Rad Releases 22 – Hunter Ellis
Our annual end-of-year feature is finally here, we spend the final two weeks of the year discussing the music that made 2022 special. Our special Rad Releases feature is now 12 years old and we love sharing the site with musicians, labels, and promoters as we discuss their year in music. We take a personal look back on familiar names’ 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, and releases we may have missed throughout the year.
Our next take-over comes from Hunter Ellis. For just over 8 years we’ve witnessed and cherished the progression of musician Hunter Ellis and 2022 has truly been a remarkable year for this musician. Firstly with the sublime single release of “The Turn feat. Brodie”, followed by the stunning new album which dropped in summer, “Princess Daddy” is out now on vinyl via Earth Libraries and is a must-hear! We hand over to Hunter to find out more about his year in music…
There was a lot of music I was excited about this year, and it didn’t fail to disappoint:
#1: Warpaint: Radiate Like This
This was a bit of a slow burn for me, but it’s now my favorite Warpaint album. I saw them in Oakland the night after my record release show and I’ve never seen a more connected group of musicians. It was really special. They have something very special going on, and they crafted all the songs on this record very carefully with a lot of thought and patience. Would 10/10 take to a Desert Island
#2: Disheveled Cuss: Into the Couch
I had actually asked Nick Reinhart if he was making another DC record about 2 weeks before it was announced. This record is emotional, beautiful, introverted, funny, and heartfelt. It feels like the evolution of Nirvana. it teems with the echoes of lockdown and isolation and the struggles of an indie musician.
#3: Weyes Blood: And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow
I can’t help it, I’m a big Weyes Blood fan. I came late to the party, I just love her voice, these songs are all pretty direct but her lyrics are just crafty enough and her voice elevates the songs dramatically. “The Worst is Done” is one of the best pandemic songs I’ve heard–sort of like a more serious Bo Burnham.
#4: The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention
I wasn’t a huge fan of later Radiohead, or of Thom Yorke’s side projects, or of Sons of Kismet, or Johnny’s scores…but this album rips. It’s nice to see them playing 3-piece songs, Thom on bass, having fun again, caring about the important things but not caring about things that don’t matter. It’s not a perfect album but the high points are enough to do it for me. Can’t wait to see them live in December.
#5: Plaid: Feorm Falorx
I love Plaid, and have loved them for 20 years. They were the last show I saw before lockdown and the Mason Bee (the guitarist) album was one of the best things about 2020. They return heavily steeped in AI aesthetics, and there are some serious bangers on here. To be honest, I prefer the mason Bee album still, but since he didn’t come out with anything solo this year…I’ll choose this one
#6 (Bonus!): Sour Widows: Witness
This from a band from Oakland that a friend turned me on to. It’s incredible, they’re amazing, and I want to play a show with them!
- The best show you have played this year / gig attended
Best show I’ve seen: Warpaint, no question. Best show I’ve played: My record release, which was outside in the afternoon at my house and was a great end of summer party and ~300 people came by!
- Your own highlight of the year
Releasing a vinyl for the very first time and putting a live band together for the first time in 10+ years
- Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
Tunng Presents: Death Club
How someone can make an entire album about what’s on my mind all the time that also is musically aligned with what I want to be doing is beyond me, but Mike Lindsay did it and I want to meet him. Thanks Mike, I fucking love that album and listened to it all 2021 and 2022
- Best musical discovery this year?
Marika Hackman! I love her, and I’ve been listening to Any Human Friend and her Covers albums on repeat and telling anyone who will listen about her.
- Artist/Band to watch for 2023
Sour Widows is putting out a full length I think…
- Plans for the New Year
Put the finishing touches on my studio, release a 4-song EP that is basically finished, record a 15-song album that is basically written and demo’d, parent my 4 year old daughter, be a good husband, play shows with my live band, not to get fired by my boss (who’s my best friend ;-)), convince my drummer not to move to LA, find a new one if he does, get a hearing aid so that I can hear out of my right ear again (I’m 30% deaf since 2015), spend more time in nature, ride bikes again, and not go broke.
As always a huge thank you for spending time with Circuit Sweet, we can’t wait to hear more.