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Arts & Crafts Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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La Force
La Force

As a description writer for Norman Records™ you end up reading a lot of press releases. The quality of these varies wildly. La Force’s La Force has one of the best ones this particular freelance lackey has read in all his years of being chained to a desk deep in the catacombs of Norman Towers. The re...view item »

Jean-Michel Blais
Dans Ma Main

"Hey ma main!” “Wassup ma main!” “How’re things with you ma main?” “Good thanks ma main and yourself?” “Yeah I’m cool ma main. Say ma main, what are you doing tonight ma main?” “No plans ma main. What did you have in mind ma main?&rdqu...view item »

FRIGS
Basic Behaviour

The debut LP from Toronto four-piece FRIGS sees them follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadians Ought and Preoccupations and make a play for the post-punk big-leagues. The group are equally adept at groovy, angular brute-funk jams - ‘Talking Pictures’ is the pick here - and sludgy p...view item »

Liza Anne
Fine But Dying

This album contains the lyrics "maybe I'm fine, maybe I'm dying", and whether or not you can relate to that will tell you more that I'll ever be able to about whether you'll enjoy Liza Anne's debut album. Catchy and introspective indie rock for anyone who is, has been, or will be, an unmotivated 20-something year old. ...view item »

The Belle Game
Fear / Nothing

The second effort from Vancouver dreampop outfit The Belle Game, Fear / Nothing sees the band rework their sound and broaden their horizons. Their characteristically fuzzy pastel sound is contrasted with darker lyrics and bolder percussion. Near-ecstatic voca...view item »

Cold Specks
Fool's Paradise

Fool’s Paradise is the third album by Cold Specks, real name, Ladan Hussein. This time, the critically acclaimed singer explores how it feels to be female, part-Canadian, part-Somalian by revisiting her roots. Her raw, soulful voice is a perfect companion to the cathartic nature of the ...view item »

Overcoats
YOUNG

Debut album from New York based soul-filled minimal pop duo Overcoats. Working with the producers of The War On Drugs, Lapsley and the experimental Autre Ne Veut, this debut is filled with a still closeness. Leftfield beats, and folk-like charm. fans of Lykke Li...view item »
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Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF
Cascades

A meeting of two minds at the heads of their fields. With the soul stirring piano compositions of Jean-Michel Blais joining forces with the electronic productions and wide scoped visions of CFCF (having produced How To Dress Well among others). Think Ólafur Arnalds gettin...view item »
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Kid Koala featuring Emiliana Torrini
Music To Draw To: Satellite

Kid Koala deals with vocals and lyrics for the first time on this album, with Emiliana Torrini lending her delicate voice to Koala’s songs. Music To Draw To: Satellite, which was inspired by the Mars 1 space mission, is released by Arts & Crafts on CD and vinyl, with a special...view item »
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The Darcys
Centerfold

Idiosyncratic booming synth-pop Toronto’s The Darcys. Their first album since becoming a two piece, and gone with the others is the indie-come-art rock leanings, evolving into a mammoth pop machine. Huge disco synth and bass lines you’d find in Roosevelt and soaring doubled vocals. Not-quite-disco, c...view item »
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Brendan Canning
Home Wrecking Years

Broken Social Scene have not... broken up. Can I get a lmao? Nah, but seriously: the Toronto indie pop supergroup recently hung about Pitchfork Festival and presumably played a show too, bringing their various hibernating members to the fore for a real lovely half-reunion. Brendan Canning, one of the band's founders, ha...view item »
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Jean-Michel Blais
Il

Jean-Michel Blais of Montreal, Canada, sits in the middle of the spectrum of contemporary piano composers, with touches of classic minimalism (Philip Glass), virtuoso pop (Yann Tiersen) and romantic neoclassicism (Nils Frahm) all swimming around in his enveloping sound. II ...view item »
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Jason Collett
Song and Dance Man

Jason Collett made his name as a member of Broken Social Scene, but he’s long since been producing solo records: this is his sixth. Song And Dance Man is wholeheartedly indebted to 1970’s Americana, this record sounding like a golden funky memory from first listen. The LP edition even has so...view item »
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Jason Collett
Motor Motel Love Songs

Some of you may know Jason Collett as a member of the surging indie rock group Broken Social Scene. While their album You Forgot It In People is a fantastic rock record, Motor Motel Love Songs showcases Jason Collett melting his groups sound down to a much softer, gentler, sweeter, more laidback pop/rock...view item »

Brendan Canning
Something For All of Us

On Brendan Canning's first 'solo' effort (and the second in what is intended to become a long list of titles in the Broken Social Scene Presents series) the singer-songwriter works to show that he is as instrumental to Broken Social Scene's influential catalog as Kevin Drew. Something For All of Us is a ...view item »
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Apostle Of Hustle
Eats Darkness

This LP and band/group I have never heard of, but I was looking up a list of Indie Rock artists and this band popped up. I thought I'd check into them, and as I shouldn't, I before hand already assumed that it probably would be just okay. To my surprise, it isn't. In fact, it's pretty good and quite unique. If you want something pop, light rock, bu...view item »
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Young Galaxy
Outside The City

Here's another limited 7" from Young Galaxy on Arts & Crafts. This one is called 'Outside the City' and the lead track has a cracking Public Image Limited bassline. In fact the drums are very PIL as well.... well rhythmical! I'm reminded of The Organ a little but with a transatlantic slant. It's pretty good actually... loads better than the last ...view item »
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Trust
Joyland

This is alrighty! It's the musical project of Toronto artist Robert Alfons, who is making some catchy but dark electronic goth-wave. Kinda like Gary Numan crossed with Metronomy or something. Big enormo synths all over synths, but with tunes that will very quickly worm their way into your brain. Nice....view item »
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Reuben and the Dark
Rolling Stone / Shoulderblade

Here’s a slick bit of folk-pop from Reuben and the Dark, who I’m not familiar with. They’re on Canada’s Arts and Crafts but to me they sound Scottish like Stornoway or Frightened Rabbit. You know the formula, ...view item »
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Jason Collett
Reckon

For my left-field tastes this album has a few too many mid-tempo songs, albeit well written and with repeated listening quite good, I do miss the blatant sex and irreverence--not to mention some great rocking grooves of earlier records. This CD shows a more mature and thoughtful style, more "folky" and perhaps accessible. Although I do recommend...view item »
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Trust
TRST

Weirdly enough, this album from Canadian duo Trust opens with the outro from the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s A Sin’, over which Klaus Kinski (as Nosferatu) chants some gothy gubbins before th...view item »
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Amy Millan / Jason Collett
Losin' You / We All Lose One Another

Another 7"  here which appears to be a split with Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene guy)on one side and on the other, Amy Millan , on Arts and crafts. This is got all the elements of country music.. banjo steel slide guitar and male American voice with a a sort of Neil Young feel to it. It isn't going to ...view item »
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Memphis
Here Comes A City

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Jason Collett
Rat A Tat Tat

Fans of Jason Collett's know his sound tends to veer on the poppy side with a little "throw back" edge to it. I like to call it music from the "Quentin Tarantino Soundtrack" era. While fans of his previous work may be thrown off by the mellower tracks on this album. What makes him different from every other pop rock John Mayer clone is that his ...view item »
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Zeus
Say Us

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The Hidden Cameras
Origin: Orphan

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Amy Millan
Masters of the Burial

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The Most Serene Republic
And the Ever Expanding Universe

This is a very talented band and I imagine they will be around for awhile. Like most indie-rock bands from Canada, they play around with a lot of different music styles, tempos and instruments. The one thing that is consistent is their playfulness. Playful, but not in a "hey let's see if I can figure this violin out!", don't get me wrong, these guy...view item »
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Years
Years

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Bell Orchestre (Arcade Fire)
As Seen Through Windows

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Charles Spearin
The Happiness Project

My introduction to Charles Spearin came some time ago, when I downloaded an Arts and Crafts Sampler -"Mr. Gowrie" came up on shuffle during my commute home and I was instantly intrigued. Over a period of several months, I found myself coming back to this track for another listen, another attempt to find some other subtle connection I might have ...view item »
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The Constantines
Our Age

Hey, I just mentioned Feist in that last review and now I've got Constantines to do and they did a song with Feist. That's well bent! 'Our Age'/'Fuckin' Up' features a hilarious picture on the back where a girl's being torpedoed out of the sea by some blokes and the face she's pulling is pure 'this is the best day of my life' shit. We'll ignore the...view item »
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Constantines + Feist
Islands In The Stream

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The Most Serene Republic
Population

Don't you hate it when you get water stuck in your ears from having a bath or shower. This is the situation I find myself in this morning and could do with a plunger.. Best crank up the volume then. I just unpacked 'Population'. The latest long player from Canadian indie pop rockers The Most Serene Republic. For your hard earned you get an optimist...view item »
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Jason Collett
Here's To Being Here

Bunch of a great tracks on this one. "Roll on Oblivion", the first song, sets out the very pleasing tone of the album. Very simple but very good. "Sorry Lori", reminds me a lot of the very very early Wings, when it was basically McCartney and his wife. Again, a very pleasant song with a lovely simple melody. "Out of T...view item »

Young Galaxy
Young Galaxy

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Young Galaxy
Swing Your Heartache

OK here's a new thing on Arts & Crafts who you're not legally allowed to mention without saying Broken Social Scene in the same sentence. Phew. Almost got arrested. Decent debut 7" clocking in somewhere between Damon & Naomi and Low. Proper music.... It's called Swing Your Heartache which is nice. ...view item »
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The Most Serene Republic/ Headlights
Split 7

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The Most Serene Republic
Content Was Always My Favourite Colour

The Most Serene Republic got a new single out on Arts & Crafts called 'Content Was Always My Favourite Colour'. There's lots going on in this track with multi-layered vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, drum machine (I think) and electric piano. The whole thing is drenched in effects making it sound really crowded. This doe...view item »
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Broken Social Scene
Feel Good Lost

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Apostle Of Hustle
Folkloric Feel

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Valley Of The Giants
Valley Of The Giants

Fancy a collaboration between Sophie from Godspeed, Charlie from Do Make Say Think, Brendan out of Broken Social Scene & Anthony from Shalabi Effect? Do ya? Eh? Well we got this here CD by Valley Of The Giants on Arts & Crafts. And that's who It's by. A spaghetti Western amalgam of  dramati...view item »
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