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The Norman Records Mid-Year Review, 2013

Well, we're already halfway through 2013 and there have been some BIG moments.

It's fair to say, for example, that very few people expected this to be the year that Kevin Shields decided it was time to break out a new, badly-titled-as-always My Bloody Valentine album. The Knife returned after a seven-year hiatus and gave the world a new definition of the word 'epic' with their triple LP, all-day listen, Shaking The Habitual. Boards of Canada teased the world for weeks before unleashing their newie Tomorrow's Harvest on us. Meanwhile, Liz Harris dropped a shedload of unreleased Grouper stuff at our feet and demanded we listen to it.

But it's not like the established artists have had it all their own way. Hookworms firmly planted their flag as one of the UK's hottest new properties with their debut long player, Pearl Mystic. Hacker Farm followed up on last year's weirdo electronic highlight Poundland with a new album (UHF) that confused and excited our Brian so much he had to make up a new word to describe it ("psychotronic"). And back in the land of the sane, Parquet Courts offered up convincing proof of their post-punk chops with an album that united the office around Mike's five-star assessment of their debut, Light Up Gold.

So much stuff, so little space. Anyway, presented here in totally random order are the records that have been tickling our fancies so far this year. If you're wondering how we came to decide on this list there's been no methodology as collective fisticuffs over the merits of this or that. You'll have to wait until the end of the year for that. No, here we present a few of the individual choices from us music-loving, hard-working Normanites mixed in with what the gaffer, Phil, has decided should be in there.

So, in no particular order...