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Dent May
Do Things

So this is the guy who used to have a magnificent ukelele but threw it away to create the kind of summery pop that sounds the spit of Gruff Rhys. It’s all Beach Boys...view item »

Wrong Words
Everything Is Free

We’ve got a big pile of psychedelia in this week from Trouble In Mind, including this sophomore album of ‘60s/'70s-flavoured power-pop from The Wrong Words, taking Big Star/Replacements...view item »

Osunlade
Peacock

Osunlade is back this week with a new LP on Yoruba. It plays at 45rpm but doesn't say that anywhere on the artwork, and the first track is instrumental, so don't make the same mistake I made and try to listen to it at 33. It sounds great at that speed, even when the vocals come in, but it's not right. It's a tough LP to pin down. Despite...view item »

Olof Arnalds
Sudden Elevation

Does anyone sing in a normal voice these days? I had the misfortune of hearing Everything Everything on 6music the other day and thought that I may be able to tolerate this if he stopped singing in a made up comedy voice. Olof Arnalds is an Icelandic c...view item »

Terrestrial Tones
Dead Drunk

This album is truly demented and diseased. It is like when you drive past a horrific accident and you know that something terrible has happened, but you can't look way. You're curious and disturbed at the same time almost. The myriad of noises and pummelling repetition sit next to scarily manipulated vocals, creating a claustrophobic and nerve-r...view item »

Beisspony
Brush Your Teeth

Munich duo Beisspony have an LP of quirky experimental pop here. The first thing I'm reminded of is CocoRosie - this is very melodic and playful music with a very clear sense of identity, but the sonic experimentation here is more earthy in an almost arts and crafts way. There's typewriters and sewing machines and...view item »

Alias
Pitch Black Prism

Myself and one of Team Norm were discussing the other day about how Anticon has gone from consistently awesome bastion of backpack hip-hop cool to frustratingly patchy over the course of a mere few years. This time resident beat-maker Alias returns with his third solo effort, 'Pitch Black Prism'. As with Alias's previous efforts, though,...view item »

Ancient Crux / Weed Diamond
Split

Ancient Crux is the work of Travis Von Sydow, a young L.A punk who plays with Rabid Youth whilst occasionally making an appearance as a solo artist. 'In Teen Dreams' is basically a Roy Orbison style doo-wop, pop ballad performed in a youthful, lo-fi punk kinda way. Think Spectrals mixed with Jay Retard and you're somewhere close. The other side is ...view item »

Hares
Pink Radio

Hares are a new band to me. Never heard of 'em before. Well I think that's 'cos this is their debut single so I guess you can't blame me for not knowing every band ever all of the time. This is a chap who used to the in indie also-rans 'The Holloways' and he's also played with Larrikin Love and Patrick Wolf so there's some heritage there. 'Pink ...view item »

Pigeons
Hearts

Of all the recent Olde English Spelling Bee stuff that's passed through the gates of Norman Towers in the past few months Pigeons are the band I've struggled to get to grips with the most. I guess their style verges on folksy territory and I'm not sure about the vocals either but this new 7" is certainly redeeming my clouded memory of their outp...view item »

Lo-Fi Fnk
Sleepless

Sleepless, eh? Story of my bloody life. This is a singles club type thingy and it's a reasonably insubstantial breeze of housey electro-pop which wouldn't be out of place playing over the top of the emotional climax of Kevin and Perry Go Large.. I'm only assuming that there might be an emotional climax in there, I HAVEN'T SEEN IT HONEST HONEST H...view item »

:take:
:take:

...Take my wife..no please take her..My wife sez to me "I want you to take me some place I've never been before, I said "Where ..the Kitchen.." ..I just got back from a pleasure trip.. I just took my mother in law to the airport..Sorry about that I suffer from Henny Youngman Syndrome and sometimes it sneaks up on me like a tiger in the darkness....view item »

Harrys Gym
Old Man

This sounds kinda icy. I guess them being from Norway'd probably explain that one. I guess I'm thinking of a far less idiosyncratic indie pop version of the Knife here. The lady's vocals quite remind me Linda Perhacs whose reissued LP on Mexican Summer everyone should buy RIGHT NOW. Chad Valley is on flipside remix duties and brings some sunshin...view item »

Damn Vandals
This Amazing

Can't find any believable info on Damn Vandals so I'm gonna take their Last FM biog on face value and assume they actually met on an internet graffiti forum and then got into some hilarious adventures that resulted in them forming an indie pop band. 'This Amazing' is at best a Nick Cave B-side ramped up with a slight rockabilly feel. Flip that m...view item »

Dent May
That Feeling

This guy is a weirdo. His new single touches on the more bearable excesses of smooth 80's Yacht rock but infuses it with a kind of swinging white-boy funk that Haircut 100 & latter-period Orange Juice may well have rejected for being too smooth. It sounds like the fucking Style Council which is not funny. Thing is, much like our Clint, i've ...view item »

Medicine and Duty
Sunken Carnival

Medicine and Duty are a new name to me but they feature characters I've come across before, In fact these lot are practically a super group with members of Teeth Of The Sea (Matt Colegate), Shrag, Black Neck Band of the Common Loon (Andy Pyne) and Guillotines' (Jack Cooper) all getting involved. This is their 6th studio album and the first to ma...view item »

Dana Jewell
Wants

Like the quote in the press release for this release... 'Dana's love of beautiful women and deep thought shines through on each hand wrought track'. Sounds incredibly sincere to me but doesn't really reflect on the music contained on this four track EP 'Wants'. Dana's music is erratic, inventive and very much lo-fi. Reminds me Jad Fair or one of...view item »

Apart
Digital Frame

Apart is an artist whose work I've not come in to contact with before. Found myself having a little chuckle after reading the surprisingly earnest press release (which is probably worth quoting but I won't bother) although the record itself is pretty decent. Definitely one for the Port-Royal/Hammock fans of the world as this is one of them ambie...view item »

Rollin Hunt
Criminal/ Castle of Nothing

Aah, nuts.. Where would I be without my mid-morning nuts? Dead? Or alive? No man can say! This record has nothing to do with nuts other than the fact I'm reviewing it with a mouthful of them so I apologise for the digression; I entered into it because I'm having a hard time describing the tunes here. The guy's definitely on some sort of a weirdo...view item »

Atelier Mediterranee
Mediterranee

This single is very interesting. It's a youth project put to vinyl. It's a collaboration with the Ambrioze Croizat Institute For Mentally Handicapped Children. It sounds great. I reckon it's pure expression and enthusiasm that makes this a really worthy single. I'm all up for music thera...view item »

Greg Ashley
One Thin Heroine/ Misery Again

This is a 7" of downbeat country/Americana from singer/songwriter Greg Ashley (The Gris Gris, The Mirrors, Strate Coats). The first track's a call-and-response type number with Ashley and a lass by the name of Kimberly Morrison alternating lines, accompanied by fingerpicked guitar. It seems to get slower as it goes along, and it certainly ma...view item »

Providien
Followed By A Wraith

It's too early for this crazy business. Hailing from the grimy Midwestern state of Ohio, this duo of Mark Van Fleet and Nathan Reynolds do their damnedest to replicate the sound of your worst Gothic nightmares to tape. This album is outright noise insanity! Primarily a collection of collages and cut-up home recordings, these sloth-like movements...view item »

Head Of Programmes
The Spring Band Was

Head of Programmes is the pseudonym of James MacGregor, a singer/songwriter based down south somewhere. Macgregor's music is both accomplished and heartfelt in the vein of classic mid-nineties underground Americana a la Smog, Lambchop, Bonnie P.B., Sun Kil Moon and, most prominently, The Mountain Goats. The EP begins with one of those top down, ...view item »

Hausu
She's A Babe/ Makiadi

Not sure what to say about this as it reminds me of about 6 different things at once. I've begun on the final track 'Weaving Spiders' as I like the title most and its relative long length, languishing over the entirety of a side, gives me a chance to study their sound. This band have a sort of shambling, jangly early-mid 80s sound with one o...view item »

John Wesley Coleman III / Gary Stewart
Oh Woman b/w Ramona

John Wesley Coleman III and Sophomore Lounge head honcho bond over a love of singer-songwriter Gary Stewart. A relatively unknown country blues singer, Gary Stewart had a patchy career that never quite took flight. Praised by many of his peers (Dylan included) he struggled to make a name for himself and eventually committed suicide after wha...view item »

Channel Cairo
Elephant Room

Here's a new 7" from a band I know nothing about, Channel Cairo. As far as I gather they're an Anglo-French quintet based in London who play emotionally expansive piano-led indie rock. The A side here starts out fairly promising, with a vocal refrain ever-so-slightly borrowed from Free and some tasteful tinkling, but by the end of the track ...view item »

Bible, Burke & Henry
Live In The Port Of Kings

Not a firm of solicitors as you may think but time again for a Clint's Improvisational Mayhem Corner and the latest in the line of the lovely looking and popular Rural Route series. The blurb on the sleeve describes this as 'Edited from a perfromance that utilized live mixing and processing of field recordings, instrumentation and piezoelectric ...view item »

Fool's Gold
Leave No Trace

This is one of those albums that is great at a party, or great for just lounging around. It always puts me in a great mood. I play it for my friends and while it's playing in the background they always ask who it is. The sound is very Afro pop/middle eastern but enveloped in the roots of rock 'n roll. "The Dive" and "Tel Aviv" are my favourite t...view item »

Slow Club
Paradise

Slow Club are here with their sophomore album. This time round they sound a bit more polished than last time, it seems to me like an album that was written in the studio. This is quite slick and catchy boy/girl indie pop. The girl does most of the singing actually. Sometimes it's quite synth-heavy, sometimes it's more jangly. At one point t...view item »

Milk Maid
Dead Wrong

Milk Maid return with a dramatic, malaise drenched, introspective piece of neoclassicism that is gut wrenchingly emotive and stays with you long after you first hear it...ermmm sorry about that...I got a bad case of review poncery there, I'm not supposed to...view item »

Lymes
Goodbye Bangkok

'Goodbye Bangkok' is the debut album from Hull based group Lymes. The group was founded by singer-songwriter Rich Gilbert who seems to have some kinda of mysterious musical history that was abandoned in favour of a degree then a six year stint living in Southeast Asia. It was here that that...view item »

JAWS
Stress Test

Performance art style sonics from this L.A. resident. It uses slithery, skronky electronics, confessional narrative and impromptu stratagems in an effort to brim the optics, confuse the mind and engage the body. Beginning as an exercise in speed and personality, “Stress Test” i...view item »

Dominant Legs
Invitation

The press release says “Arthur Russell playing the Aztec Camera back catalogue”. From the sound of the first two tracks I can shorten that to a more succinct quote - “Haircut 100”. They have the st...view item »

New Build
Misery Loves Company

Hot Chip. It's fair to say I'm no fan. Still, I'm a very nice man really so I'll put all my prejudices aside and take this New Build record on its own terms. It features two members of Hot Chip alongside another chap called Tom. According to the press release they aspire to &l...view item »

Au
Solid Gold

A collaboration between Portland duo Au and clever sax honker Colin Stetson.  Stetson amazed me earlier this year with his album of sax vignettes and here he really brings something to the party (a big fat sax in fact). The A side is your typically post Arcade Fire/Mumford and Sons ...view item »

Spirit Of The Positive Wind
Spirit Of The Positive Wind

What the hell is this madness? After the Georgia Sea Island Singers took me somewhere nice it's up to this super-group to drag me back to the fierce, nightmarish industrial landscape from whence I came. Then again this isn't the sound of Bradford. I don't know what it's the sound of actu...view item »

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