It’s hard to believe that Real Gone has reached its tenth anniversary. There have been a vast amount of albums and EPs reviewed in that time. Some captured a moment somewhere in the world of DIY recordings; others continue to be unloved by the masses but we’re still more than glad we got to help spread the word in our own way.
Then there have been those albums destined to become classics; albums we’ve continued to love long after our reviews were shared. For our tenth anniversary, it seemed only appropriate that we took a look back at a few landmark albums from our first decade online – an album from each year we think holds up well; recordings that continue to be important to us and have somehow allowed us to build a following and still have an internet presence… Ten years – ten albums… Every one a classic.
In 2018, Real Gone celebrated its ninth birthday. It’s been a long and hard road to this point, but we’re pleased to be celebrating our most successful year online to date. Hundreds of new albums have been heard and a record number of gigs have been attended. Not only has this year been our biggest success…it’s also been our favourite.
Nearing the close of 2018, it’s time to look back and celebrate our favourite events – including our top ten album releases…
Normally, each year has an album that’s a clear stand out. Making that distinction this time around has been somewhat trickier, so we’re awarding a joint “album of the year” to two very different albums. If that seems like a cop-out, we don’t care…there really was only a hair’s breadth between them.
Previously at this point in December, it has become the custom for Real Gone to issue a free download containing some of the best underground tracks of the year. For the past seven or eight years, these downloads have been a popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, turning people on to all kinds of artists.
With the changing times, we regret to say the era of the free sampler has come to an end. It seems that people much prefer streaming and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to highlight some of our favourite tunes in an eighty minute playlist.
There’s a new Kurt Baker Combo album on the horizon. ‘Let’s Go Wild’ explores some new territory for the singer-songwriter and his band, moving further away from the usual power pop tropes and deeper into garage rock. For those who love it rough and ready but still crave a big hook, the album serves up more than enough gems.
Kurt Baker is a very prolific musician and songwriter. In the six year stretch between 2012 and Easter 2018, whether solo or part of a band, he’s released the equivalent of at least two albums per year. Against the odds, most of the material has been great.
Relocating from the US to Spain in 2013, Kurt formed the Kurt Baker Combo, a band who would ultimately inject a little more of a garage rock ethic into his gift for a power pop hook. Their first record, 2016’s ‘In Orbit’, was a little fuzzier than expected and took a bit more getting into than any of Baker’s earlier works, but still carried great choruses and a fiery energy throughout. Working to a similar formula, the Combo’s 2018 record ‘Let’s Go Wild!’, if anything, is even fuzzier. Given the rate Baker has released records, it was only a matter of time before one of his albums showed a couple of flaws. This is that record. In terms of production, some of the shinier power pop elements are absorbed by dense guitars and a world of vocal filters that sometimes make the material a little more difficult to process.