A-F Records / Nightmarathons (Chris Stowe)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2020? (In order 1-5)
- John Moreland - LP5
- SOUL GLO - Songs to Yeet at the Sun
- Spanish Love Songs - Brave Faces Everyone
- Ways Away - s/t LP
- Somerset Thrower - Paint My Memory
2. What band did you discover in 2020 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
I got really into Ways Away this spring/summer. I don't know if it was the timing of also when the pandemic was kind of unfolding, but waiting for their new singles really gave me something to look forward to. Every time a new one would come out I would play it into the ground. The chorus of "Everyone I Know (The Optimist)" is perfect.
3. How will you remember 2020? (In terms of music)
I guess this was kind of the year without rules. This was the year where nobody got to play a release show unless your record came out in the first three months of the year. Being able to play the music you release in front of other humans is a pretty big piece of the puzzle when you're releasing an album, so it's been a journey working through that with artists. I know for me it's a big part of the emotional payoff that comes at the end of all the work that goes into releasing a record, so it's been painful and disorienting to miss that.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
A-F Records has a ton of cool stuff coming out almost immediately. I've had the chance to work with some artists that I've admired for my entire life this year, so that's been amazing and also very humbling. Nightmarathons also is working on a new full-length and I'm really excited for the direction we're heading. Those dudes have all pushed me musically a lot this year and it's been super rewarding just to discover new ideas and new ways to look at songs. I'm very grateful for that.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2021?
I'm just looking forward to maybe being able to be in a room with strangers and loud guitars.
6. Trying to put a positive spin on things, what is your favorite development from the global pandemic this year? (Is there a new medium you enjoy, a specific song or collaboration, personal news, etc. that was a bright spot?)
From a record label point-of-view, I've really enjoyed how freeing it's been to not really be concerned with the normal "release schedule" anymore. It's given us a lot of room to experiment with new ideas, for sure.