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Rad Releases 20 – Flies Are Spies From Hell

December 21, 2020

Rad Releases 20 – Flies Are Spies From Hell

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.

Next up we handover to Flies Are Spies From Hell to find out more about their year in music. In the midst of lockdown in early Summer this year, Flies Are Spies From Hell released their outstanding new album ‘Final Quiet’. The progressive instrumental post-rock band released their third studio album and the 6 track release is a flawless feat from the act.The musicians continue to stay relevant within their field, they’ve crafted a release that will withstand the test of time to become the powerful classic release that it deserves.

Year In Music…

The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year) 

In February I saw Explosions In The Sky for the first time in ages. I first saw them with a couple of hundred people at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds 15 or so years ago which was extremely exciting. This time I went with the same friend again so it was all very nostalgic. 

During the lockdown I came across with my girlfriend an acoustic guitarist on the Southbank. He was just doing covers with his friend bashing on some buckets for drums but having been starved of live music for so long it was the most delightful and euphoric sound I’d ever heard. (Chris) 

VLMV live in Paris back in February. The show was put on by Voice Of The Unheard records and it was a really great evening – we travelled over from the UK to watch them that night, they’re good friends of ours and it brings back nice memories. (Will) 

Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?

I’ve really enjoyed Ólafur Arnalds ‘For Now I Am Winter’ during this whole Covid period. I purchased that on Vinyl from Truck Records, a beautiful record shop in Oxford, back before lockdown and it’s been something that I’ve enjoyed putting on to get away from all the awful news and just relax in the evening. Also enjoyed getting stuck into Of the Vine – a nice post-rock band with vocals from Seattle. They started reaching out to a European audience via Dunk! records. The album ‘East-the-Water’ is a corker! (Will) 

I’ve been listening to Japan and discovering David Sylvian’s solo work this year. I love ‘Dead Bees On A Cake’ and his ambient work is beautiful. ‘Flux + Mutability’ with Holger Czukay is my favourite – completely blissful. I’ve certainly found some solace in that. Japan were my sister’s favourite band as a teenager. She died last year and our recent album is dedicated to her. (Chris) 

How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year? 

It’s been hugely challenging. We have released what we collectively feel is our most important record as a band to date, right in the middle of a Global pandemic. The worst part is that we haven’t been able to tour the album across Europe as we were previously hoping to do. Touring with a new record is incredibly important as a band as you get to reach a new audience every night and have the opportunity to really push the record through the promotion of a tour environment.  That being said, sales of the vinyl, CD and download have been really positive and actually people have connected with the record in a way that we didn’t expect. We have had to rely on social media channels and new online media outlets to promote the record, so it’s been a big learning curve; particularly as it’s so crowded in that space. (Will) 

Best discovery this year? 

I’ve really enjoyed digging around lots of record shops around London this year – when they have been open. Flashback in Shoreditch has provided me with some lovely ambient tapes. The Music And Video Exchange has been good for some classic post-rock. I’ve been exploring some of the 90’s bands like Rachel’s, Bark Psychosis, Labradford and Aerial M. Also, I have been discovering great music through Gizeh Records – mostly ambient, experimental, downbeat music, with some post-rock too. Tomorrow We Sail may be my best discovery there. (Chris) 

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 10years for you?

Balmorhea – ‘Stranger’ is a personal favourite of mine! (Will) 

Artist/Band to watch for 2021 

La Jungle – incredible live and those French guys just never stop touring. Also VASA. (Will) 

Plans for the New Year 

I am looking forward to doing more with A Cheery Wave Records in the new year. We started doing distro this year – releases you can’t get elsewhere – so we’ll be adding to that. The next compilation album will be out in early Spring, and I’m looking forward to working with some great underground bands. And, of course, I can’t wait to be in rooms full of people and cascades of noise again… (Chris) 

Thank you Flies Are Spies, excited to hear more from you and still in awe over your May release

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