Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, News, Reviews

Rad Releases 21 – Dowd Records

December 20, 2021

Rad Releases 21 – Dowd Records

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.

Next up is a label that really has made our year, a label that kick-started 2021 with a special collab with ourselves. Throughout the year the work and the endless array of stellar releases from Dowd Records, it simply has elevated our 12 months. Continuously introducing us to this dynamic and captivating range of artists and the dedication to promote music despite of the challenges the year has bought, we are in awe of Dowd Records and their hardworking team. As we’ve stated before, community is key for this label and they understand the importance of their artists and the artists’ fans. Dowd Records is a collective of musicians, artists, designers, skateboarders and music fans and we know they deserve all of your attention.  We hand over the site to Jason of Dowd Records to find out more about the label’s year in music…

  • Top 5 releases of the year

Mononegatives – Apparatus Division

Wild synth-punk that you didn’t realize was missing from your life until you hear it. Their debut full length album is literally everything you love about 70s punk made current. They are putting out so much music this year too! Check them out. If the first song you pick to listen to from them seems TOO wild just listen to it again and you will love it. Their design sensibility led by singer Rob Brake is so awesome too. Favorite track: Neighbots wait… no it’s actually Circuits In View

The Shins – The Great Divide vinyl single

I know technically this came out digitally late 2020 but the vinyl release of this in 2021 was awesome. I love this song and the video is incredible. Plus on the vinyl we get the flipped version too. The transparent pink vinyl takes it over the top for me. This song is epic and feels new for The Shins. I know Jon Sortland who co-wrote this track and I can hear him in the song but it is still a classic Shins song. James Mercer’s vocals give me the chills and what Yuuki Mathews did with the flipped version is just great. Favorite track: The Great Divide

Nation Of Language – A Way Forward

It’s no secret that I am a huge Nation Of Language fan and their new album is everything I love about them. Creative and catchy with great vocals, unexpected phrasing and perfect synth tones. Favorite track: Wounds Of Love

Kirk and the Jerks – Kirk and the Jerks

This is right up alley! Punk rock from the 80’s that was featured in my favorite skate videos from H-Street including Shackle Me Not and Hokus Pokus – the same video where I first heard The Cry. Division Street Sounds did an amazing job on the release, making sure the vinyl came out perfect and partnering with H-Street on a Limited Edition deck – the songs are classic and the whole release was awesome. Favorite track: Hang On To The Dream

The Cry – Happy Ambivalence single

The Cry put out one single this year but it is an absolute doozy. One of my favorite tracks they have ever released. The vinyl came out great too! Favorite track: Happy Ambivalence

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

This is weird actually. I quarantined hard in 2021 and strangely enough – like last year – I have only been to one show the entire year and it was a Beautiful Dudes show just last month. They were amazing as always! Happy to say I already have tix for Cruel World and Maiden in 2022 so already double the shows next year!

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

Black Marble – Bigger Than Life

There’s something about how minimal this whole album is that keeps me coming back to it. This album keeps me uplifted and calm. A perfect sing along album and tonally soothing. This is my driving and headphone album to help me focus and stay in a zone. Favorite track: Feels

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

We put more energy into long term planning for our bigger release. Planning for these releases can now span over a year easy. We also made more videos for the bands with upcoming bigger releases as part of this long term planning. We made a video for the debut singles from Aaron Ross & The Peach Leaves and Lumari and also a video for Obligation from Sex Park. The Obligation video is moving and incredible. The creative team – led by New Caligua – that made the video did such an amazing job. I love this video.

Aaron Ross & The Peach Leaves Catch A Glimpse video:

Lumari Doors and Corners video:

Sex Park Obligation video:

  • Label Highlights of 2021

I have three 2021 highlights that are all based on collaborations that Dowd Records had in the last year. The people that I am able to make stuff with makes all the work worth it.

Adored Record Club

One of the most iconic skateboarders, insane music collector and true legend Corey Duffel and Dowd Records kicked off the Adored Record Club in 2021 with the launch of Corey’s new skateboard brand Adored Skateboards. Adored Record Club releases obscure songs from skate videos on vinyl. We have a release dropping this month featuring the song Spent from a super rad band Crossed Wire that used in Mark Heintzman’s part in the classic G&S video Footage. Corey is awesome and this collab is on of my favorite things I have ever been involved in.

Dowd Records x Rich Good of the Psychedelic Furs

This is one of those “can’t believe this is happening” releases for sure. We worked with Rich Good, the guitarist of the Psychedelic Furs, to make an updated version of our fuzz guitar effects pedal designed to round out his pedalboard for live shows. Rich is one of the coolest people on the planet and working with him is a blast. The new pedal is completely overhauled and updated, sounds better than ever and will be out mid-December.

The timing of this collab is great too since they have a bunch of tour dates next year. I have loved the Furs for decades and their new album Made Of Rain is phenomenal. The Furs prove they are timeless masters and there are tracks on this album that stand up to their most well known hits. Plus their pressing (purple vinyl at least) came out sounding so great. Heavy rotation on this one.

Fun Furs fact #1: I was lucky to tour with the Furs in the mid-2000s so have seen them live dozens of times and they are still epic and glorious every time I see them perform. Go see them live next year. For real. Fun Furs fact #2: The only cover song I have ever played live was Pretty In Pink back in the 90’s. Ha!

Circuit Sweet Collab

I was super lucky to have one of my favorite debuts of the year released with one of my favorite music gurus of all time. Silver x Circuit Sweet! Releasing Air Light – the debut single from Silver – with Circuit Sweet was so much fun! Silver is a U.K. based artist and it was a perfect fit to partner with Circuit Sweet to bring U.K. exclusive vinyl and merch to Silver’s fans. Thanks so much Naomi and the Circuit Sweet team! You are amazing.

  • Artist/Band to watch for 2022

Mononegatives. Mononegatives have put out a ton of music this year and they have even more planned for 2022. It feels like they are getting exponentially radder with each release they put out and I can’t wait to hear every new song. We have a 3 song EP being pressed right now and the band is field testing a new version of our fuzz pedal designed specifically for synth. Just you wait and see.

  • Label Plans for the New Year

We have big year planned for 2022 with full LP releases coming from Lumari, Sex Park, Mononegatives and Cherry Rats. And a few surprises up our sleeve too. Like everyone, we are super excited to get back to safe live performances and have tours – both long and short – in the works along with a bunch of special merch to go along with the shows, It’s going to be huge year for us and we are serially stepping our releases and also our merch game. It will be so awesome!

Thank you so much Naomi and the Circuit Sweet team for great music and insights all year long and for letting us be a part of Rad Releases!

Thank you Jason and all at Dowd Records, honestly, you kept us motivated this year and we are so excited about what 2022 will bring for DR. Endless thank you for the continued support

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