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What a nice year it has been, and through the standard peaks and troughs that a normal annual calendar will always bloody throw at you, there’s been a slew of delicious highlights, and our hearts are once again singing going into 2019. Hurrah! So in a self-indulgent fit of pique normally reserved for those people you don’t really like on Facebook, please indulge us (or immediately cross out of this page) in our love letter to the people of 2018… And a nice little personal reminder of what’s been Bloody Lovely in the world of Alcopop!

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First up, and we say it every year – but we really mean it – is YOU! The people who buy our records, come to the shows, indulge our silly merchandise and generally make Alcopop! a nice place to be. We appreciate you more than you know, and –to put it simply- just wouldn’t exist without you.

Next it’s Jamie Otsa at Wall Of Sound, who amongst the fly crew of magnificent people we do press and radio with (see the likes of Angela and Matt @ Devil, Kevin @ K, Al and James @ AJPR, Brace Yourself, Kevin and Ben @ Fleet Union, Kit @ Tell All Your Friends and lots more) is there with us each and every day, fighting the good fight and generating outstanding results over and over again. He’s genuinely the best, and we don’t see him so much as a PR, but a friend and essentially – well – he basically runs the label with us to be honest.

And of course, the bands we’ve worked with and have allowed us to put out their wonderful records all year long. The Spook School who we always loved so much on Fortuna Pop and made our world glorious and shimmering with Could It Be Different? DZ Deathrays who bought the riffs and sold out everywhere in their path whilst continuing to be the nicest pair in rock. There was Happy Accidents, one of Alcopop!’s longest serving and pioneers of bringing a new energy to indie-driven DIY pop and one of THE greatest live bands about – and Youth Man, who delivered an EP so full of energy and excitement on each track that I still struggle to comprehend how fucking incredible it is.

We FINALLY got to work with the incomparable itoldyouiwouldeatyou (home to Alcopop! long-termer Lex from JoFo) alongside the intensely lovable Faliure By Design, and continually marvel at their ethereal emo brilliance, before lucking out with the chance to sign Kississippi for her debut album in Europe. It’s SO good, and though her initial UK tour was somewhat scuppered through bad luck, she’ll be back soon >>> Kagoule meanwhile have finally signed with us, after no few years of trying on our part – and it’s been golden all the way, tours with Drenge and a quite mesmeric second record FINALLY seeing the light of day. Except more soon.

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Meanwhile, through the enigmatic Helen Love (always a glorious part of the label, and releaser of perhaps the party song of the year – Double Denim) and disco-pop emo tinged megastar Hellogoodbye, we’ve got to put out some of the most bizarre records yet. 7” square lathe-cut clear singles, Helen’s with Pollia Condensata seeds, and Forrest’s as a 10 x disc set with photos, signed notes and the hearts of Alcopop! fused at the very core. YES (bloody love doing stuff like that!)

Then of course, we got to release the 4th Art Brut album worldwide (absolutely ridiculous) – which, if someone had told me a year or two ago might happen, I would have legitimately laughed in their faces. Firmly a massive favourite of Jack’s since his band got ditched from headlining a show and replaced with Eddie and his cohorts (I can see why) back in 2004 – this album is glorious. Full of the joys that only Art Brut could bring. A return to form is too little praise for this selection of hits, and though we steal the joke (sorry Mike TV) ‘it should be called Sausage Hospital because this one is FULL of sick bangers’.

Similarly, although their hasn’t been any new music as such, Nelson Can have been incredibly active touring with re-releases on vinyl, and movie/ TV/radio plays galore – and as the year started to simmer to a close, we were lucky enough to sign Cheerbleederz for their first ever EP. Literally never having played a show before the first hits dropped, the band feature members of Happy Accidents, Fresh and Finish Flag and absolutely slay. Check ‘em out, and look out for something new on New Year’s Day – because of COURSE.

Then there were plenty of fantastic bands who may not have been releasing much this year, but continued to be touring hard and a loving and most wonderful part of our worlds, like TIGERCUB, Tellison, Best Ex, Emperor Yes and Peaness – then the likes of Freeze The Atlantic and Weirds (who sadly ceased to be bands this year, but remain forever etched upon our hearts).

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Also, people who’ve been helping behind the scenes – Rhi who’s done a stack of great artwork for us, and Matt Emery who kept the Alcopop! Podcast rocking for a lot of the year, and all the lovely labels we got to work with like Mike @ Slumberland, the kids @ FBD, Johann @ IOhYou, Rich Hermitage - and loads more <3 Ben TVL and Maria have been invaluable helping with writing and content stuff, and to all the bloggers and mags and shows who’ve been supporting us – especially the likes of Stephen and Viki at Dork (who gave me my very own page to chat about bands I liked) and Laura who did a 4-page feature on us in Long Live Vinyl magazine…. Should probably get that on mum’s fridge ;-)

Either way there will no doubt be a million people we’ve forgotten, and – thanks for bearing this piece of sentimental old crap. We really do love you all though, and while you want a bit of Alcopop! in your lives, we’ll be here with the bottle opener. Lots of love, and when life gives you lemons…. Well, you know what to do <3 Now – 2019!!!!

Jack and Kev <3

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