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Rough Trade Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Princess Nokia
A Girl Cried Red

Having swapped her PE kit for a Slipknot t-shirt, Princes Nokia is ready for an act of radical reclamation. A Girl Cried Red is as emo as emo gets, and despite it's place within a canon enabled by black musicians, is typically dominated by white ones. Available on l...view item »

The Fiery Furnaces
Blueberry Boat

Here's a new Fiery Furnaces album called Blueberry Boat. Not got into these yet but the others here love em. I notice the NME gave this 1 out of 10 (a bit harsh maybe) but Mojo say 'one of the most spectacular musical creations of recent times' . So who to believe? I don't know and I can't really help. Its quite a strange soundin...view item »

The Libertines
Time For Heroes - The Best Of The Libertines

That moment when BBC's Seven Ages of Indie arrived at the Libertines after graduating through the Smiths, Oasis et al was really an eye opener. That what was basically a sloppy school band could ever be seen in the same bracket as indie legends and billion selling stadium bands seemed implausibl...view item »

Gruff Rhys
Babelsberg

Very talented bloke both with Super Furry Animals and solo I had enormous high hopes for this from the early press clippings but despite many examples of strong songwriting skills I'm finding Babelsberg a claustrophobic and over-sweetened listen.  Babelsberg is indeed an ostentatious album by an artist who is usually noted for ...view item »

Parquet Courts
Content Nausea

Indie rock has never stopped looking towards the dusty, gnarly South. Silver Jews have checked in, Deerhunter have made cow-punk, and as the genre waxed and waned and entered a new millennium, local bands turned up. Maybe it’s because new, disorientating surroundings are wh...view item »

Parquet Courts
Performing Human

Swaggering New York indie-punks Parquet Courts released Human Performance, their third or fifth album (depending on which ones you count), earlier this year. This is an EP of alt-versions and remixes of the title track, cannily titled Performing Human. The remixes come from Eaters and from ...view item »

Goat Girl
The Man

An indies-only 7” by South London up-and-comers Goat Girl here. ‘The Man’ will appear on their self-titled debut LP, and the track is a good line in the sand for the group. Displaying a similarly sprightly energy to fellow London buzz bands Shame and The Big Moon, the band&rsqu...view item »

Sun Kil Moon
Ghosts Of The Great Highway

There was a time when Mark Kozelek’s music meant a whole lot more, when his voice was sweeter and his lyrics comparatively shorthanded. This was it. It was a time when we actually cared about his dad. ‘Ghosts of the Great Highway’ was his first record under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, having retired ...view item »

Parquet Courts
Wide Awake!

I’m sure you’re aware of the form by now. With an energy best described as subliminal, thee Parquet Courts sit you in a seminar room and have you debate whether or not they’re chill and slack or bold and bracing. I can never quite tell, but I’d argue ‘Human Performance’ was their best record to date, a janglin...view item »

Elastica
Elastica

In 1994 you would have thought that Elastica would have gone on to become something quite special but instead they dribbled to a halt. Still they released one classic album that although was dangerously derivative at times had the type of killer tunes that filled those indie discos. Vinyl reissue includes a bonus fanzine and fle...view item »

Mark Kozelek
Mark Kozelek

Folk rock farter Mark is back again with a record of self-contracted checklist box tickers: a front cover with an anonymous photo of some landscape and stuff, some very pretty picking, some inoffensively bad songs. The ‘here and there’, shrug of the shoulders music of a low-key bastard. He sounds kinda friendly on this one, though --...view item »

Princess Nokia
1992 Deluxe

As is the case with every good rap record that comes out, we’re several eons late with Princess Nokia’s ‘new’ one, further proving how useless our beloved physical media is when it comes to this here modern day. Nokia’s been turning heads for a very, very long time and this one initially came out as a tape in 2016. ...view item »

Goat Girl
Goat Girl

Before listening to this album I couldn't get my head around who Goat Girl were and how they sounded and where to put them in the lazily compiled compartment in my head. Perhaps the reason is that with 19 songs in 40 minutes, it's hard to get a handle on Goat Girl without listening to a number of their tunes. They play dark and spindly p...view item »

The Decemberists
I'll Be Your Girl

That is the worst album art I have ever seen in my life. Of course it’s for a Decemberists’ record. Widely apologised for by a league of listeners (including myself) for unleashing a schematic for prog-twee onto the world, it is entirely predictable that a record by them in 2018 would make pure, unadulterated joy look so unappealing....view item »

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Seedlings All

Seedlings All is the most personal album yet by Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker. The British folk duo’s previous pair of long-players mixed traditional songs, covers and originals, but here for the first time, all tracks are self-penned. The duo are going from strength to strength and this al...view item »

Starcrawler
I Love LA

I want to believe that Starcrawler are more than talentless rich kids but 'I Love LA' doesn't do anything to change my mind. In fact it reinforces it and is more evidence that music is increasingly rewarding the stupid. It sits somewhere between the Ramones and Hole and shares man...view item »

The Strokes
First Impressions On Earth

Listening to First Impressions of Earth makes me think the Strokes were trying to break out of their own hype and start the process of becoming an original band. The first two Strokes albums were right on formula, eleven 3 minute songs designed for radio airplay yet there were still moments when you knew these guys actually had something unique tha...view item »

Warpaint
Warpaint

This man was initially unsure about what to make of the new Warpaint album. Then either my cluttered house or our chaotic office "ate" the promo, my computer with the MP3 broke so I'm streaming this from the Guardian's site. I 've not read the guys waffle. It bored me to tears after two seconds. This new self-titled album is formed from ...view item »

Starcrawler
Starcrawler

I’m not quite sure how a band who formed at a high school have ended up recording with Ryan Adams and being released on Rough Trade within two years (though my guess would be family money and some industry connections), but there we go. Starcrawler are just such a band, and their high-energy youthful rock ...view item »

This Is The Kit
Moonshine Freeze

Sorta-folkie Kate Stables has been plugging away at This Is The Kit for a very long time now, so it’s kinda elating to see her dues paid with this big, bold release for Rough Trade. Listening to ‘Moonshine Freeze’ is a treat largely because of how confident a songwriter it presents, one unafraid to mix their clear, emotionally ...view item »

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
The Birds

For new EP The Birds, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have stepped away from their full band set-up and gone with a more intimate approach. Electronics and drum machines lap at the edges of these melancholy new folk songs, written with migration and displacement in mind. A great subtle addition to this p...view item »

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour

Rough Trade bring back three quarters of an hour from 2014: that is, Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour by Josienne Clark and Ben Walker...view item »

Sleaford Mods
English Tapas

Being the miserable sods that we are here at the towers, with every new Sleaford Mods album the only office concern seems to be when will their bubble burst? Well it's not going to happen any time soon. Initially I wasn't massively enamoured with last years 'TCR' single but then I realised I loved all the B sides..... much to my annoyance actual...view item »

PicaPica
Spring & Shade

I wonder if the surge of CD's will ever become a retro collectors item like vinyls are? If so, this CD EP will more than likely become a collectors item a) for the quality of music on it, and b) for the stunning album art. Spring & Shade is the latest release from PicaPica and is available on CD from Rough Trade. ...view item »

Sun Kil Moon
Universal Themes

My reviewing colleague Robin and I have many differences. For one, he’s about 12 years old and I’m about 60. But we have both been thrown together in our bafflement at the preposterous amount of praise given to Sun Kil Moon’s ‘Benji’ album. A record of beautiful music matched to woe-is-me-I’m-so-sad-about...view item »

Lankum
Between The Earth And The Sky

Lankum are an Irish band who perform with the full weight of their country’s phenomenal folk tradition upon their shoulders. The four members all sing (in wonderful harmony), and also man a collection of old instruments, from the fiddle to the accordion to the uilleann pipes. Traditional son...view item »

Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White
Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White

I’d ask “who thought this was a good idea?” but I feel like at this point I’m shouting into a cold, lonely void. Instead I’ll ask this: who in the history of music has thought it a good idea to self-title a record that involves three musicians? Mark Kozelek, of course. It makes sense that a man as excessively, needl...view item »

Emiliana Torrini
Fisherman's Woman

A welcome reissue on vinyl of the tender yet powerful Fisherman's Woman by Emiliana Torrini. In 2005 this sumptuous collection of twelve heart-melting songs followed an optimistic, electronic trip-hop opus some six years before. Emiliana since found herself in contemplative mood with textures closer to Nick Drake or Jol...view item »

Honey Hahs
OK

This record is by three sisters who average out at a mean age of eleven and a half. I feel like they deserve a super positive review just for the effort of being young and creative but also the 7” is actually enjoyable. “OK” is a soft synthesis of bright strums and family harmonies drawn closer b...view item »

Pantha du Prince
The Triad: Ambient Versions

Pantha du Prince’s wonderful album The Triad now returns… in ambient form! Rather than farming out the stems to other producers, Pantha has crafted these versions himself, with the help of his engineer Kassian, turning each track inside out for a deep experience free from t...view item »

Benjamin Booker
Witness

Benjamin Booker’s new record is partly the result of a trip he took to Mexico City, which gave him a broader perspective on his own world. Booker has an excellent sound that mixes all the best hallmarks of classic soul and R&B with an edgy garage blues touch. Witness, which features a guest vo...view item »

The Strokes
Comedown Machine

To my mind The Strokes’ career hit the rails when they failed to title the follow up to wildly successful debut ‘Is This it?’ ‘Is This It?’. On previous album ‘Angles’ the pre-publicity surrounded guitarist Nick Valensi describing the recording process as “awfu...view item »

Sleaford Mods
T.C.R

Like whatever it is that unblocks sinks, Sleaford Mods are pretty reliable. You purchase the records and you know what you are going to get.  This is generally a good thing though I thought 'Tarantula Deadly Cargo' was the best thing they'd done in recent times and more eerie stuff like that on 'Key Markets' may have made it a bit m...view item »

Anohni
Paradise

It’s possibly the end of the world soon and who better to soundtrack the bleakness than Anohni. ‘Hopelessness’ was one of those records that took risks and was all the better for it. Sometimes it fell flat on it’s face but mostly ...view item »

Sun Kil Moon
Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

Here’s my problem: I’m sure Mark Kozelek farts. I am sure it is something he does. And yet… he doesn’t write about it. Why doesn’t he write about it? Because he just isn’t. That. Honest. You think he is, because he acts like a dick and that's so true -- and I’m sure if he sang “I did a fart”...view item »

The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini
The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini

Collaboration can often form cheesy, chart-ready tripe. Not this one. Brought to us by Rough Trade is the self-titled coming together of The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini. This is a truly unique experience and a fully live rendition of a selection of Torrini's old hits along with two bran...view item »

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
Overnight

Josienne Clarke’s lovely vocal and Ben Walker’s steady acoustic picking: perfect. Add in some lush widescreen orchestration and their mix of gothic folk, chill ballads, bluegrass and lunar odes are all set to mirror our circadian rhythms this Autumn. 'Overnight' will track our days and ...view item »

Warpaint
Heads Up

Thank God. Thank the almighty God. Ok, ok they've gone a bit more towards the dollar this time but that might not be such a bad thing seeing as though their previous records were sometimes murky and devoid of actual hooks. Those records were fine though. I had no issue with Warpaint just being a moody band that didn't really write songs. The lea...view item »

Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Through The Clouds

Josienne Clarke has the kind of tone in her voice that gives any song she sings the feeling of an age-old traditional folk ballad. Old ballads do turn up in her collaborations with Ben Walker, but there are also more modern covers and original songs. Through The Clouds is a showcase EP designed to intro...view item »

Parquet Courts
Human Performance

Here we are again, in the court of Parquet Courts. Okay, that didn’t work. Last time we checked in with these slackbros, they were doing their guitar music in MS Paint, scribbling their guitars in and out of places and accidentally filling the whole thing in with garish colours. It was called ‘Monastic Living’ and everyone hate...view item »

Anohni
Hopelessness

Forget everything you know. If you didn’t like Antony and the Johnsons then please don’t worry about it. If you did then this really shouldn’t be too far away for comfort. Ahohni is of course of former Antony & The Johnsons and this collaborati...view item »

Pantha du Prince
The Triad

German techno producer Pantha Du Prince is known for his conceptual mimal works on Dial and Rough Trade. He return to Rough trade with his first album since 2010, working on the concept of collaboration and humanising his music. The Triad has many collaborative efforts on it with Queens, Joachim...view item »

Jesu / Sun Kil Moon
Jesu / Sun Kil Moon

I woke up this morning at eight forty five am to an alarm ringing off pretty loudly and I thought wow I haven’t got time for this and the note that came with it read “have some coffee before you get up” and I thought about how I never make the time to do that and as I flushed the toilet next to my bedroom I was struck by sadnes...view item »

The Prettiots
Fun's Cool

The Prettiots are New York pop two piece featuring Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Prat. Their debut album ‘Fun’s Cool’ is playfully themed around modern life in a big city, played with minimal instrumentation (uke and bass) and sugary but raw untreated vocals, their songs are full of catchy hooks and humour....view item »

´┐╝Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts
Manhattan

New record from Jeffrey Lewis, with backing band Los Bolts (which seems to contain most of the usual Lewis regulars). Manhattan has more intimately observed stories about interesting New York characters, sung and played with his usual upbeat bounce. Lewis’ own bea...view item »

Thunderbitch
Thunderbitch

Thunderbitch brings together members of Clear Plastic Masks and Fly Golden Eagle with the frontwoman of Alabama Shakes for a good old-fashioned Southern rock’n’roll thras...view item »

Jenny Lee
Right On!

A superhero crew blessed with the preternatural ability to make songs sound great without hooks -- or particularly good verses or choruses -- Warpaint are known for kicking [Composite Marvel Nemesis]’s ass with very subliminal earworms. A year and a bit on from their slight, ever-so-lethargic self-titled reco...view item »

Girl Band
Holding Hands With Jamie

Here are four dudes who are clearly brazen intellectuals to have named themselves Girl Band, but anyway, the music: it’s as noisy as your favourite Chicago-based punk scene in its heyday, and the vocals are yelped like Shellac hanging out with Wolf Parade. ...view item »

Micachu & The Shapes
Good Sad Happy Bad

Micachu’s music has sounded all kinds of under the weather lately, and I’ve enjoyed it all the more for it: last year’s tape ‘Feeling Romantic/Tropical/Ill’ lurched between songs too tired to be twee and ones more noisy than pop, and ‘Good Sad Happy Bad’, her newest record, seems to work off the almost b...view item »

The Morning Benders
Big Echo

The Morning Benders' Big Echo is both accessible and elusive. I love their old school 50's sound. Much of the songwriting is simple: beautifully and thoughtfully crafted melodies sung beautifully, seamless transitions, etc. Every song is extremely layered, offering the listener a chance to discover something new even after multiple listenings. U...view item »

Mystic Chords of Memory
Mystic Chords of Memory

Rough Trade have a couple of newies out this week. The 1st 'un is by Mystic Chords of Memory and it's rather lovely summery psyche/ folk lo fi pop. I reckon this will appeal to fans of the Elephant 6 stable as well as The Earlies and that kind of thing. Pretty stuff indeed.......view item »

ARE Weapons
ARE Weapons

Comedy album of the week award goes to ARE Weapons. You've got have some sort of respect for Rough Trade over the years bringing a wide range of quality music to us but what the feck do they think they're doing bringing this pile of absolute cock to my attention. Like a bad Carter The Unstopp...view item »

SOAK
Before We Forgot How To Dream

SOAK is a young Northern Irish singer whose debut album is this right here. Before We Forgot How To Dream melds together her wistful lyrics (just look at that title) with a slinking musical backdrop that channels classic soul crossed with an indie aesthetic. CD or vinyl available, out on Rough Trade....view item »

Palma Violets
Danger In The Club

The Palma Violets return with Danger in the Club to rip things up again after their debut LP, 180, which was hyped to buggery by NME and then ended up to be a decent record. They continue here with some heavy-hitting, punky, chorus driven rock tunes designed to make you rock-out, puke-up and hav...view item »

Alabama Shakes
Sound & Color

Progressing confidently from their classic rock origins, Alabama Shakes deliver a crisp and funky album in the form of Sound & Color. Recorded in Nashville, they retain that Southern personality whilst clearly spending more time on the minutiae of songwriting. Out on 2LP ltd clear vinyl, 2LP vinyl and CD from Rough ...view item »

The Decemberists
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

This is folk rock we’re talking about, so let’s get one our priorities in order: between the olden times phraseology and occasional decision to skip out on verbs, the lyrics sheet for ‘What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World’ is one of the Decemberists’ richest. It chooses prosaic stories and descriptions of l...view item »

Dean Blunt
Black Metal

A truly singular and unique voice, my interest in Dean Blunt was first piqued with his first solo album ‘The Narcissist II’ with its smoky oddball grooves and spoken word monologues. The fragmented ‘The Redeemer’ was possibly a curveball too far and didn’t quite hit the mark but ‘Black Metal’ is surely t...view item »

Benjamin Booker
Benjamin Booker

Sometimes, I admit, I find myself scratching my head (in a confused way, not in a nits way) when I hear whatever is being bandied about as ‘the coolest thing right now’. But, while there’s inevitably always going to be an element of Emperor’s New Clothes about the hip music the kids are digging right now, ...view item »

Parquet Courts
Sunbathing Animal

Way back in the heady days of February 2013 I awarded a full 10 out of 10 for Parquet Courts’ previous effort ‘Light Up Gold’, and now, a good hundred or so listens later, I still stand by my initial judgement. Now, 15 months and one EP later, they’re back with another. I saw this lot live in Leeds towards the end of last...view item »

British Sea Power
From The Sea To The Land Beyond

This effort from British Sea Power really caught me off guard. I have always been a fringe fan of theirs, and didn't initially think much of this when I heard about it. After reading a little about the background and listening to some samples from the album, I checked it out. The music is mostly instrumental, there are vocals on a few of the tra...view item »

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Here

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros debut album, "Up From Below", was quite popular and "Home" seemed to worm its way into everybody's consciousness by appearing on TV trailers an the like. Whatever I didn't like about it however, I think has been ironed out to an extent on their second album. It's more reined in, the gospel aspect is more prom...view item »

Alabama Shakes
Boys & Girls

Jack White favourites Alabama Shakes arrive for real with 'Boys & Girls', their debut album on Rough Trade. Their debut EP and Third Eye 7” has sold well so there's definitely some interest in these kids. If you don't already know, The Shakes specialise in modern Soul, Blues and ...view item »

The Decemberists
The King Is Dead

The Decemberists are one of those unfathomably popular bands who seem to get the love from everyone despite sounding like the kind of American band around in the 80's/90's intended for those listeners who found REM a bit too 'challenging' (Toad the Wet Sprocket anyone? Velvet Elvis? Rembrants?). It's folky college rock with nasal vocals that gra...view item »

The Strokes
Room On Fire

Here's a little band out of somewhere called New York who go by the name of The Strokes. I read somewhere that wouldn't it have been great if they'd called this album 'Is This It'. Ha ha! But its not its called 'Room On Fire' and for all the pressure heaped on them it seems to be a sure-fire winner. Plenty ...view item »

The Libertines
The Libertines

Whether you could cope with their tabloid-friendly jack the lad personas or not, there's no arguing that this bunch of London wasters created a raggle taggle sound that refreshed British guitar music. At a time when most popular 'indie bands' were as benign and manufactured as any Simon Cowell protege, the Libertines lived their...view item »

Babyshambles
Down In Albion

It might surprise a few people to learn that I quite like the new Babyshambles album. Its as dishevelled as a dog in the rain and it features some of the worst singing since .......ever. But I kind of like the whole on the edgy feeling of it and the fact that beneath the mess there are some quite pretty melodies. Of course its no better ...view item »

Belle and Sebastian
The Life Pursuit

So Brian thinks it's funny giving me the Belle & Sebastian new album (The Life Pursuit) to review. Long term readers will know of my particular love for 'em. Giving me this to review is like putting a load of dead meat in front of a lion after it's not eaten for days and expecting it to leave it alone. Having said that I've grown old...view item »

Antony & The Johnsons
I Am A Bird Now

I Am A Bird Now is one of those albums you will be delighted to have found. It is moving, eloquent, beautiful, soulful and most important of all, unique. The lead singer has a wonderful voice that was immediately reminiscent of Nina Simone and from the album opener "Hope There's Someone" you know you are in for a very special album. While only j...view item »

The Strokes
Is This It

And I guess the one that most of you are into would be the Strokes LP and I can confirm it's quite useful. If you liked the singles there's absolutely no reason as to why you would not want this LP. Very American sounding, very Fall sounding, kind of New Wave and a little punky but poppy too. Th...view item »

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