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Secretly Canadian Vinyl, CD & tapes from Norman Records

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Makeness
Loud Patterns

This is a temper tantrum. It’s a gloopy dance record screaming that it wants to get off the floor right this instance. Layers of smooth, lilting pop music wrestle with dissonant scowls and chalkboard screeches, the whole thing unsure whether it’s bubbly or broken. You might wanna call Makeness in for a comparison to ...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

Suuns experiments rarely feel like they’re being intimated for their listener. Low-key and unbalancing, their tunes rumble with a tense energy that never so much communicates as it does talk back to itself. On the opener to new record ‘Felt’, the Canadian crew seem to actively point that out -- samples of loud, chiming bells us...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
Game Winner (Deluxe Edition)

Joey Dosik’s Game Winner is a mini-album that turned out to be all about basketball: watching TV sports while recovering from an injury meant that Joey...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 »

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

Here’s a curious offering -- a batch of electronic music dating back nearly four decades -- from the now septuagenarian photographer turned musician, William Eggleston. He developed a fascination with Korg synths, one model in particular in fact which he discovered to be capable of emulating the soun...view item »

Alex Cameron
Forced Witness

Who is this guy? He may look like an ageing horse racing/gambling addict but he sings the sorts of songs you heard on the Chart Show in 1987 - the ones that bored you a bit when waiting for the one second clip of the Sugarcubes (if you were lucky).  He has a grainy voice that matches his pallid skin tone and on the ...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

Here's some more surfy guitar pop for you from these fans of John Waters and Quentin Tarantino  - you can certainly feel the cinematic influence in their otherwise straightforward pop compositions. The complex 'Hey Boy' wraps the Bangles up with 50's doo-wop and modern day electronic wizardry. The yearning ...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

Whitney are the latest relaxed guys on the block and make me wonder yet again why I am so uptight and also whether if I moved to America I could be a little less uptight.  You may have heard ‘No Woman’ already and as you should have realised by now it’s a total corker. Gorgeously strummers acoustics, ha...view item »

Jens Lekman
Life Will See You Now

From ‘Oh You’re So Silent Jens’ to ‘Will You Please Turn That EDM Down Jens I’m Trying To Sleep’ in just four albums. Impressive. If you struggle with the more treacly and over-arranged parts of Jens Lekman -- the parts that make Belle & Sebastian sound triumphantly economical -- then you ...view item »

Cherry Glazerr
Apocalipstick

I don't know what to say about Cherry Glazerr that hasn't been already said by Mike in his review of their previous album 'Hazel Princess'. Basically they play glossy LA grungy pop which sounds like if Best Coast had been obsessed with L7 and Veruca Salt...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

Sorta weird rockers Suuns last made a record with Radwan Moumneh’s Jerusalem In My Heart project, the artists coming together in an experimental relay involving the former’s synth ‘n’ guitar ruminating and the latter’s frenetic buzuk compositions. It didn’t mesh...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

There was one early EP by Here We Go Magic which I utterly loved but as they got bigger (both in terms of sales and sound) I lost interest. It seemed the charm of those early sketches was totally lost when they started making 'proper' albums. The lead track from this new LP is a case in point. 'Falling' starts off ok  - it's kind of electro...view item »

Gardens & Villa
Music For Dogs

Esteemed Norman anthropologist Kim once told me that she thinks all music made in the 21st century sounds like the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, and listening to the first proper track from “Music For Dogs” I’m inclined to agree. On a hammed-up melody that carries “Maximize Results” through three long minutes, the...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 »

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 »

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

Jerusalem In My Heart is Constellation's best kept secret, the recording project of Radwan Moumneh, who has recorded and mastered a hefty chunk of the avant-garde darlings who pass through the label’s Hotel2Tango studio. His own project started with live ambitions at heart: to create an ever-morphing audio-visual project incorporating Arab...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

‘Didn’t It Rain’ is a difficult record. Released a year before Jason Molina’s hippy earthquake masterpiece -- the shocking, gruelling, soul-destroying, Steve Albini produced ‘Magnolia Electric Co.’ -- it never makes peace with itself. It toils with folk rock, wrestles with it, struggling through wearied eight-...view item »

Electric Youth
Innerworld

It’s no surprise that this Canadian duo are steeped in eighties nostalgia being as they took their name from a Debbie Gibson album. Don’t let that put you off though because if like me you have a soft spot for John Hughes films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty In Pink then this will be right up your snood. Elect...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

I’d had Womans Hour down as a whole lot of nothingness, a smartly conceived, immaculately produced slice of nothing. Bland as a bowl of Butterscotch Angel Delight. But last night, as the setting sun glinted through the blinds I found many things to enjoy in this their sleek debut. Like Wild Beasts ...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 »

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 »

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
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 »

Nite Jewel
One Second of Love

Nite Jewel (a.k.a Ramona Gonzales) is looking a lot moodier on the sleeve of her new album than she did on 'Good Evening'. I wonder what might have happened? I hope she's OK. Maybe she's just tapping into that moody sultry popstar look the kids seem to be into these days...who knows. Rig...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 »

Porcelain Raft
Strange Weekend

Porcelain Raft is the work of Mauro Remiddi, a native of Rome, Italy who has relocated a number of times before settling in New York where I'm assuming this record was made. 'Strange Weekend' is one of those very contemporary sounding records sitting somewhere between the blissful indie p...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 »

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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