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4AD Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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The Birthday Party
Live 81-82

Historic all-boy group The Birthday Party’s only band-approved live album is back on vinyl this week. Yes, here’s ‘Live 81-82’, an album cobbled together from a London date in 1981 and a German date in ‘82 plus a night in Athens where they covered The St...view item »

Red House Painters
Red House Painters / Rollercoaster

The high watermark of Mark Kozelek's career was both reminiscent of his earlier, more dour slowcore and indicative of the sombre guitar sage he'd become on early Sun Kil Moon records (before he became The Worst). Rollercoaster is a classic, a singer-songwriter record that languishes with the form in favou...view item »

The Amps
Pacer

The Amps were formed by the legendary Kim Deal when the Breeders had a little break. The only album the side-project produced was “Pacer”, which was released in 1995. The title track opens the album and is a lovely, druggy, melodic ditty. The single, “Tipp City", in comparison, is riot grrls doing...view item »

Cocteau Twins
The Pink Opaque

A nice new pair of Cocteau Twins reissues from 4AD, remastered anew using the original analogue master tapes. The Pink Opaque compiled choice cuts from the group’s early work in order to break them to the American market in 1986, and the selection of material still stands up today. Pressed to 180g vinyl....view item »

Pixies
Trompe Le Monde

If there was any worry that the Pixies would lose the raw energy of 'Surfa Rosa' by their 4th album, Frank Black put those worries to rest. 'Trompe Le Monde' isn't just relentless surf/punk though; "Space (I Believe In)" is a bizarre mix of prog rock and heavy metal and "Lovely Day" re-visits the feel of Doolittle classic "Hey". It may take...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Stars and Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

Liz Fraser’s ethereal vocals, often lyrical gobbledegook, coupled with the sparse backing from Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde (who replaced Will Heggie in 1983) made The Cocteau Twins one of the ‘80s most unique and special artists. The label had a knack back then for signing such acts. Along with Pixies...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Heaven Or Las Vegas

‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ was originally released in 1990 and was to become the bands most commercially successful release, reaching Number 7 in the UK Album Charts. Numerous publications have since declared it one of the best albums of the 90s, with Pitchfork calling it “a core of ungodly gorgeous songs that is every bit as m...view item »

Pixies
Come On Pilgrim

Back in the day 'Come On Pilgrim' was the album you went to after you'd had your socks knocked off by 'Surfer Rosa' or 'Doolittle' or whichever Pixies album first took your fancy. Their debut mini LP with tracks taken almost exclusively from their demo recordings signposts a band arriving fully formed with a spiky and unusual new sound. Contains...view item »

Red House Painters
Down Colourful Hill

It was the best of times, way back when Mark Kozelek was not awful to his audience and offensive to journalists; back when there was a forlorn band called Red House Painters weaving devastating lyrics in and out of slowcore threnodies. Down Colorful Hill was the very first entry into the band's canon...view item »

Pixies
Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa

Well there's no doubt that these are two of The Most Important Indie Rock Records Of All Time. Both are absolutely exceptional, in particular 'Surfer Rosa' which pretty much turned everything I knew on its head in my teenage years. 30 years after the event we get this luxury box set of both records plus a live show from the era. No new demos or ...view item »
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LP box set (4AD0084LPX, £79.99) is now sold out, sorry.
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Dead Can Dance
Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance have always been one of Australia's finest alt-rock exports, approaching post-punk and goth vibes with an experimental eye: the instrumentation on their 1984 self-titled debut includes Chinese dulcimer instrument the yangqin and some paint tin percussion. Reissued in a replica of the original sleeve, by 4AD....view item »

This Mortal Coil
Blood

Blood was the third and final This Mortal Coil album and like it's predecessor Filagree and Shadow, was presented as a double album. Once again large swathes of the 4AD roster were involved and the album has several highlights that compare favourably with their earlier work. There are two Chris Bell (Bi...view item »

This Mortal Coil
Filigree and Shadow

Filagree and Shadow was the follow up to the much loved debut It Will End In Tears from shadowy 4AD collective This Mortal Coil. Again leader Ivo Watts-Russell chose a supergroup made out of (mostly) artists on his label but this time there were more self penned compositions, enough to make it into a double alb...view item »

This Mortal Coil
It'll End In Tears

Oh lord this is the album. Back in the 80's no-one had any time for the likes of Big Star or Tim Buckley. 4AD head honcho was different though. He had exquisite taste and was also ambitious enough to put together a floating member super group to re-interpret some of his favourite songs. It Will End In T...view item »

Deerhunter
Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.

Back on vinyl, this time with 'Weird Era Cont.' - a bonus album previously unavailable on the format outside of the US. This is the first time that ‘Microcastle’ and ‘Weird Era Cont.’ have been made available together on vinyl outside of the States. Arriving on double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, the artw...view item »

The Lemon Twigs
Go To School

The Lemon Twigs debut album Do Hollywood was loved by Norman customers despite what the staff thought, so you’d probably like to know about it’s follow-up, huh? Go To School is a concept album telling the life story of a chimp called Shane whose dad just happens to be Todd Rundgren. Jody Stephens fro...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay

A nice new pair of Cocteau Twins reissues from 4AD, remastered anew using the original analogue master tapes. This release combines two EPs, Tiny Dynamine and Echoes In A Shallow Bay. Originally released within two weeks of each other in 1985, it makes a lot of sense to see them presented together here on one p...view item »

Red House Painters
Red House Painters / Bridge

Of the two sorta untitled Red House Painters records, Bridge is the perennial underachiever, a record that's more subtle in places and less focused in tone. It makes for something of RHP rock record: a strangely joyous cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am A Rock" appears, as does a gloomy, pan...view item »

Pixies
Head Carrier

Here comes the second post-reunion album from the legendary Boston outfit whose previous effort 'Indie Cindy' garnered mixed notices but was still at times a fine blast of noisy avant rock. Now having finally settled on a bassist with the Kim clone Paz Lenchantin now snugly ensconced into the line up, it's time to see whether the band reall...view item »

The National
Boxer: Live In Brussels

Well, it's Boxer by the National, but live. In spite of album artwork that clearly indicates the band performing their music out at a respectable function hall, the original record was a studio undertaking. True. Now coloured in, that artwork makes true on its former lie because it's ...view item »

Gang Gang Dance
Kazuashita

Beloved freak outfit Gang Gang Dance return with a record for 4ad! Still with all the silly track titles you've come to love, their new one is called Kazuashita and sees them melding together ambient and shoegaze in a textural standoff that's sure to knock your socks off or at the very least slowly unravel them. Goo...view item »

Camera Obscura
Break It To You Gently

People seem to love Camera Obscura, after all there is always room in the world for another Belle and Sebastian. For some reason I’d assumed that their latest album ‘Desire Lines’ had been poorly received yet a flick around the internet reveals that ...view item »
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SOHN
Hue / Nil

“Show me something that I’ve never seen / ‘Cause I’m lost and I need feeding / Give me things that I’ve never heard / ‘Cause I’m bad at seeing ahead, it’s true” croons SOHN (Englishman Christopher Taylor) on sorrowful a-side ‘Hue’. These and other croons await on ...view item »

Red House Painters
Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is the Red House Painters record that most resembles a Mark Kozelek solo record, predicting his future career a lone guitarist in Sun Kil Moon. It's personal but not in that annoyingly straight-forward way that accompanies his newest, most awful releases, instead sho...view item »

Jóhann Jóhannsson
IBM 1401, A User's Manual

The JOHANN JOHANNSSON album 'IBM 1401 A Users Manual' has landed in my review pile. It's a thoroughly pleasant album this one. It makes me feel all big and grown up listening to classical music. It's a pipe and slippers job man. This has huge sweeping, epic strings galore and in places is not unlike the soundtrack to a BBC wildlife do...view item »

The Breeders
All Nerve

Taking a break from their knitting for awhile, the Patti and Selma Bouvier of indie rock re-unite with the 'classic' era line up of the Breeders for their much anticipated first new album in a decade. Expect taut and lop-sided avant rock full of unusual melodies and that golden throated voice. How much better will it be than the...view item »

The Breeders
Last Splash

The Breeders first album since the departure of Tanya Donnelly who left to form Belly, opens with the slow, plodding, grungy riff of “New Year” then the song begins to rock, getting us ready for the next track - the mega indie disco floor-filling masterpiece that is “Cannonball” which is without doubt their best song. The...view item »

U.S. Girls
In A Poem Unlimited

Canada-based noise-popper Meg Remy – AKA U.S. Girls – is set to release her 6th studio album on 4AD, her second for the London-based label, in February 2018, and in true Remy fashion, it's packed with personality. Exploring spiritualism, religion, violence and power, she weaves together evocative samples, slow-burnin...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Head Over Heels

Head over Heels is Cocteau Twins second album and contains many of the bands great early songs such as 'Sugar Hiccup', 'The Tinderbox (of a Heart)' and 'When Mama Was Moth'. The sound of a band finding their feet in spectacular fashion. Now pressed onto 180g vinyl from the original masters their is no better time than t...view item »

Daughter
If You Leave

Oh here we go again, another load of misery guts Londoners. My initial impression with records like this is that this is ‘sadness’ on tap...as if being sad and tortured is career move and this at its worst it sits exactly at the midpoint of Coldplay, The xx and Di...view item »

SOHN
Tremors

London native, producer and songwriter Sohn had already released three tracks from his debut album, Tremors. The Wheel, Bloodflows, and Lessons left those that heard them watering at the mouth with anticipation of the full-length release. Having signed to 4AD, Sohn...view item »

Pixies
Doolittle 25

In celebration of its 25th anniversary (yes, 25th!) 4AD is releasing a deluxe version of the Pixies’ pivotal second studio album Doolittle. This three-CD/double vinyl package includes all the album’s B sides, Peel Sessions and demos alongside the original album for the first time ever, with nearly half of the tracks being commer...view item »

Dead Can Dance
Aion

Aion is probably the most accessible and widely enjoyed album by non-hard core Dead Can Dance fans. Released in 1990, Aion shows Dead Can Dance, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, exploring styles of Medieval times and the Renaissance. The production is excellent, and it ranks among DCD's best albums. Aion opens with "The Arrival and the...view item »

tUnE-YaRdS
I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

Merrill Garbus’s splendid odd-pop project (do I really still have to capitalise tUnE-YaRdS like this?) is now formally a duo with Nate Bremmer, and they are back with a fully-fledged full-length album. I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life is pretty sleek production-wise, thou...view item »

The National
Trouble Will Find Me

Sixth studio album from critics’ favourite The National. Following the massive success of ‘High Violet’ and a string of festival headlining spots, ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ has got the music press and fans alike salivating. From the offset this sounds like a band that have honed the...view item »

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 »

The Lemon Twigs
Brothers of Destruction

We got into a few arguments with customers about this lot. You love 'em, we find them intensely annoying. Anyway we're in the minority as they are doing pretty well for themselves with their brand of showmanship, music hall and proggy pop. This features an extra six tracks that weren't released on the recent 'Do Hollywood' so like 'em or lo...view item »
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Jóhann Jóhannsson
Fordlandia

Johann Johannsson. Well if ever a man was to forget his own name, this chap would only have to remember half of it to re-assemble his whole being. He's on 4AD with this album 'Fordlandia' and i'm rather taken aback by this Icelanders' modern classical/ambient sound galaxy. With a nostalgic look at presumably the days of the Ford phenomenon and tech...view item »
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Dead Can Dance
The Serpents Egg

A reissue of the inimitable Dead Can Dance’s 4th studio album The Serpent’s Eggs. Their first album that was entirely recorded in their own studio, giving them complete freedom to create their unique blend of ethereal middle eastern tones, African rhythms and 80s experimentalism. One of 4AD’s biggest a...view item »

Deerhunter
Fading Frontier

At last, new Deerhunter! With their seventh album, the band have taken a fairly accessible approach, crafting songs with a strong melodic thrust and clear production. Lovely stuff. But they can’t hide their inherent weirdnesses entirely: Fading Frontiers is full of the odd little touches that make this band so spe...view item »

Torres
Three Futures

Reina plays it out to Carragher. Now on to Alonso. Alonso to Mascherano, who then gives it to Gerrard. Gerrard … striding forward confidently. He’s in a good position. Oh, what a lovely pass! It’s through to Torres! Torres shapes to shoot... and comes through with an LP full of quietly experimental i...view item »

The National
Sleep Well Beast

The National have slowly seeped into our consciousness over the past few years simply by selling truckloads of records and becoming a thing we regularly compare other bands to when at a loss to describe moody rock music. Their success really is quite remarkable. Anyway here’s another album which contains more of...view item »

Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister
Planetarium

This is a potentially fascinating collaboration between these four lauded composers based around the ideas of space...not just outer space but your own inner space. A song suite that explores the planets and our solar system taking in piano ballads, proggy crescendos and everything in between. Oh and in case you are wondering Sufjan does sing. &...view item »

Indians
Cakelakers

Here’s a band on 4AD I’ve never heard of before, Indians, with a song called ‘Cakelakers’ which somewhat seasonably is reminding me a great deal of the popular Christmas carol ‘Joy To The World’. I’m genuinely uncert...view item »

Lo-Fang
#88

A taster from Lo-Fang’s album on 4AD, Blue Film. Matthew Hemerlein is a classically trained musician who has been inspired by his travels from his home in Maryland to Cambodia and Bali. He plays all the instruments on the album leading to a rich sound taking in everything from drums to piano and cello. On 12&rdquo...view item »

Pixx
Age of Anxiety

Debut album released by 4AD. Put this one in your bag with Fever Ray, Grimes, FKA Twigs, Youth Lagoon, and maybe Sonic Youth. Dusty and warbled near psychedelic electronic production have a post punk charge, a dash of krautrock, and a message of self identity an...view item »

Aldous Harding
Party

New Zealand's Aldous Harding came to prominence with her self titled debut from a couple of years ago  - a word of mouth hit which showcased her ghostly laments and eerie torch songs. Well now she is back and she travelled all the way to Bristol to record it with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parrish. ...view item »

Red House Painters
Red House Painters

I've kind of immersed myself in the Red House Painters over the last few months so I can compare this one pretty confidently to the others. I'll say that this is equal to anything they've done and possibly my favourite. If you like these guys at all, do yourself a favour and pick this one up. Call their music dream pop, indie rock, alternative -...view item »

TV On The Radio
Return To Cookie Mountain

I'd say the only gig that's ever had both me and our man Clint both "rocking" at the exact same time, all the way through was TV on the Radio a couple of years ago. They sent shivers up my spine throughout, precisely because they looked & felt so natural but offered a sublime & original take on thought provoking electri...view item »

TV On The Radio
Dear Science

I've pretty much obsessed about TV On the Radio since I first heard 'em. The 1st 2 albums were smart. I can't decide which I prefer as both have some tremendous songs on. So here's the 'difficult' third album 'Dear Science'. I was blown away by the opener.... Amazing skewed pop with some gorgeous feedbacky guitars in the background smothered in inc...view item »

tUnE-YaRdS
Nikki Nack

I’ve never really heard nor taken any kind of interest in Tune-yards thus far, no-one else here will review it so I’m stuck with it. I was always put off by the daft capitalization that I simply just can’t be arsed with. Phil reckons her debut was a classic though and so here we are with a third effort which opens with ...view item »

The Lemon Twigs
Do Hollywood

Setting the bar at terrifying new levels for annoying-ness, LA rich kid duo the Lemon Twigs manage to invoke '70s Paul McCartney to such a face slapping degree that the album should come with a bonus aloft thumb. They also recall preposterous '90s power pop revivalists Jellyfish in the...view item »

Scott Walker
The Drift

The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore sang Scott Walker in the 60's... and this times he REALLY means it. Tackling such cheery topics as Elvis's dead twin, the execution of Mussolini and Milosevic this is a sober and brooding affair. Its theatrical doom. Sometimes a bit Jeff Buckley sometimes prete...view item »

Pixies
Surfer Rosa

4AD have seen fit to re release the 1st 3 Pixies LP's on vinyl (Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle) which is a very good thing as they shouldn't have been out of print in the first place. Some of the most important records you'll ever own. I remember being utterly obsessed by Pixies and when I saw 'em live it chang...view item »

Pixies
Bossanova

This is the third proper full length attempt by Pixies, a legendary band from Boston who actually made some fucking great records back when I were a lad. Bossanova is not one of their great records. To try and follow up the triple whammy of Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle is quite a daunting and challenging task, evident in the r...view item »

Mark Lanegan Band
Blues Funeral

I'm not sure how true it is, and it has very little to do with this album, but I remember reading a piece of music news way back in the '90s stating that Mark Lanegan punched out Liam Gallagher whilst Oasis were touring the U.S. If this is true then shouldn't we all be buying Mark Lanegan's entire catalogue of music in celebration of this great ...view item »

Iron and Wine
Ghost On Ghost

Sam Beam is a pretty consistent artist. I can’t think of any of his albums that I have thought were not worthy of a few spins. His last couple of albums, “Kiss Each Other Clean” and now “Ghost on Ghost” have marked a slight departure from his acoustic folky work and he is bringing in new elements to his work. This a...view item »

Grimes
Visions

As Pitchfork and the blogosphere go crazy over this lady, is it another case of us mere mortals being  left wondering what all the fuss is really about? Opener 'Infinite Without Fulfilment' sounds EXACTLY like an R&B hit of recent vintage that I just can't place and is a really i...view item »

Grimes
Art Angels

Grimes is back, not that’s she’s been away really, but she certainly split some opinions when she released Go in 2014. With Art Angels she has turned away from the populist pop-trap fad and delivered 14 tracks of addictive leftfield pop. Featuring even more instrumentation played by herself as well ...view item »

Future Islands
Singles

Future Islands’ Letterman performance the other week became a sort of insta-meme sensation, and I’ve long been fond of the band so it was gratifying to see them get some widespread attention, with their gruff-voiced theatrics and soulful synthpop sound being a revelation to many. Our Clinton, however, had very different things to say...view item »

EL VY
Return To The Moon

Menomena and the National are clearly good friends: earlier this year Pfarmers formed from members of each, and now another band has come to us with the former's Brent Knopf and the latter's Matt Berninger. I guess you could call it an indie rock supergr...view item »

Daughter
Not To Disappear

Second album from Daughter, the slightly-ethereal, thoroughly-melancholic indie trio. They’ve been away for 3 years, and the time has allowed them to hone their frosted sound to a fine, sharp point: Not To Disappear is sincerely sad in sound and in words, but manages to avoid becoming maudlin. Out on 4AD....view item »

Camera Obscura
Desire Lines

Fifth album by Camera Obscura on 4AD, ‘Desire Lines’ sees the Glasgow band sounding more polished and fresh, this is a great pop record with a quite a grown up sound, ‘This Is Love (feels Alright)’ is a lovely slice of ...view item »

Beirut
No No No

Here we have No No No, the first Beirut album since 2011’s The Rip Tide. Here, Zach Condon and friends take a more direct, in-the-studio approach to their sound, somewhat more stripped down in instrumentation than past Beirut work, but still keeping it international, of c...view item »

Future Islands
The Far Field

Remember that funny dancing man off the telly? Well he's back with with 1980s era backing band for another album of emotional synth pop. 'The Far Field' was recorded at the legendary Sunset Studios with John Congleton yet still manages to sound like it was recorded on a state of the art digi-studio in 1985.  ...view item »

John Moreland
Big Bad Luv

John Moreland has so far received word of mouth acclaim with a series of self released albums culminating in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year. Now he has been signed to 4AD and so will I'm sure achieve much wider recognition. 'Big Bad Luv' is a record about love, faith and the human conditio...view item »

Bing & Ruth
No Home Of The Mind

After a couple of much loved releases on RVNG International, Kansas based composer David Moore aka Bing & Ruth has signed to 4AD. This is a much more apt signing for a label that was known for moody and elegant music than the fucking Lemon Twigs and should bring a bit of self cocking respect back to the imprint. 'No Home of ...view item »

Lush
Ciao! Best Of Lush

Ciao: The Best Of Lush documents the greatest moments from the indie-pop-shoegazers career in reverse chronological order. Tracks are taken from their three full albums: Spooky (1992), Split (1994) and Lovelife (1996) and their debut mini-album, Scar (1989). Originally released on CD in 2001, ...view item »

SOHN
Rennen

If you've never heard his songs 'Artifice' and 'Lessons', I'd highly recommend them. SOHN has only officially been around for a couple of years but as soon as he hit the ground he proved himself as both a talented songwriter and a very clever electronic musician, mixing the two gifts into one rather addictive package. ...view item »

Dead Can Dance
Garden of Arcane Delights / The John Peel Sessions

The one and only EP ever produced by Dead Can Dance, Garden Of Arcane Delights, gets a repressing on 4AD. The hard-to-define Australians sound plenty dark and ethereal on this 1984 release, one of their earliest. And to give you more Dead Can bang for your buck, this reissue also includes two Peel S...view item »

Tim Hecker
Love Streams

Brand new full-length from Tim Hecker, who here brings his flaring waves of electronics into contact with woodwinds and the Icelandic Choir Ensemble (as arranged by Johann Johannsson). Love Streams builds on previous album Virgins, and was partly recorded in the same Reykjavik ...view item »

Scott Walker
The Childhood of a Leader - Original Soundtrack

Wow! Brand new Scott Walker! The avant-crooner legend has been enlisted to create a full-blown orchestral score to Brady Corbet’s The Childhood of a Leader, a Satre adaptation set in 1919. There’s plenty of the dissonance of late-period Walker at play here, ...view item »

LNZNDRF
LNZNDRF

LNZNDRF is a new band, but its members are pretty thoroughly experienced. We have the two Devendorf brothers from The National working alongside Ben Lanz, a frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens and Beirut. This self-titled debut is boiled d...view item »

Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago is the 2007 debut album by Bon Iver, who at the time consisted solely of Justin Vernon. After his band DeYarmond Edison split, and he’d suffered a bout of serious illness, he set off for a cabin in the woods to write and record the album. The resulting recording is no...view item »

Beirut
The Flying Club Cup

Beirut Beirut Beirut eh. Where on earth do you start. I guess this is one of the years 'important' releases after the last album blew everyones collective socks off and ended up in loads of end of years polls. Possibly the biggest acolation awarded to the album was in fact the Norman Records album of the year which wasn't something given lightly. O...view item »

David Byrne / St Vincent
Love This Giant

What is this unholy pairing? I have to admit to be kinda surprised these two were collaborating to make an album and I was equally fascinated by the chin mangled artwork. I feel bizarrely transfixed by David Byrne’s bumchin which has kept...view item »

Zomby
With Love

At last. When embarking on a reviewing marathon, it’s a challenge enough to try find a record you actually like. Phil has just wandered over with the new Zomby record. It’s a double album, 33 tracks and I have...what? 30 minutes to dissect it and tell you all about it. Luckily, my job has been made...view item »

Deerhunter
Monomania

It’s been a strong morning today. First I had the delights of the new Still Corners and Georgiana Starlington LPs to review, and now the new Deerhunter has turned up! Thi...view item »

Bauhaus
In The Flat Field

The best thing about this album is not what it sounds like, but what it doesn't. Leave your preconceptions about goth at the door, Bauhaus are at heart a post-punk band with a diverse range of influences. In a way, it's a shame that Bauhaus' work spawned a genre that has been burdened with so many stereotypes, and these do neither the album nor ...view item »

Indians
Somewhere Else

I was curling my top lip out five minutes ago in frustration, trying to think who the second track here reminded me of. It was then that the dreadful image of Peter Cetera singing a ballad by Foreigner came floating sinisterly into the vacuous and hideously-lit main arena of my mind and I realised this is where the post-...view item »

Scott Walker
Bish Bosch

Experimental pop godfather and widely acknowledged “godlike genius” Scott Walker is back with only his fourth proper solo album since the Walker Brothers disbanded in 1978, and first in six years. I’m afraid that I&rs...view item »

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Mature Themes

Don’t be fooled by the title of this record for there are no stories of collecting your pension, free bus passes or tea dances. I was kind of expecting this album, (the band’s second for 4AD) to be more down a slicker polished route than their earlier lo-fi stuff, which at times it does but it manages t...view item »

Twin Shadow
Confess

I was initially very disappointed with the album. The songs are enjoyable, but are not addictive. Strangely, the second half of the album is stronger than the first half. There are only two songs in my opinion that are on the level of Forget. "When the Movie's Over" is a sublime track, great melodic synth riff, with a soaring, melodramatic (in t...view item »

St. Vincent
Strange Mercy

I don't know about you but I don't trust anyone with curly hair. From Leo Sayer to Malcolm McLaren, you have to give them a very, very wide berth. St Vincent is a lady from New York who once toured with Sufjan Stevens, a man I had a bizarre dream about last night where he turned out to...view item »

Atlas sound
Parallax

Ryan Adams recently commented that he felt his career had been derailed by the sheer number of records he shoved out.  People couldn't keep up and so lost interest. Some may argue that many of them were terrible and that Adams has often behaved like an egotistical clown but he has a p...view item »

Throwing Muses
Anthology

I loved the music of the Throwing Muses in their time and followed the careers of Tonya Donelly, Belly, and in particular Kristin Hersh subsequently. Perusing the list of songs on this anthology, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that many of my favourite guilty pleasure Muses songs weren't included (I could listen to "Dizzy" on a lo...view item »
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Blonde Redhead
Penny Sparkle

Feel privileged to be reviewing the new album by these NY pop classicists. Once unfairly derided as some sort of Sonic Youth hanger-on/rip-off outfit, they've gradually metamorphosed over the past 15 years into a fine atmospheric progressive pop band, albeit one with left-field aspirations & integrity. I missed their last album, heard a coup...view item »
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Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest

Deerhunter can't do too much wrong can they? Well 'Microcastle' was a bit of a disappointment after the majesty of their breakthrough monster 'Cryptograms' and its equally stunning follow up 'Fluorecent Grey' but they were back on track with the more recent releases leading up to this, probably their most anticipated album. Its starts slowly wit...view item »

The Birthday Party
Junkyard

Well it’s good to see this back on vinyl! This deluxe reissue not only has the entire LP but also a bonus 7” and a CD with all the tracks from both records. Nice! It probably doesn’t need a lot of introducing but I’ll jump at an opportunity to say some nice things ...view item »

tUnE-YaRdS
BiRd-BrAiNs

On paper tUnE-yArDs sound really cool...So lets see... The proof, afterall is in the pudding...The work of one Merrill Garbus who has recorded herself using a digital voice recorder and produced her tracks using shareware mixing software. A total DIY aesthetic that has clearly charmed 4AD who've snapped her up. Listening to the 'BiRd-BrAiNs' reco...view item »

St. Vincent
Actor

I'm getting into a habit of ignoring top debut albums and 'getting it' on the 2nd album. I did it with Bat For Lashes (who I stalked on Youtube for a good hour or 2 last night... The 'What's a Girl To Do' video is top!) and I'm doing it again with St Vincent. I thought the last single was excellent and the album has been played a few times in ...view item »

Various
Dark Was The Night

Just landed is a 2CD and 3LP compilation on 4AD entitled 'Dark Was The Night' and it's a release to raise funds for The Red Hot Organization which is a charity that is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. The artists on there all provide exclusive material which will get some of you salivating. Peep the cast list: Antony, Arca...view item »

The Breeders
Pod

Pod was so refreshing when it came out in 1990. For those of us who loved Kim Deal's contributions to the Pixies this was a whole album of the stuff and waaay superior to Pixies lacklustre Bossanova of the same year. Pod was more leftfield, more spindly and taut than anything they did later and if it sounds a bit like Slint at t...view item »

Dead Can Dance
Toward The Within

Yes, it's live. But for this band, that isn't really a problem. The music is just as mesmerizing and moody as ever, with the same Eastern flavour and instrumentation and the same lilting nonsense lyrics from Gerrard and the usual rich velvet dronings of Perry. There are none of the off-key slides or crummy production quality seen on most live di...view item »

Pixies
Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies

It's an odd one this. A review for a best-of that's been out before and certainly wasn't the original career round-up (that was '97's Death to the Pixies) The reason they're doing this (4AD), other than blatantly dumping another cash-in on our collective lap, is they feel there hasn't been a well sequenced, chronologically accurate primer availa...view item »

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