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Rad Releases 21 – Devil Town Tapes

December 18, 2021

Rad Releases 21 – Devil Town Tapes

For the final week 2 weeks of the year, as the countdown to the end of 2021 approaches, we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ most loved releases of the past 12 months. It’s a time we enjoy and look forward to, through the contributions we get to find new music discoveries, releases we may have missed throughout the year. When we handed the site over last year for the 2020 feature, our 10th year into our annual special, we loved the contributions and it became apparent that we all found ourselves reconnecting with music new and old. Following another challenging year, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time, it’s those releases that fans have depended on to get them through another year.

Now in its 11th year, we are delighted to hand the site over once more, as we let our favourites share more details about their year in music.

Kickstarting off our feature, we are delighted to hear more from the hardworking DIY label Devil Town Tapes. Following one of the biggest years for the label, Devil Town Tapes have once again had one of the most promising 12 months investing into the stellar records released throughout the year. A label dedicated to promoting music from across the globe and issuing releases on cassette format, which once again have quickly and rightfully flown off the shelves. We hand over to Jack, founder of Devil Town Tapes, to find out more about their year in music…

  • Top 5 releases of the year :

Porches – Okay (Official Video)

I just couldn’t get enough of this track from the moment it came out. On the surface it’s deceptively straightforward, but there are so many interesting little things going on in the production. It sounds so gooey and woozy, and the song flows back and forth between sickly sweet and creeping unease. It’s one of the catchiest songs released this year, and Aaron looks absolutely amazing in the video too.

Fiddlehead – “Million Times” (Official Music Video)

This band just wasn’t on my radar at all before Million Times came out, which is weird because I normally gobble up anything and everything that Run For Cover releases. Anyway, I’m glad I finally got the memo about Fiddlehead. This track in particular has my favourite vocal performance of the year, and you can’t help but be energised listening to this.

Citizen – “I Want to Kill You” (Official Music Video)

When I first heard this, it completely subverted my expectations of what Citizen should sound like. The whole thing is built around an almost Two Door Cinema Club-esque drum beat (which really shouldn’t work, but does!?), and builds into a chorus that is anthemic, ferocious and undeniable.

american poetry club – thank you x3 (official music video)

I’ve found myself returning to this song a lot this year. Something about it makes me feel less alone. When the group vocal kicks in after the tenderness of the verse, it’s like being welcomed into their gang with open arms.

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE – THE SERVER IS IMMERSED [Official Music Video]

Spirit of the Beehive sound like no-one else, and this track from Entertainment Death has a transportative quality that makes me come back to it time and time again.

  • The best show you have hosted this year / or gig attended:

Cassandra Jenkins @ Brudenell Social Club

I was lucky enough to be able to see Cassandra Jenkins perform at Brudenell Social Club this year (finally my first gig in Leeds since moving in June!). It was absolutely spellbinding, and when the build of Hard Drive hit it was honestly overwhelming. It’s ridiculously exciting to be able to watch music IRL once again, the amount of gigs I’m going to in 2022 already is getting kinda silly, I can’t wait!

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

“TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION” by TURNSTILE

I completely missed the boat with Turnstile these past few years, so this was my first introduction to them and just, wow. I’m not sure if this video was solely intended as an album teaser (as all the tracks later appeared on Glow On), but I think it stands as a body of work in its own right. The way the tracks segue into each other weaving through genre-switches and unexpected instrumentation, made this something that I watched countless times throughout 2021. The visuals are excellent, the songs are downright life-affirming, and by the time TLC fades out I’m always on the verge of happy tears.

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

In amongst Covid, relocating across the country from Bournemouth to Leeds and starting a new job, I’m amazed that 2021 was actually the most prolific year of releases from DTT to date. A large part of that is down to each release now being produced entirely in-house. Dubbing, printing and packaging (with a lot of help from my girlfriend, hi Tas!) is all done at home, and it has been a revelation. Having such direct control over the final outcome of each tape has been a real motivator, it’s made me learn a bunch of new stuff and I feel even more connected to each release.

  • Best Discovery This Year?

Heavenly Creature Recordshttps://heavenlycreaturerecords.bandcamp.com

Heavenly Creature Records is a zero profit label based in Scotland that started early 2021, and what Lauren has achieved with it already is freaking cool and super inspiring. As well as three absolutely stacked charity comps, Heavenly Creature also dropped the new Loup Havenith album big. If you like anything on DTT I highly recommend this record, you’ll love it!

  • Label Highlight of 2021

Conor Lynch – Fake

Working with Conor has been something I’ve dreamed of doing for a while now, so being able to team up with him for two releases this year has been wild! Fake was also my first run at making tapes completely by hand, and marked a real turning point for the label and is one of my proudest achievements to date.

  • Artist/Band to watch for 2022

Lloyd’s House

Lloyd’s House – Eddie (Official Music Video)

Lloyd’s House dropped a fantastic bass guitar-led EP of lo-fi emo via the great Corkscrew Records at the start of 2021, and at the time of writing is gearing up to release a full length record that I can’t wait to hear. The first single Eddie is beautiful, I’m sure I’ll be listening to a lot of Lloyd’s House throughout 2022.

  • Label Plans for the New Year

I’m starting next year with a blank slate, which is a little daunting but mainly super exciting! If I can put out a bunch of tapes, put on a gig or two and make a few pals along the way, that’ll be a success for me.

A huge thank you, we’re so excited about what DTT will share in 2022, looking forward to some of our most loved releases in the future

https://deviltowntapes.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deviltowntapes

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