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Albums of the Year 2014

After the usual careful deliberation, here are our Albums of the Year.

Top 50 Albums Top 50 Reissues Top 50 Bestsellers 'Near Misses'

Bestseller of the Year 2014

Goat - 'Commune'

Goat - 'Commune'

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2.

Slint
Spiderland (Remastered)

2014 remaster of Slint's beautiful second and final album. It comes with various outtakes and demos, as well as Breadcrumb Trail, the documentary about the album’s creation directed by Lance Bangs. The band's use of dynamics gave them an uncanny ability to bottle emotions; the words "he de...view item »
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3.

Shellac
Dude Incredible

FACTS!This is Shellac’s fifth LP following Axtion Park, Terraform, 1000 Hurts and Excellent Italian Greyhound.  The recording took place sporadically over the past few years at Steve's ELECTRICAL AUDIO studios in Chicago. The record was mastered by Steve Rooke at ABBEY ROAD. There is no...view item »
4.

Flying Lotus
You’re Dead!

Steve Ellison, the experimental wizard of instrumental hip-hop (who occasionally moonlights as the rapper Captain Murphy) is back with his first FlyLo release since 2012's 'Until The Quiet Comes'. Ever popular with the world of music around him, 'You're Dead!' has a whole new roster of features and contributors to its name, including jazz-funk l...view item »
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5.

Sleaford Mods
Divide And Exit

Regular customers of Norman Records will know all about Sleaford Mods already. Due in no small part to a tireless work ethic (kudos to band and label!) large swathes of the UK and beyond now seem to be catching on, to the point where 'Divide And Exit' feels really quite zeitgeist-y. ...view item »
6.

Jack White
Lazaretto

Bow your heads and curtsy, here is Sir Jack White III with his second solo opus. Its not, as you might think on first glance, the Crow soundtrack, look closer and there he is on the sleeve sprawled in a throne he’s made out of some stone remnants he found as his local garden centre. I’ve always adhered to the less is more the...view item »
7.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Revelation

Led by the infamous Anton Newcombe, Brian Jonestown Massacre recorded their 14th album, Revelation in Newcombe’s Berlin studio over 18 months between 2012 and 2014. Eastern influences had started to make their way into the band’s psychedelic groove. The band are a swirling collective helmed by Newcom...view item »
8.
9.

Grouper
Ruins

'Ruins' is the newest record by drone folk artist Grouper. Recorded in a house near a lost, deserted village in Portugal, under the usual reclusive conditions that Liz Harris writes music, the record is the closest her project has gotten to capturing actual songs, each performed on a piano and recorded immediately to a 4-track. 'Ruins'...view item »
10.

Thee Oh Sees
Drop

Hi. Below is some information regarding the new Oh Sees album - listen up. ‘Drop’ is a John Dwyer Oh Sees record, as with previous non-band outings like ‘Castlevania’ and such, yet it also sounds like a complete band outing which is reassuring. Sadly there’s no Brigid, no Petey (Dammit!) and no Mike whi...view item »
11.
12.

Cristobal Tapia De Veer
Utopia - Original Television Soundtrack

Utopia lays claim to having one of the best and innovative TV scores of recent times, as evidenced in its critical acclaim from writers far and wide. So, this September it will be getting a vinyl release for the first time. Recorded entirely in Borough train station, it features sounds and field recordings from the eclectic to the eccentric, thi...view item »
13.

Sleaford Mods / Sudden Infant
You're Brave / Fat Nipple Uptight

Hey look: it's a Sleaford Mods thing. We're all pretty excited to drop the beat and then get our Swear Circle going, which is kinda like a drum circle except without snares and with a lot of variations on the word "fucker". This particular 7" sees "You're Brave" paired with a tune by Joke Lanz's project Sudden Infant, who offers up "Fat Nipple U...view item »
14.

The Soundcarriers
Entropicalia

I miss Broadcast. I miss Broadcast a lot! Fortunately The Soundcarriers are (sound) carrying their torch and keeping that sound alive. It's only been on for 10 minutes before I ran across to the stock room to grab one as I'm taking o...view item »
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15.

Mogwai
Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1 EP

They released 'Rave Tapes' earlier this year, but post-rock heroes Mogwai don't really know the meaning of slowing down -- they're always gearing up to explode. 'Music Industry 3 Fitness Industry 1' is a new EP with a grab bag of tricks, offering up new, unreleased tunes as well as remixes from their most recent, electronically driven venture. N...view item »
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16.

Ben Frost
A U R O R A

No wolves on this. 'By The Throat' scared the bejesus out of myself and many others but I totally, utterly loved it. This long awaited follow-up proper (after his relatively sedate but arresting 'Solaris' collaboration with Daniel Bjarnason) is another sonically brutal and head-cleansing expedition into the...view item »
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17.

Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham
Love / Fallin' In Love

All week we’ve been talking about when these Damon and Naomi 7”s are coming in forgetting that they are actually by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips. On the A side Dean covers Robyn Hitchcock’s ‘Love’ and a rather lovely thing it is ...view item »
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18.

Scott Walker & Sunn O)))
Soused

Continuing their tireless campaign to work with every single artist and band threatening to be more bizarre and avant-garde than them, 'Soused' is the fifth collaborative record in Sunn O)))'s one-chord arsenal, following splits and records with Earth, Boris, Nurse With Wound and Ulver. This time around, they meet baritone pop singer -- gone cra...view item »
19.

Boards of Canada
Hi Scores

Proper sensible review to follow but here is Phil's effort from years ago............ wow he was talking about it being a cash cow back then!  SKAM once more milk the Boards Of Canada cashcow and upset those who've paid lots for it on EBAY by re releasing Hi Score...view item »
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20.

Can
Tago Mago

Can’s most sprawling and untethered work. The first side goes from the plaintive Paperhouse to the apocalyptic groove of Mushroom, to the uptempo masterpiece Oh Yeah, making for as great a side of vinyl as ever there was. Side two is taken up by the funk monster Halleluhwah. Side three brings us Aumgn’s occult channe...view item »
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21.

Real Estate
Atlas

There is something very reassuring about knowing that there are some things in life you can rely on. In a recent interview, Real Estate guitarist/singer Martin Courtney said ”I know the path that we’re going down and it’s not to say that we fear change or anything, it’s just I think I like this sound”. I do ...view item »
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22.

SWANS
To Be Kind

I've spent my life a little afraid of Swans. They're pretty violent bastards. I saw one proper going for somebody's arse on a canal barge once. Serves them right for drunkenly hanging it off the edge. Michael Gira, the singer from the rock band Die Schwäne, doesn't so much peck your arse as kick it; metaphorically, cerebrally and ...view item »
23.

Sleaford Mods
Mr. Jolly Fucker / Tweet Tweet Tweet

As you may know,  Nottingham’s finest Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn aka Sleaford Mods have been creating a bit of a stir here at Norman HQ recently, it’s safe to say that these lads are definitely Marmite. This is a double A-side of two tracks that don’t feature on their ‘Austerity Dogs’ album so if...view item »
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24.

Parquet Courts
Sunbathing Animal

Jewelcase CD. LP in gatefold sleeve, printed inner bag, download code. An exclusive LP version featuring a bonus one-sided 7” with an unreleased track. Tracks: 01 Bodies02 Black and White03 Dear Ramona04 What Color Is Blood05 Vienna II06 Always Back in Town07 She's Rollin...view item »
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25.

Temples
Sun Structures

Are you wanting an unrelenting hit album that you will sing all through the summer? If so then this could be it. Temples early singles impressed; variously recalling Teardrop Explodes, Love, T-Rex, Tame I...view item »
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26.

Sun Kil Moon
Benji

Sometimes I wonder if it would just be better for everyone if I’d gone ahead and married Mark Kozelek. I wouldn’t need anything from him, if he would just sit on a wicker chair in the corner of the room and carefully pluck his classical guitar all day that would be enough for me. However, if I had...view item »
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27.

The Cult Of Dom Keller
The Second Bardo

Psych-rockers Cult Of Dom Keller impressed us all last year with their debut LP on Cardinal Fuzz, a label which has established itself as a safe pair of hands in the last couple of years with releases from The Heads, Lantern, Vision Fortune,...view item »
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28.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi
Akira OST

This was perhaps my favorite film. It's soundtrack is great. Get it!...view item »
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29.

Jozef Van Wissem & SQURL
Only Lovers Left Alive OST

After teasing us with a 12" sampler from this soundtrack, Jarmusch and co finally drop the whole thing on us, and it's just as tasty as anticipated. The tracks here are largely collaborations, and they mostly feature Jozef Van Wissem and/or SQURL, with six of the tracks being collaborations between the two, as well as a handful with SQURL on the...view item »
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30.

Spacemen 3
Live at The New Morning, Geneva, Switzerland, 18.05.1989

A bootleg of this show has been floating around for a while but this is the first time that this particular Spacemen 3 performance has had any kind of official release, albeit in slightly truncated form. Sonic Boom concedes in his sleeve notes that "the set presented here, is as it was...except the show was twi...view item »
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31.

Eagulls
Eagulls

Eagulls are a rare thing, a band that live up to it’s hype. Some of you may not agree, they weren’t an easy sell for me either, at first, but it’s hard to deny Eagulls debut. Not only do they take reference from a much loved period of post-punk’s history but they do the period proud too. More importantly, there’s tu...view item »
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32.

The Heads
Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Remaster)

The 2nd album in The Head’s impressive canon, was originally released on Sweet Nothing Records (SNLP007/CD) in July 2000; now, 14 years later “Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere” has been repackaged with a full compliment of bonus material from that period (7” tracks, B- sides, Mans Ruin 10” / CD tra...view item »
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33.

Interpol
El Pintor

Well, they're now five albums old but one of the most influential (in both good and bad ways) bands to stumble from NYC in the last 15 years are back with their anagram-tastic new big record. The lead track from this, "All the Rage Back Home", is a strangely addictive blast of energising emo-tinged radio-rock that totally retains that oh-so...view item »
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34.

Memory Drawings
There Is No Perfect Place

The first 200 copies of the album comes with a bonus CD containing excellent remixes by The Sly and Unseen, Benoit Pioulard, William Ryan Fritch, Pausal, A New Line (Related), and Talvihorros. Memory Drawings consist of American hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson who alongside Hood's Richard Adams and Lanterns on the L...view item »
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35.

Ruth White
7 Trumps From the Tarot Cards and Pinions

Back in June 2013 I ended my review for Ruth White’s ‘Flowers of Evil’ reissue LP with this sentence “If her 'Seven Trumps From The Tarot Cards' LP also got a reissue I would die a happy man.” Well prayers have been answered as here we have a necessary, first ever vinyl reissue of ...view item »
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36.

Courtney Love
You Know My Name / Wedding Day

Man this single is a steaming pile of dog turd. I can barely bring myself to review it. The A-side is some dodge pop punk effort (think shit Blink/Wank day) and the B-side sounds like fucking Billy Idol! Pure soulless Hollywood bullshit. Granted, Love still has a fine set of pipes on her but jesus, if you’re gonna rely on ghostwriters at l...view item »
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37.

Pye Corner Audio / Not Waving
Intercepts

Intercepts is a split album between Pye Corner Audio and Not Waving, available on limited edition pink vinyl. Taking inspiration from the world of espionage, most specifically spy rings, both artists provide four tracks each, creating a thrilling musical call and response between these kindred producers. ...view item »
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38.

Aphex Twin
Syro

Well we'll be blowed. The threats have actually finally come true. Aphex Twin's first proper new studio album for Warp since the divisive confused bulk of 2001's 'Drukqs' is due towards the end of September 2014. The artwork is quasi-cryptic and minimal as you can see. What the material will sound like is the stuff of many an "IDM" fanboy/g...view item »
39.

Sleaford Mods
Retweeted

We might get round to reviewing this properly at some point, but if you're looking for a decent comp of some of the Mods' earlier stuff then look no further. Nice sleeve btw, boys. Classy....view item »
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40.
41.

Mark Lanegan
Phantom Radio

Nice to know old gravel larynx Mark Lanegan is releasing an album he composed largely on his phone. Apparently this is his krautrock/post-punk inspired album. Nice to know the singer from The Screaming Trees was soaking up lots of British and German music in his youth rather than digging Alice Cooper and Blue Cheer. He explains, kindly, that he'...view item »
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42.

Hookworms
The Hum

Third album from Leeds-based psychedelic noise band Hookworms. With a new drummer on board, this is a more confident, leaner and meaner offering from the band Julian Cope described as a "...sub-Zabriskie Point ambient road-movie heat haze-o...view item »
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43.

The Charlatans
Talking In Tones

The latest single from the Charlatans, a teaser for their as-yet-untitled 12th album, is being put out by none other than our friends at the Quietus! Apparently it's strange, haunting pop with Onyeabor-inspired rhythms and a big chorus, with Quietus alumni Grumbling Fur providing a "cone-friendly" remix on the other side....view item »
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44.

Sleaford Mods
Tiswas

More loud and shouty genius from 2014's sensations, the lairy duo Sleaford Modz. This limited twelve arrives as the aptly titled 'Tiswas' EP, a collection of mostly all new material from Jason Williamson, who opens his mouth once and never closes it, and Andrew Fearn, who lets things tinker away in the background. These tracks wer...view item »
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45.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi
Akira - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2LP edition

The times I've bought this soundtrack, listened to the soundtrack, bought the film, watched the film, read the manga, sought related books and poured over it's glorious existence in general, one would have thought I'd be pretty sick of it (I've done it with other things, being the obsessive that I often am!). Well, not at all, in fact quite the ...view item »
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46.

Death and Vanilla
Vampyr

A prime slice of hauntology to get your teeth into here. Originally released on cassette last Halloween, this double LP features a live recording of Death And Vanilla’s soundtrack to Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 classic ,Vampyr. For the performance, the psychedelic dream pop duo expanded their line up, incorporating an...view item »
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47.

Akira Ifukube
Godzilla - The Japanese Original 60th Anniversary edition

Death Waltz continue to find soundtracks worthy of reissue in their rampage through the horror vaults, and this one here has to be among their most iconic yet. 'Godzilla' has spawned countless sequels, reboots, imitations and even an American animated series for children, but here we go right back to the radioactive source in '50s Japan....view item »
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48.

Delia Derbyshire
The Delian Mode

Delia Derbyshire is the undisputed queen of experimental electronics. Her work with the Radiophonic Workshop was nothing short of pioneering and of course her best known work is the Dr Who theme which literally everybody on the planet likes. That's how genius it is. Here's a 7" by her which is expensive yet sexy. It features two tra...view item »
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49.

Sleaford Mods
Loan Shark / Slug Tub

If you've had your head up your arse for the last year then you've not heard of the Sleaford Mods. They swear a lot over rudimentary beats and they keep it fucking real. It feels appropriate to swear my tits off writing this. Here's 2 brand new tracks on Felix Kubin's label. There's 500 copies pressed for the world and it comes in a fa...view item »
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50.

The See See
Once Forever and Again

This is the third full length studio album from psych poppers The See See. Eschewing the modern day strum and drang of the repeato garage types in favour of a subtle update the sunshine pop of the late 60's movers and shakers such as The Byrds and Love, the band have again put together and album of catchy pop nuggets with harmonies and hook...view item »
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