Rad Releases 20 – Heist Or Hit
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 for such a dedicated label. Heist or Hit have been a go-to record label for years, they continue to impress with their ability to find and back some of the most influential artists. Since its inception, Heist or Hit has been driven by artist development. That’s as true today as it ever was. Beyond record sales, streaming figures, radio wins and critical acclaim, the label’s chief passion remains cultivating talent- and that is their true skill and wonderful backbone to their efforts. Throughout the year, the label have continued to put their artists and their releases at the forefront of their vision and throughout the year they introduced us to the likes of Skia, Orpine, Brad Stank, JWestern, Nature TV + Hannah’s Little Sister to name a few. We handover to the team to find out more about their year in music..
Top Releases Of The Year…
‘A Hero’s Death’ by Fontaines D.C. is the record we needed to see out this hell of a year!
Giant Rooks ‘Rookery’ was also a delight. We’ve watched them grow in stature for several years and glad their debut album met expectations, especially the John Barry-esque opening track.
The direction ‘Sex Death and The Infinite Void’ by CREEPER took was really exciting, with has hints of The Damned, but also elements of Suede.
‘Alfredo’ by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist was just supreme. If they don’t give Gibbs a Grammy heads will roll.
Honourable mentions: bdrmm, The Orielles, Porridge Radio, Phoebe Bridgers and Still Woozy.
The best show you attended in 2020 (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
The only show any of us managed to attend was our own ‘New Cult’ night at Soup Kitchen in Manchester headlined by Porij. It was an incredible night and a simpler time. 50% of the team were doing ‘Dry January’. Needless to say, if we’d known then what we know now all notions of Christmas excess would have been swiftly overlooked.
Has there been any particular record – new or old – that’s helped you get through 2020?
It’s obviously highly subjective but ‘Floatr’ by Happyness, ‘Astral Traveling’ by Lonnie Liston Smith Puma Blue’s ‘Blood Loss’ EP and Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ all hit the mark for various members of the team this year. Records that create their own world into which listeners can escape weirdly act as a map to make sense of lived experiences. Mad that sound can do that, but there you go. That’s why we’re in the business of (hopefully) putting out meaningful records into the world. Music helps, kids!
Your best discovery this year?
Flying Goose Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce (455 ml), Command and Conquer online brought those LAN party vibes and bamboo woven underwear! You can thank us later (in comfort).
Your label highlight of 2020
Aside from New Cult, joining forces with Brad Stank to release his debut album ‘Kinky Om’. As a label, we’ve been fans of his for a long time, having had Stephen and Audun of Her’s as mutual friends. Following their passing, we got to know Brad really well and forged a strong friendship. Dealing with such a tragedy brought us closer, and it felt destined that we’d work together on something. Brad has a really unique approach to songwriting, and ‘Kinky Om’ is one of the strongest records we’ve put out on Heist or Hit. Immensely proud.
Looking back on our 10 years as a label, what has been your standout moment or record.
It’s impossible not to go Her’s directly on this, seeing them perform in Dallas on their final US tour was such a pure experience and one filled with warmth and undiluted joy. To this day we receive messages detailing how ‘Songs of Her’s’ has helped people work through difficult times in their lives. It’s a record strong enough to help shoulder the burden of trauma. Incredible to think that something Stephen and Audun created in their short time with us is still positively impacting the world. How many of us can say we make that sort of difference every day? It teaches us to contribute whatever dollops of goodness we can to this earth because they all count. Even when you’re not here anymore.
Artist/band to watch in 2021
Miloe, JWestern and y’all should keep two eyes and ears on Liverpool quartet Hannah’s Little Sister. They’re in for a wild ride in 2021.
Label plans for 2021
Staying in business and more live shows!
Thank you so much for your time and for all the incredible releases we were introduced to throughout the year!