Rad Releases 20 – SURE
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.
The world stopped in March, whilst we were facing the unknown and a feeling of disconnection came across the majority, we stumbled across the alluring sounds of Paris based trio SURE. SURE released their debut album 20 Years via Weyrd Son Records and the album re-ignited our love and dependency on music, the discovery gave us such excitement, even waiting on the record to arrive, which is why this record is top of our own Rad Releases list. The entire record is an immersive experience, layered, atmospheric electronica with a dark twist. SURE have developed a powerful sound that honours a dark new wave aesthetic whilst retaining bold originality. We are delighted to chat to Greg of SURE to find out more about their year in music….
The Flaming Lips « American Head »
Their most focused and beautiful album since « The Soft Bulletin », which bears the same « everything is wrong right now but it will be ok eventually » vibe. I don’t know any other band that can pull off a song with 3 tempo changes, cows mooing, and still make you cry a bit at the end (try “You & Me Selling Weed”)
Sabrina Bellaouel « We Don’t Need To Be Enemies »
Classy and unique blend of minimal electro/rnb with superb vocals. Sounds like a future we want.
Kelly Lee Owens « Inner Song »
Basically the sonic definition of « lush » and « warm ». Can be enjoyed with everyone/anytime.
Future Islands « As Long As You Are »
The sound of a band at the top of their language, with maybe their most accessible record.
Health « Disco4 – Part 1 »
Health is sounding more and more like a badass game soundtrack from the 90’s, and I’m loving that vibe.
Caribou « Suddenly »
Super ambitious, crazy production, more demanding effort than the last ones, and yet it works like a charm.
The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
Greg : Sorry to my bandmates, but I’d have to go with my solo (Almeeva) show in July. Playing in a rave castle in the middle of a pandemic, with my first show in 2 years, that was pretty intense. I got so pumped on stage that I injured one of my knees jumping everywhere. Still hurting a bit today hehe
Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
Greg : Low « Double Negative » was my first lockdown soundtrack, and still continues to amaze me today… Also Yves Tumor “Heaven to a Tortured Mind” has been a grower all year long.
How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year?
Greg : We did quite a lot of work at home. The video for « Another Girl » (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KJ8gMwlmuQ) was finished during that period, part of the shooting and post-prod was done through file transferts. We’ve also had our first remix (https://soundcloud.com/spitzer_sncld/sure-precious-words-spitzer-remix), and tried some re-interpretations to suit this « play at home » situation (https://soundcloud.com/lesdisquesdulobby/sure-sinking-story-piano-version-les-disques-du-lobby).
We also experimented new ways to continue writing while we’re in different places, but it honestly didn’t deliver. Nothing beats the 3 of us in the same room, so we’ll have to wait until that can happen again.
Best discovery this year?
Greg : Beverly Glenn-Copeland. I don’t want to pinpoint and diminish anything, so I’d just recommend that you check the latest compilation « Transmissions » that spans his whole life’s work. I’m deeply touched by what this artist is telling the world.
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?
Greg : Tame Impala « Currents »
To be honest, I’m still not over the dream this record opened for me. « Let It Happen » alone is one of the best tracks I ever heard. It just made « rock/pop » music exciting again. When that world was obsessed with over-producing records, « Currents » came along to prove that production has no value if the songwriting isn’t there. I loved that album as much as I loved albums when I was 15, it made me feel young again.
Artist/Band to watch for 2021
Greg : Mykki Blanco. Trust me, no one is ready for what’s about to come.
Plans for the New Year
Greg : Good music, enough drinks to buzz and more than 2 people allowed in the same room would already be great.
Thank you SURE!!