Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, News, Reviews

Rad Releases 21 – Gavin Brown

December 21, 2021

Rad Releases 21 – Gavin Brown

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.

Our next takeover comes from a music journalist who as we’ve mentioned before, is absolutely instrumental within Circuit Sweet. For years, Gavin Brown has shared his time dedicated to reviewing new music, festivals, gigs, and interviewing artists across the globe, and every time we have a new piece from the writer we are left in awe over the detail and what he captures within his words. If you’ve had a review by Gavin you are in the best hands! Gavin’s music knowledge and ability to seek out talented artists is a true skill and we are so honored he shares his work with us. We speak to Gavin to find out more about the records he has loved throughout the last 12 months ….

  • Top releases of the year

The Bug – Fire 

The most apt album that could have been released in the world we are living in at the moment. It truly captures a feeling of dread but gives you a feeling of hope and being uplifted through sheer anger and cathartic power. 

The Specials – Protest Songs 

A stunning return with the band giving their own take on classic protest songs, all of which still hold so much relevance in these times. 

Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell 

An album that is so emotional and so powerful with no holding back whatsoever. 

The Body & Big Brave – Leaving None But Small Birds 


Big Brave also released the aptly named Vital this year and I could have easily picked  that album but their collaboration record with The Body just edged it out. A Beautiful and heavy listen, packed full of simply brilliant songs. 

Amenra – De Doorn 

A sonic cleansing in musical form, and an utterly mesmerising and devestating listening experience from start to finish. 

Honourable mentions go to Nadja, DVNE, Bossk, Year Of No Light, Iceburn, Grand Collapse and who all brought out amazing albums this year. 

The best show you have attended

The Specials at The Dome, Doncaster. Having not seen any live music for eighteen months, I couldn’t have picked a better gig to come back to. I hadn’t seen The Specials in a decade when I took my dad to see them for his 60th birthday so to see them ten years later for his 70th was incredible. The gig itself was too, all the classics were played along with songs from the new album and all went down an absolute storm with the whole experience and atmosphere definitely being one to remember. 

Your own highlight of the year

The return of live music of course and exploring so much good music this year for sure. 

Album that got you through this year? 

All of my top five releases of the year in their own way have got me through this year but nothing has summed up the frustration, anxiety and fear of the last year (and most of the one before) is Fire by The Bug. Turn it up loud and listen to the sheer power and indeed, fire that it personifies. 

Best discovery this year?


Xiu Xiu



Manslaughter 777

The Answer Lies In The Black Void 

Artist/Band to watch for 2022 

Big Brave


Grand Collapse

Big Lad

Blanck Mass



Plans for the New Year

To get to Supersonic Festival in Birmingham in July again for the first live event since 2019 is something I am definitely looking forward to doing in the new year, the initial lineup (which includes everyone from Thou and The Bug to Richard Dawson & Circle and Nadja) is immense. Seeing Fucked Up play the David Comes To Life album in full live in Leeds in April is much anticipated too as it is and amazing album from an amazing band and to see it played live in its entirety will be something special. Finally seeing Pearl Jam live as well is much anticipated having been a fan for thirty years but never having caught them in a live setting. 

Aside from these gigs (and hopefully many more), discovering new music and artists is always top of my agenda for the year, and I hope that 2022 will be more of the same. 

Gavin, so grateful for your time with Circuit Sweet always enjoy your articles!

For those who want to read more from Gavin click here.

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