long Division Festival which was to showcase the talent that was due to play their festival. Then Cowgirl joined forces with Safe Suburban Home Records in September to release ‘Only Lasts A Moment’/’Hold Me’ as one of the SSH cassette series instalment, of which we were thrilled to welcome to our shop shelves. We handover to find out more about Cowgirl‘s year in music..

Cowgirl Top 5 Releases

Cut Worms- Nobody Lives Here Anymore (album)

Every song feels like a classic. Just wall to wall country classics. Warm Muscle Shoals style production and slapback vocals. Great melodies across all 17 tracks, no duds. Cut Worms has taken it back to the shack.

Bob Dylan- Rough & Rowdy Ways (album)

I mean. It’s a new Bob Dylan album. Three Sinatra covers albums was at least two too many. But thankfully, he’s back and the album is great. Only Bob Dylan could release a 17 minute ballad about the assassination of JFK as a come back single. The world is fucked but at least we still live in a world where Bob Dylan is releasing albums.

Grimm Grimm- Ginormous (album)

Off-kilter pop, sparse and thoughtfully arranged. Great songwriting with poignant instrumentation. Danny saw Grimm Grimm in London when we were recording our album earlier this year and by all accounts it was pretty special.

Silver Synthetic- Out of the Darkness (EP)

Now we’re talking. Thank God this exists. Just four dudes making good time rock and roll, the kind of music that makes you want to go out and get a beer. Lockdown’s gone on too long, I’m growing my mutton chops back and getting fucked up.

Widowspeak- Money (single)

Hypnotic and totally vibing. This track just cruises along, subtly building but never boiling over. Totally rad stop after the first chorus. It soundtracked a few summer days drinking outside on the grass earlier this year.

Best gig

We managed to play a couple this year before the wheels fell off. The first was back in January at Victoria Vaults in York with fellow Safe Suburban Home releasees, The Early Mornings. The second was supporting Prettiest Eyes at The Brudenell in Leeds. Unfortunately Jack (drums) & Tom (bass) were both ill so Danny made a 30 minute drum loop and we got freaky over an extended version of ‘I Thought You Should Know’. Prettiest Eyes blew the roof off. Bass player has some seriously sensual moves and those guys smoke.

Record that got you through the year

John Cale- Fear

I’d never worked my way through John Cale’s back catalogue but lockdown certainly gave me that opportunity. Fear, is the one that really landed. Great production, his voice sounds great. And the songs are as good as anything Lou Reed did solo. ‘You Know Me More Than I Know’ is a heartbreaker.

How have you adapted with releasing/ recording/ promoting music this year

Thankfully we were able to wrap up the recording of our forth album before lockdown fully hit. We’re still sitting on that but we have managed to release five other tracks this year. A couple of digital singles through Desert Mine Music, a cassette release through Safe Suburban Home and a track on Long Division festival’s ‘New Addition, Vol. 2’ 12” comp. Its safe to say we have album #5 demoed and ready to record as soon as circumstance allows.

Best discovery this year

Psychic Ills

Unfortunately we only got round to checking out Psychic Ills after the death of frontman, Tres Warren earlier this year. We wish we had sooner. They do all the right things, in all the right places.

Stand-out record of the last 10 years

This is a near impossible question to answer, there have been so many. But the stand-out record this decade would probably be Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts. As guitar music wavered it seemed to hit the reset button and demonstrate everything that was important, exposing the chaff for what it was. They’re a band that continue to release consistently great albums, but this is still the one that seems to capture a vital energy more than any other.

Band to watch for 2021

Perspex

Perspex keep it real. They’re a band that are out for a good time. Self-recording anti-anthems, delivered with a venom and urgency that 2021 needs. You can stay in and listen to your bedwetters with acoustic guitars or you can go listen to Perspex. Up to you.

Plans for the New Year

We’re releasing a new cassette single through Safe Suburban Home in January and (fingers crossed) playing a launch party at The Crescent in York. There’ll be an album release at some point and there’s also talk of a split 10”. We’re hoping to get back into the studio asap and we’ll be gigging as much as we’re able to.

So excited for the new single! Wishing you all the luck for 2021

https://www.facebook.com/cowgirlband/

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