Friday, December 24, 2010

Circa Survive - Band Of The Year 2010

Three days before the release of their third full-length album, Blue Sky Noise, Circa Survive was in Norwood, Massachusetts for a free acoustic performance in celebration of Record Store Day. The venue, a small independent record store, was decked out in Circa's signature artwork, done by artist Esao Andrews. The band seemed obliged to meet and talk with fans, snapping pictures and signing autographs before and after the short set.

This scene would play out countless numbers of times after that, the third weekend in April 2010. Circa spent a good deal of the next eight months on the road touring in support of Blue Sky Noise. From Boston to San Francisco, Canada to the United Kingdom, the Doylestown, Pennsylvania outfit was once again out doing what they do best.

But Circa had been virtually absent since their 2007 release, On Letting Go. After a few tours in support of that record, and a summer solo tour by lead singer Anthony Green, Circa found themselves at a crossroads. Their future was unsure. The writing process for a new record, one they felt they needed to make for themselves, was shaky.

The quintet found themselves living in separate places for the first time in years. Green checked himself into a psychiatric ward after his wife's miscarriage - an incident that happened twice, and eventually found its way onto Blue Sky Noise (Listen to "Spirit Of The Stairwell"). And, above all else, the band questioned whether or not they would continue making music.

But, amongst all the turmoil, Circa regrouped and put together one of the best and most complete records of 2010. Working with producer David Bottrill (Muse, Tool), the band achieved a sound that not only satisfied their thirst for progression, but didn't alienate their cult-like following of fans.

It's almost as if Blue Sky Noise was a rebirth for the band. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums. The 12-track record marked some of the band's most literal work to date, allowing listeners a real glance into the soul of the charismatic Green and his counterparts. It was quickly becoming clear, 2010 was the year of Circa Survive.

But, as if writing one record wasn't enough, the band opted to release a follow-up to Blue Sky Noise this year. The five-track EP, Appendage, was put out in late 2010, and featured a tracklisting worthy of being BSN b-sides. Circa's hungry fan base really couldn't ask for more this past year.

Given all this, the pressure to release the best album of their career-to-date, their constant fighting of personal demons and their inexplicable way to overcome the obstacles against them, we at Backstage Press would like to name Circa Survive as Band of the Year 2010.

They made a triumphant return to the scene, taking with them the uphill battles they fought since we last heard from them in '07. They released two albums in one year, toured constantly and reinvented themselves as innovators of the music industry. No other band even came close this year.

Congratulations, gentlemen. You've earned it.


  1. Any bands come in a close second?

  2. Yes, actually. Anberlin, A Day To Remember and Four Year Strong all had huge years. It was tough to narrow that down.


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