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Richard Swift
The Hex

Richard Swift sadly died on 3rd July, 2018. He was 41 years old. The gifted musician, songwriter, producer and filmmaker had worked with a number of acts in his career including Damien Jurado, The Shins, Foxygen (producing their first and bes...view item »

Stella Donnelly
Thrush Metal

Horribly appearing to have a mouthful of garden worms on the cover of this debut release, this Australian singer songwriter blends lovely sweet melodies with bold instinctive lyrics often aimed at men being arseholes. But like Liz Phair on Exit in Guyville the songs are both gorgeous and unique. Donnelly's voice has a lovely Aus...view item »

Joey Dosik
Inside Voice

Vulfpeck continue to extend their insidious tendrils into every facet of contemporary music. Joey Dosik may not be a full-time member of the Berkley ‘band’, but his solo output bears a similar element of nudge-nudge-wink-wink to that group's output. Inside Voice, his debut solo LP, thinks it...view item »

serpentwithfeet
soil

Josiah Wise enlists a raft of sound innovators for the debut serpentwithfeet LP. Clams Casino, Paul Epworth, Katie Gately and mmph are some of the minds behind the gorgeous vistas of soil. Wise’s extraordinary voice, reminiscent o...view item »

Damien Jurado
The Horizon Just Laughed

Damien Jurado’s thirteenth LP - and the first one he’s produced all by himself - doesn’t see the Seattle-based artist messing with the formula too much. The Horizon Just Laughed is a record of lovely singer-songwriter stuff from a man with a tale or two to tell. Fans of his previous work, as well as th...view item »

Suuns
Felt

New Suuns music! Felt was self-recorded in Montreal over a good long period of time, allowing the band to really feel their way around their sounds. Felt is perhaps a little less tight and claustrophobic than some of the band’s past work, and with extra doses of experimental electronics. Mixed by ...view item »

Makeness
Loud Patterns

Loud Patterns is the debut album by London-based Makeness (Kyle Molleson). It’s quite loud, and it entails a lot of various musical patterns. With its colourful, swaggering art-rock approach to dance and electro-indie, the record sounds like a confident collaboration between Caribou and Ho...view item »

Damien Jurado
Visions of Us on the Land

Damien Jurado is a folk-ish kind of artist who is comfortable with revealing his most private feelings in his intimate songs. Visions of Us on the Land is available in 3 formats, of escalating scale. There is the CD, the double LP, or the triple LP, which adds an LP of demos. All on Secretly Canadian....view item »

Jason Molina
The Black Sabbath Covers

Black Sabbath’s influence runs far and deep, emerging in some unexpected places… Such as in the recorded catalogue of Magnolia Electric Co. singer-songwriter Jason Molina. These intriguing covers of ‘Solitude’ and ‘Snowblind’ were recorded at home in the 90&r...view item »

Songs: Ohia
Impala

This is stripped down, lonely, sparse, just un-polished enough to render it compelling, beautiful and (groan) mysterious. Unlike other reviews that may fault this recording for its simplicity and "lo-fi"-ness, I find it is immediate and intimate- exactly the sound that complements these songs and their spirit (a sound, I might add, consistent th...view item »

Damien Jurado
Caught In The Trees

Damien Jurado is known for writing lo-fi, folky songs dealing in betrayal, heartbreak and other such problems. “Caught in the Trees” then, is a bit different. Whilst he has always been a writer of sublime melodies, he usually keeps things very low-key. It opens with the glorious up-tempo “Gil...view item »

Bobb Trimble
Iron Curtain Innocence

This is Bobb Trimble's first album from 1980. I found this artist and album through the book 'The Best Music You've Never Heard Before' and much like anything of that ilk that are hits and misses but this is a solid hit. If you took the haunting, crazy of Sid Barrett and put that with Gilmor's guitars of Animals you'd have the right ingredients ...view item »

Songs: Ohia
Magnolia Electric Co. (10 Year Anniversary Edition)

Magnolia Electric Co was the final album Jason Molina released under the name Songs: Ohia. Whilst touring the album, he decided to change the name of the band to Magnolia Electric Co (who never released an album called Songs: Ohia). You can hear something had changed - this Steve Albini-produced record has a harder edge than previous releases. S...view item »

Whitney
Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings

While we excitedly wait for the second album from Chicago duo Whitney, they have served up their debut in its rawest form with Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings. As the guys move on from a cathartic songwriting and recording experience and a grueling touring schedule, they are keen to show where their critically acclaimed deb...view item »

William Eggleston
Musik

William Eggleston, now 77, is a regarded photographer, but here is another side to the Memphis man. Eggleston rediscovered a piano in his childhood home, igniting a passion. An '80s fascination with a Korg synth developed; a sequencer enabled him to make and improvise symphonies and Bach-ian organ cantatas. He produced...view item »

Alex Cameron
Forced Witness

Forced Witness is the latest album from Alex Cameron who has had a little bit of help from his friends with this one; including Brandon Flowers of The Killers, Weyes Blood and Angel Olsen. Having jetted about between Vegas, LA and Berlin to reco...view item »

The War On Drugs
Future Weather

Sandwiched between the more conventional Springsteen stomp-rock of Wagonwheel Blues and the meandering, soundscaped slab of Americana that was Slave Ambient, the War on Drugs offered us Future Weather. If you liked the transience and guitar-abstracted haze of the band...view item »

Whitney
You've Got A Woman / Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)

Signed to Secretly Canadian, Whitney are Chicago's modern day answer to indie-rock. Their latest single is a glut of material is promising, You've Got A Woman / Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can) is an intriguing duo that fail to bore at any moment. The release is direct, candid ...view item »

Yoko Ono
Feeling The Space

Secretly Canadian do the world a favour here with a set of reissues of vintage Yoko Ono albums, pushing the legendary artist and musician’s achievements back into the limelight next to her reputation. Feeling The Space is an unusually subdued and smooth album of feminist songwriting, but a very successful effort f...view item »

Yoko Ono
Approximately Infinite Universe

Secretly Canadian do the world a favour here with a set of reissues of vintage Yoko Ono albums, pushing the legendary artist and musicians achievements back into the limelight with her reputation. Approximately Infinite Universe is a big and bold rock album with ...view item »

Yoko Ono
Fly

Secretly Canadian do the world a favour here with a set of reissues of vintage Yoko Ono albums, pushing the legendary artist and musician’s achievements back into the limelight next to her reputation. Fly is an epic opus of a double album, ably splitting the difference between Yoko’s avant-F...view item »

She-Devils
She-Devils

Full-length album the first from She-Devils. This duo take an intuitive, DIY approach to creativity, making all their own artwork and videos. Furthermore, Audrey Ann Boucher had never played music before forming the band, so her vocals have grown organically alongside the whole concept of She-Devils...view item »

Cherry Glazerr
Haxel Princess

I've been reviewing a lot of Very Serious Music lately so it's nice to have a few things on my pile that are actually fun. This one's by an LA band called Cherry Glazerr who are described quite clearly as a three-piece in the press release so I'm not sure why four people are pictured on the back cover, and which of them isn't in the band. Perhap...view item »

Suuns
Hold/Still Remixes

Suuns hand over their Hold / Still album to a brace of producers for this album-length collection of remixes. We’ve got ambient stretches from Beatrice Dillon and Lee Gamble, a psychy version from Dark Sky, a techno explosion from VIRL, and dance ...view item »

Whitney
Light Upon The Lake

Light Upon The Lake is the soulful debut from Whitney, who make a rich and bluesy pop music. The sweet vocals are the heart of the band's gorgeous and distinctively American, West Coast troubadour sound. The laidback guitar and harmonies hide the complex arrangements and stunning instrumentation. ...view item »

Cherry Glazerr
Apocalipstick

Cherry Glazerr have announced Apocalipstick, their new album, set for release on 20th January 2017. Recorded at Hollywood’s nominal Sunset Sound studio with celebrated producers Joe Chicarrelli (The White Stripes, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket) and Carlos De La Garza (Paramore, Bleached, M83), this is the band’s debut album for Secr...view item »

Songs: Ohia
Hecla & Griper (15th Anniversary Edition)

Hecla & Griper, released the same year as Songs: Ohia's self-titled debut, showcases Jason Molina's genius and talent even further with this set of short, sparse, and frequently catchy set of songs. The lyrics are deep and speculative, gaining a centre of well deserved attention throughout each song, along with the unique Songs: Ohia instrum...view item »

Luke Temple
A Hand Through The Cellar Door

As a pioneering songwriter of stripped back folk-pop, Luke Temple's acoustic offering A Hand Through The Cellar Door is as well crafted as it is sparse. Containing daydream-inducing The Birds of Late December, which exquisitely beams the Boston-born songwriter's delicate voca...view item »

Damien Jurado & Richard Swift
Other People's Songs Volume One

Damien Jurado and Richard Swift first worked together on Jurado’s Saint Bartlett album. Since then they’ve formed an artistically successful partnership and recorded Jurado’s Maraqopa trilogy of albums. Around the time they first met, they recorded a bunch of covers together on a 4-track, rewo...view item »

Yoko Ono
Plastic Ono Band

Fronted with bizarre, eery screeching, Yoko Ono's (widow of John Lennon) avant-garde offering Plastic Ono is finally reissued on vinyl. Originally released way back in 1971, the album has a classic yet timeless sound that has influenced a host of musicians throughout the decades.&nb...view item »

John Lennon / Yoko Ono
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions

As the second part of John and Yoko’s Unfinished Music series, Life With The Lions is one of the least popular albums John Lennon was ever involved with. Partner Yoko Ono took a Fluxus-style approach, and the album consists of howling, feedback, readings ...view item »

John Lennon / Yoko Ono
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins

Two Virgins is generally known as one of the least popular albums John Lennon was ever involved with: yay! Yoko Ono’s avant-art practices are clearly the heaviest influence here on this abstract suite of musique concrete, bird-song, conversation and other less-than-traditionally-musical sounds. Ex...view item »

Alex Cameron
Jumping The Shark

Whenever he's not the frontman for Australian electronic outfit Seekae, Alex Cameron is busy walking around looking like an old horse-race gambling addict. But even if his looks were a gimmick, he's definitely not Jumping the Shark wit...view item »

Suuns
Hold/Still

Suuns are back, following on from their successful collaboration with Jerusalem In My Heart. Hold/Still has all the minimal slinkiness of previous releases, the low end pulsating around sharp guitars and murmured Clinic-esque vocals. Released by Secretly Canadian, with an independent-st...view item »

Jason Molina
The Townes Van Zandt Covers

It's easy to see how Jason Molina drew influence from Townes Van Zandt; his sparse, languishing folk songs absorbed much of Van Zandt's still and modest approach to country songwriting, and it was imparted in both his solo and band records. These two tracks initially appeared on a tape sent to multi-disciplinary artist William Schaff (responsibl...view item »

Ben Abraham
Sirens

Born in Melbourne, this indie-folk artist has been quietly refining his delicate songwriting in the build-up to his debut, Sirens. Ben Abraham has built a reputation as a powerful and emotive live singer-songwriter, and this album on Secretly Canadian reflects those simple and affecting performa...view item »

Here We Go Magic
Be Small

Here We Go Magic have their fourth album up and ready to go, and it finds them in a more positive mode / mood than ever! Be Small is full of tightly orchestrated pop songs with an ornate proggish twist. Eleven tracks on Secretly Canadian, released in standard formats and as coloured vinyl exclusive to independent shops....view item »

Gardens & Villa
Music For Dogs

Music For Dogs would appear to be not so much about dogs as about contemporary culture and Los Angeles. No bad thing, as Gardens & Villa kick out with a jittery, overstimulated energy that well suits these modern times. Fast moving synth-pop duo (all the best synth-pop is by duo’s eh?) on the Secretly Canadian...view item »

Windsor For The Derby
We Fight Til Death

Post Rock veterans Windsor For The Derby have a new CD/LP out. Its on Secretly Canadian this time and its called 'We Fight til Death'. It follows along from that last record that I can't remember the name of. They remind me very much of American Analog Set in places though there's some hints of New Order in there...view item »

Steven A Clark
The Lonely Roller

Steven A. Clark has a neo-soul, electro-R&B kind of sound, his emotive crooning sitting atop a bed of expansive synth-lines and neat, funky bassline. The Lonely Roller has Clark’s charismatic, emotive vocals and the swinging productions to back him up: I’m sure he’ll do well. On Se...view item »

Throw Me The Statue
Moonbeams

I really dig this CD for its diversity. It's got some great lo-fi pop songs that are catchy but never repetitive or overly simplistic. It also has some great rock tunes where they really get it going on the guitar. The tracks are polished enough that you don't have to be an indie rock nerd to enjoy it on a first listening but it's also layered enou...view item »

Songs: Ohia
Magnolia Electric Co

Songs Ohia have yet another new album out on Secretly Canadian. I absolutely adored their last two records - quite brilliant both of them., This one cranks the volume switch up to 11 and rocks like people with long hair in the seventies did. Its kind of like Creedence Clearwater Revival, ...view item »

Br. Danielson
Brother Is To Son

how times change. just look at my review. they are now one of my favourite bands. it just shows  - take a lot of what we say with a pinch of salt...view item »

Bodies Of Water
A Certain Feeling

Bodies of Water depart here from their debut album, which was somewhat light and choral, to something darker and more powerful. These songs have a deep, driving sound, with lyrics like old poetry about gatherings in the forest and shadowy things under the ocean. The sound is relentless, with the music generally moving faster than the male-under-...view item »

Blk Jks
Zol

Little EP offering here from cheeky vowel-less Johannesburg resident Blk Jks. Can't say I've heard this guy before and I had no idea he was from South Africa! Anyway, 'Zol' is his 'sort-of' unofficial World Cup theme which is bolstered here by a couple of studio tracks and a demo entitled 'Mzabalazo'. Opener 'Iietys' hints at afro rhythms whilst...view item »

Antony & The Johnsons
Antony & The Johnsons

Absolutely incredible CD! Antony has the most beautiful, haunting voice that I've heard in a decade. He's been compared to many artists (I can hear a lot of Bryan Ferry [circa Avalon] and Marc Almond), but is truly in a class of his own. For the people who claim that there are no longer any truly unique talents, Antony and the Johnsons have arri...view item »

The War On Drugs
Come to the City

It's been quite a good year for War On Drugs. For one, they've managed to win the war...not on drugs but on rugs (main man Adam Granduciel used to work in a Mexican carpet showroom called “Underlay!! Underlay!!”, and he was once trapped under 56 square feet of axminster and nev...view item »

Cayucas
Dancing at the Blue Lagoon

Cayucas are a band centered around two twin brothers, indulging their childhood ideals about the place that they now actually live: Los Angeles refracted via pop culture and distanced once more by time and memory. The results are a sunny retro-Californian beach album, pretty nice to listen to in the right setting. Dancing at...view item »

Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart
Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

Available on 12” vinyl LP or CD from Secretly Canadian. Sunns and Jerusalem in my Heart is the result of a seven day collaboration session from 2012 between Sunns and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Jerusalem in my Heart). After a couple of years they revisit the material, edit, re-work, an...view item »

Richard Swift
Ground Trouble Jaw

Record Store Day 2015 release from Richard Swift: we’ve got a few copies left if you want to snap one up! Totally spot-on songs in a Motown-via-the-present-day style. Ground Trouble Jaw was first released only digitally, but thankfully can now be heard on a vinyl record. 12” EP on Secretly Canadian....view item »

Songs: Ohia
Didn't It Rain

Alt-country songwriter Jason Molina is best known for his crowning work with Songs: Ohia, 'Magnolia Electric Co.', a cosmic alt-country record inspired by the ferocity of Steve Albini, its producer. 'Didn't It Rain', though, is a different kind of masterpiece, reflecting Molina's more commonly utilised slow-burning folk rock, always focused arou...view item »

Electric Youth
Innerworld

If you've been following the world of film in the last 3 years, you will have heard Electric Youth's bittersweet single featuring College, 'A Real Hero', featured in 2011's Drive. On these Canadian's debut full length, they conjure up similarly emotional, 80s-inspired synthpop which would be right at home on a beach accompanying a cool pair...view item »

Music Go Music
Impressions

A colourful synth-pop outfit who love to dress up in extravagant costumes and have probably watched a lot of ABBA live DVDs, Music Go Music are releasing their second ever record, 'Impressions', titled with a wink towards its predecessor, 'Expressions'. It's a record by a band that wants the word disco to mean something again, and an unabashed t...view item »

JJ
V

The music industry beggars belief sometimes. Even in its most ludicrously coked up insanity, how can anyone sit down and decide that this is a releasable piece of music. Secretly Canadian  - what in God’s name has happened to you? For the record its a highly scrubbed piece of Disney-inspired fluff. The songs all sound they sho...view item »

Woman’s Hour
Conversations

Woman's Hour are not your average band. The first clue comes in the name of the London-based swoon-pop four-piece, taken from a beloved female-focussed news and culture show on BBC Radio 4. The second is in their graphic, striking monochrome visuals, meticulously curated in collaboration with TATE and MOMA certified fine artists Oliver Chanarin ...view item »

Tomas Barfod
Love Me

Thomas Barfod’s debut album Salton Sea was highly praised by respected websites such as Pitchfork upon its release. He also caught the ear of Secretly Canadian who have signed him up for his sophomore effort, Love Me. The album features guest appearances from Luke Temple, Night Be...view item »

The War On Drugs
Lost In The Dream

It comes to something where the general consensus is that its a positive thing if a record sounds like Don Henley’s post Eagles solo career. No-one likes a bit of good old L.A top- down yacht rock more than me but the late 80’s synth rock on this War On Drugs album get...view item »

Women's Hour
Her Ghost / I Need You

This is Kendal four piece Women's Hour's first release on American independent record label Secretly Canadian. Since forming just a few years ago, Women's Hour have won over a considerable fanbase and become one of the most blogged-about bands of the year. This is smooth, modern indie: carefully crafted textures that are rich in detail but power...view item »

Gardens & Villa
Dunes

Gardens & Villa is essentially avant garde electronic pop musician Danton Eeprom. Dunes was recorded at his home studio and combines near-the-knuckle lyrical references and dancefloor sensibilities. His impressive oeuvre encompasses a wide range of genres and influences. Dunes is av...view item »

Damien Jurado
Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Did I miss the memo or something? Was I asleep when Jurado turned from lo-fi troubador to Cosmic American trailblazer? This is a really stunning effort which sits up there with the great and the good of psychedelic American music. From David Crosby to Fleet Foxes and back again...view item »

Volcano Choir
Repave

It’s great here at Norman Records when I get to review something that I know nothing about and it truly blows me away. No kidding, ‘Repave’ by Volcano Choir is my new favourite record, after feeling pretty rubbish and generally worn down recently this has perked me up no end. With most of the...view item »

Porcelain Raft
Permanent Signal

Permanent Signal is the (difficult) second album from Porcelain Raft.  The atmospheric indie Secretly Canadian is known for is fully intact, here. Classic second album tropes of a more ‘studio’ sounding production and themes of transition and dislocation permeate. On CD and Viny...view item »

Suuns
Zeroes, QC

'Zeroes QC' the, debut album from Suuns, starts with a crumbling, cracking up synth. One is perhaps put in mind of dubstep sounds with the electronic throbbing but then these wonderful guitars kick in surrounded by cymbal crashes. Layer on layer of breaking down guitar sounds cascade down like rocks tumbling...view item »

Cayucas
Bigfoot

Another pleasant little pop gem on Secretly Canadian, Cayucas’ debut ‘Bigfoot’ is a bouncy summertime record full of Beach Boys-esque sunshine, Caribbean rhythms and classic pop songwriting. ‘High School Lover’ is all ‘50s diner bub...view item »

Suuns
Images du Futur

Montreal quartet Suuns are back with their second album ‘Images Du Futur’ on Secretly Canadian this week, after their excellent debut ‘Zeroes, QC’ a couple of years ago. This time around the brooding tension is upped as they conjure a series ...view item »

Cayucas
Cayucos / Swimsuit

Aha, some indie pop! This is especially welcome today because I’ve just had a marathon slog reviewing the new Scott Walker album which, whilst great, was pretty intense. Not this, though! This is bright and breezy jangly summer indie like they wr...view item »

Nite Jewel
Good Evening (Expanded Reissue)

There's a 'do-it-yourself' lo-fi amateurish production value to Good Evening since Ramona Gonzalez pretty much recorded the album in her bedroom using an eight track tape recorder. You can even hear tape 'fizz' if you turn the volume up too loud. Some instrumentation is even out of tune; everything is a bit off. It sounds like it should be bad b...view item »

Taken By Trees
Other Worlds

Concretes chanteuse Vicky Bergsman has released an album with Panda Bear in the past that she recorded in an inspired mood following a trip to ...view item »

Jens Lekman
I Know What Love Isn't

Opening with a godawful piano ‘interlude’ which I wish hadn’t happened, the first main track ‘Erica America’ is a gorgeous slab of yacht rock which sits perfectly between Chris Rea circa ‘On the Beach’ and later period Steely Dan. The arrangements are ...view item »

Here We Go Magic
How Do I Know / My Plate's On Fire

Where is the question mark? Surely there should be a question mark there? Right? Another question could be where is the tune? And what on earth has happened to Here We Go Magic? I loved their first EP but literally nothing else. This is a one-chord song which doesn't seem to have any appe...view item »

Here We Go Magic
A Different Ship

This is Here We Go Magic's third album but my first exposure to them so I can't compare it to their previous stuff I'm afraid. Anyway, they've got Nigel Godrich twiddling the knobs on this one so what I've got going on in my ears right now ...view item »

Damien Jurado
Maraqopa

I've seen this name about approximately 1734 times whilst rolling around deliriously in the dank mists of the Norman stockroom in the 11 years I've worked here and this is honestly the first time I've ever sat down and seriously listened to this person or band known as Damien Jurado. I'm not sure whether I actually really like this st...view item »

The War On Drugs
Slave Ambient

The words 'Bruce Springsteen' were spat at me when handed this CD this morning so I had it down as the type of heavily blue collar parody rock peddled by the likes of Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem but thankfully this updating on your classic rock sound is only part of the sonic maelstrom created by this Philadelphia native. Instead I'm rem...view item »

Damien Jurado
Saint Bartlett

A reverb and hazy vibe are kind of at odds with some of the music for me on this, although I do like some tracks and how of their own time they sound. I'm more a fan of past records, though this is not bad by any means. I certainly would not start here if you are just getting into the artist. His other records are more consistent on the whole an...view item »

Magnolia Electric Co
Josephine

The Magnolia electric co. is the recording pseudonym of Jason Molina (previously known as Songs:Ohio) and this is officially his 16th record (his fifth as Magnolia Electric Co.) and is dedicated to Evan farrell, the Magnolia electric co. bass player who tragically died at the end of 2007. The press release tells me that 'Josephine' is a concept alb...view item »

Simon Joyner
Beautiful Losers: Singles And Compilation Tracks 1994-1999

More Alt Country for you guys. A Simon Joyner singles and compilation tracks collection spanning from 1994-1999 called 'Beautiful losers'. Expect the usual formula of lo-fi guitar, harmonica and whining vocals. I like depressing music and all but th...view item »

Jens Lekman
When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog

Sometimes I think Jens Lekman is a silly man. He writes some great songs but sometime his lyrics make me want to punch the wall. More of the heartfelt songs, Jens less of the silly irony. Taking the good songs on this new full length you could well compare him to great crooners like Richard Hawley and The Divine Comedy....view item »

Songs: Ohia
Axxess & Ace

Very few indie folk musicians use subtlety to greater immediate effect than Jason Molina. Axxess & Ace, rather than being a record that appears boring to inattentive ears or needs repeat listens to understand, is instantly moving. Part of it is the voice -- Molina delivers some of the most harrowing vocals ever recorded, like a scared and fr...view item »

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