The good people at Norman Records provide the latest in our genre rundowns, picking out 10 must-have rock, pop and indie records.
They might not have an actual bricks and mortar record store (although if you’re out and about in Leeds you can drop in on the warehouse and pick up your orders), but when it comes to sorting you out with the best new music, look no further than online record shop Norman Records. So how do you get that personalised treatment when there’s no record store guy to exasperate with your wide-raging yet incredibly specific requests?
Here’s how: we asked Clint and Robin at Norman Records to “give us anything with a song in it” and sure enough they delivered the goods once more.
Showcasing all the scratty B-sides and out-takes from the ‘Slanted and Enchanted’ era, this is the first in three collections of Pavement off cuts. Yes, it’s been out before as bonus stuff on the ‘S+E’ expanded edition, but crucially never on vinyl. A good place to study Malkmus & co’s process as they re-define the words ‘off-kilter’.
The Jean Paul Sartre Experience I Like Rain
Of course they like rain – everyone in New Zealand likes rain. They have to. The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience are the latest fabbo band to get the re-issue treatment. They sound somewhat like a cross between the Chills and the Go-Betweens and of course that is a marvellous place to be.
Portuguese roadtrippers Pega Monstro finally stop at the service station that is the UK for their first international release; their stay is, in typical form, brief. The shorthand punk tunes on Alfarroba sprinkle on a bit of shoegaze but stomp and thrash enough to keep you in the sometimes pretty cool real world.
Grouper’s Liz Harris wanted to go full-on thrash with her new band, but she’s compromised and opted for dream pop, which I think you’ll agree is halfway to Slayer. Bass grooves spin like yarn through songs that are otherwise blown in two by sparks of furious guitar. There’s a tune that sounds kinda like ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ playing from within a raincloud, which is pretty cool to these ears.
The ghost of Ty Segall haunts this record – he isn’t dead, but all psych rockers are born poltergeists. La Luz exorcise surf rawk on their second record; it’s got riffs as sandy as a beach and a horror-flick tone as corny as an episode of Scooby Doo. The vocal harmonies are the real clincher, though.
The slacker lad is back with another album of dreamy laid back pop. We’d say he’s marginally more melancholy this time but still with that woozy charm intact. Listen until the end and he’ll invite you to his house for coffee.
She’s spent a lot of time with Avey Tare and David Longstreth – two artists who hurl paint at the wall and call it art pop – but on her own Angel Deradoorian crafts sparse tunes that leave most of the music up to your imagination. The result is a chill record of hammock surrealism and bewildering harmonies.
Isaiah Owens You Without Sin Cast the First Stone
After nearly half a century in Flying Clouds of Montgomery, Isaiah Owens’ sent up this ode to the Lord. The Mississippi imprint recently had the good sense to reissue the record, honouring the grit in Owens’ voice and gravel in his guitar. Listen for ramshackle strums jangled at rocksteady rhythms, and for a raw musical testament.
The galaxy of stadiums began to grate with indie rock’s chillest band after Bloom was released, so they’ve backtracked to the days before they made panoramic dream music. Their new, monochrome record favours purposely pedestrian drum machines, hushed melodies and the usual mix of guitar tones – gorgeous in one end, gritty down the other.
We might be a tad early on this but let’s get ourselves excited eh? The Duluth veterans are now an incredible 20+ years into making slow songs in slightly different ways. This time they sound lush and arranged but their knack for being naggingly catchy and heartfelt at exactly the same time is still wonderfully intact. Perfect for the upcoming dark nights.