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Rad Releases 20 – Small Pond

December 22, 2020

Rad Releases 20 – Small Pond

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 a label that we adore. Small Pond Recordings have faced a tough year but they’ve continued to put their artists first throughout every challenge faced during 2020. Small Pond are one of the hardest working labels around with such a strong focus, we are in awe of the amount of release they’ve continued to push in every way. Small Pond is a young music company centred on a thriving recording and rehearsal studio complex in Brighton, which is becoming a favourite haunt for rising bands and renowned acts alike – many of whom have also stopped in to film sessions or deliver masterclasses. Small Pond also offers filming/photography, touring services, hosts the Bad Pond experimental music festival in Brighton, and manages a rapidly expanding record label with acts including Inwards, Bonniesongs, Natalie Evans, Town Portal, CLT DRP, Alarmist & more. We chat to Dave, Liam and Vlad to find out more about their year in music…

Top Releases


Tricot – 10


Bitch Falcon – Staring at Clocks


Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans


All Them Witches – Nothing as the Ideal


Gleemer – Down Through



Below is my strange music for strange times…

Bing & Ruth – Species 

Christina Vantzou – Muli Natural

Inwards – Bright Serpent

Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders

OneohTrix Point Never – Magic Oneohtrix Point Never  

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


Played – InTechnicolour headline show at the Black Heart with CLT DRP. It was sweaty, there was loads of beers, the volume level were unreasonable, the room was packed with fans and friends and it felt like 2020 was gonna be alright. 

Watched – Annie from CLT DRP doing a solo performance at a charity fund raiser. There were two songs where I had goose bumps for over 4 minutes and I almost cried during one of them. I haven’t told anyone about that 2nd bit yet, so best time to come clean is in this interview, ye? 

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


Absolutely loads but the stand out albums for me Phoebe Bridgers (Strangers in the Alps) and Cult of Luna (A Dawn to Fear) – Two rather slow and melancholic listens but somehow matching the mood of the year seemed to help. I just settled right into the blues and took a 9 month deep bath.


I keep going back to Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, there’s something completely timeless and magical about it. 

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


Releases mostly stayed the same, If the record had been recorded we ploughed ahead. For some artists getting into the studio was a problem, particularly in the first few months during lockdown so those campaigns got pushed back but on the whole we kept on trucking. 


Although it’s been incredibly challenging it has forced us to think creatively and we’ve learned a lot. On the live events front we have managed to put together a live stream edition of Bad Pond Festival on the 19th of December, which is a great opportunity to explore new ways of working/promoting.

Best discovery this year? 


Orange wine… oh you meant music? 


Slow Pulp & Varsity Star


Rye Bread? I mean I knew it existed but I got well into it this year. 

Label Highlight of 2020


I’m proud of all our artists who have released music during this year. It’s been tough, but they’ve all worked so hard and released some incredible material. 

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?

We have only been around for five. If we make it out of this year alive and well will keep this escape as the highlight

Artist/Band to watch for 2021


Bitch Falcon, those cats are going places! They just released their debut album and it’s a big bag of yes! 

Label Plans for the New Year


Not shut down and keep putting out albums we love, which is our motto every year. 

Thanks for everything this year, you’ve introduced us to so many great artists and must-hear records!

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