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Rad Releases 21 – Outlaw Boogie

December 20, 2021

Rad Releases 21 – Outlaw Boogie

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 we hear from a musician who has filled our year with some of the most impressive single releases and an artist which kicked off the year with a mighty EP release, in fact, we welcomed in New Years Day by announcing the forthcoming record from Outlaw Boogie. We’ve loved promoting and sharing the music that Outlaw Boogie has released over the last 12 months. We chat to Michael James Dent of Outlaw Boogie to find out more about his year in music..

  • Top 5 releases of the year:

5. Philip Frobos – Vague Enough To Satisfy

When I first heard that Philip from Omni was releasing a solo record AND a book, I was very intrigued. I always found his lyrical style and vocal melodies very attractive in Omni, so it seemed perfectly natural to me that he would write a novel. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to pick up a copy of the book just yet, but if it’s half as interesting as the soundtrack album, then I’m sure it’s tasty.

4. Folly Group – Awake & Hungry

Folly Group are a really interesting group and probably one of the shining lights in this new era of current post-punk bands. They don’t fall too far away from the sort of stuff bands like Crack Cloud and Nov3l are doing over in Canada, but they are a bit more mechanical and melodic than those groups. If you get a chance to see them in a small space, you’re going to be bopping around in no time.

3. Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song

Kelly Lee Owens came back bigger and better than ever this year, and she even brought John Cale with her, which was very cool. This is probably my favourite electronic album of the year, and it’s a total step up from her debut. The sonic structures built in her music are unbelievable and there are a lot of really lovely melodic and harmonic moments on Inner Song. Definitely one for 2am on a Friday night.

2. Dick Dent – Do You Mind If I Talk?

It’s almost too biased for me to include Dick here, as he is my brother, but I can’t just forget about the excellent record he’s made this year. Dick is definitely on an upward trajectory in terms of song writing, whilst also releasing music on a very consistent basis. Do You Mind If I Talk is a great collection of synthesised pop songs, with a lot of really strong melodies and rhythm.

1. The Death of Pop – Seconds

The Death of Pop have always been one of my favourites and we have a great history together. Angus and Oliver have always been an inspiration, and their album this year was a very lovely record. Those two lads are great in a room together, and despite them creating Seconds primarily as a duo, it’s one of the most coherent and flowing releases they’ve ever achieved. The production is top notch, and the song writing is easy going, but also well planned out. If you’re into your 80s new wave/indie pop, then this is going to be your new favourite record.

· The best show you have played this year / gig attended

I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had to opportunity to get myself back out there in a lot of ways, attending as well as performing. I haven’t done any Outlaw Boogie shows yet (more next year!), but I’ve played a couple with Dick Dent and couple with Bastien on the bass guitar, all of which have been equally as exciting and nerve wracking. The best thing I’ve been to this year was End of The Road, hands down. It’s the best festival in the country, and if you’ve never given it a go, I highly recommend you do next year.

· Your own highlight of the year

My personal highlight for 2021 was probably releasing my debut EP ‘The Circle’. At the beginning of 2020, I really didn’t have any plans to go out on my own, but obviously we’ve been through a lot of shit and that has changed a lot of things around us, and a lot of ways we approach our own ambitions in life. 2021 was one of the most important musical years of my life and I will never forget it, the EP was mainly a catalyst for that.

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

Besides from the ones listed above, I’ve found myself going down some different roads in my music taste. I’ve always been a big fan of alternative music, but 2021 really pushed me towards a lot of heavier music. I listened to ‘Dirt’ by Alice in Chains a lot, and I also listened to a lot of Metallica. Maybe the world burning down in front of our eyes brings out the need to listen to heavier music, or maybe those records are just cool?

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

Working on Outlaw Boogie this year has actually been really difficult outside of what I’ve released online. I’m not sure if it was because I’ve reached 30 and I’ve run out of things to say, but I didn’t write a lot of songs this year. I’ve managed to keep myself motivated by working on unfinished bits and pieces I’ve had lying around for the last couple of years, and doing that was really fun. Promoting my music has been very rewarding, and I’m very proud of myself for everything Outlaw Boogie has achieved this year.

· Best discovery this year?

It’s not musical in any way, but I finally was able to visit Apulia in the south of Italy this year, and it was a real game changer. Brindisi and Lecce are two of the loveliest cities in the world, and even though I’m fully back in London, I really miss it. I’ve very lucky to have a partner who was born there, so thank you with all my heart Anna.

· Artist/Band to watch for 2022

There’s a couple of people who are gonna do some cool things next year. Dunebug is the solo act of Chi Limpiroj and she’s definitely gonna make some waves next year. She has that hazy indie vibe that just flows over you in the best way possible, and I can’t wait for her album. Couples are a band that are also gonna rock your world. They’re a 5 piece from London and they have a post-punk/no wave sound that is fairly unrivalled, in that their music is structurally interesting whilst also staying incredibly vibey. They’re like a mix of mid-90s Sonic Youth and early Echo + The Bunnymen.

· Plans for the New Year

Next year, I will hopefully have everything ready to have an album by the end of the year. I’m going to release my second EP in the Spring, and I’ve also got some exciting live plans lined up to, which I’m hoping to announce as soon as logistically possible. I really want to produce a few more people and just record my life away, so if you’re looking for a free but very DIY indie producer, then send me an email!

Thank you so much for spending time chatting about your year, we can’t wait to see what’s next for OB!

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