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Joyful Noise Vinyl, CD & tapes from Norman Records

The Coke Dares
Fake Lake

To Jason Molina they were known as the Magnolia Electric Co; to themselves, they were and are the Coke Dares, the same band with an entirely different sound. Molina used them to create terrestrial, earth-shattering Americana, and while you can see the weight and the crunch the band used for his twang songs here, their sound couldn’t be fur...view item »

No Joy / Sonic Boom
No Joy / Sonic Boom

We’ll start with a proud affirmation of the biases that make me unfit to review this album. It involves Sonic Boom, who is the closest thing I have to a nemesis: he once phoned up Norman Records and yelled at me down the phone before realising he was working on misinformation and hung up. I am therefore una...view item »


The heads have been waiting a few years for this moment, but here it is… a full new Oneida album! Romance is a considerable proposition, with eleven tracks over two LPs (or one CD), each exploring a different facet for the astonishing beast that is the O. So much going on in here, you are really ...view item »

The Low Anthem
The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depths of the Sea

There are fond memories in my heart for the Low Anthem’s history of recording antics -- an abandoned pasta factory here, a forgotten cinema there -- that make me want to invest in their music the way they do. Driven by music’s panoramic potential, the band developed their softer, folksier early days into something more full of life, ...view item »

Big Business
Head For The Shallow

Reissue of the Seattle duo’s debut, originally on Hydra Head in 2004. The pair hit on a simple but immediately agreeable formula - bombastically heavy and fiercely rockin’ songs brought to life by the powerful but nuanced drumming of Coady Willis and Jared Warren’s fuzzed-up ba...view item »

Sound of Ceres
Nostalgia for Infinity

Nostalgia for Infinity is technically the debut for Sound of Ceres, but their dreamy pop and sample-heavy bossa nova sound has actually be honed through previous bands and live performance. Delicate guitar and drums are hidden within a patchwork of samples and soft boy/girl harmonies. We have the CD, vinyl LP an...view item »

Dale Crover
The Fickle Finger Of Fate

Dale Crover is, of course, one of the core members of sludge legends Melvins, and as such has about a thousand releases to his name. But The Fickle Finger Of Fate is the first time, in all those decades of music-making, that Dale has released a full-length solo album! This rare treat mi...view item »

Sound of Ceres
The Twin

Follow-up album time with The Twin churning them out. After 2016’s debut LP, Nostalgia for Infinity, pop duo The Twin ain’t waiting abo...view item »

Mountain Moves

Lovely Deerhoof. Who could possibly be mad? Weird and kindly, their artfully dismantled rock music continues to expand at rapid and prolific speeds, with new album ‘Mountain Moves’ following on just a year from ‘The Magic’. Here Deerhoof become a loving trope of players as they invite a roster of friends and tribute a leg...view item »

Jad Fair, Tenniscoats and Norman Blake

What a team-up: Jad Fair of Half Japanese plus the wonderful Tenniscoats, as well as Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. With this personnel, Raindrops could hardly fail to be one the most playful and odd records of the year, and it does not disappoint! Lo...view item »

Surfer Blood

After a dreadful couple of years when their guitarist passed away and their bassist left Surfer Blood have regrouped and sound incredibly perky. In fact opener ‘Matter of Time’ is kind of the musical equivalent of that laughing picture of the Beach Boys taken just after the death of drummer Denni...view item »

Psychic Temple

I commented earlier today that everything these days is done by one person in a bedroom. As if to send a reminder that records are sometimes made the old fashioned way in a studio with a series of just-right musicians is this lovely opus by Psychic Temple.  Now by the band name and cover you might think this is a psych rock album bu...view item »

Jason Loewenstein
Spooky Action

Jason Loewenstein was always the most tangled member of Sebadoh. Where Lou Barlow’s songs were always slick and tuneful, Loewenstein had a more angled agenda and this carries on into his first solo album for 15 years. Fans of the sort of twisty Ameri-indie that Loewe...view item »

Sleep Party People

Sleep Party People started out as the solo home recording project of Brian Batz, and although he’s picked up some bandmate assistants for touring, he still writes, performs and produces everything you hear on Lingering. Quite the feat when you hear how fully-formed these bright-eyed epic-pop minia...view item »

Richard Edwards
Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset

Having a slightly weird stomach myself I have every sympathy for Richard Edwards and the stomach ailment that nearly killed him. Edwards has proved that people with bad stomachs can be artists too and has thrown himself into his recording. Oh and his marriage broke down too.... but I bet that stomach thing was awful.  Here...view item »

Moh Lhean

Always nice to have Why? around. Why?  I don't know it just is.  I'm hoping that this album is a lot better than that 'joke' and at least one thing is certain, opener 'This Ole King' is Yoni Wolf back to the sort of form that made albums like 'Elephant Eyelash' so special. It's a big sprawling song in two parts ...view item »

Tall Tall Trees

Who’s this guy with a beard and some fingers swinging both above and/or across his guitar passionately? He sounds kinda like the Tallest Man on Earth but is actually called Tall Tall Trees, and his music is as earnest and pastoral as you could possibly ask it to be. ‘Freedays’, the third of his (largely solo) efforts, sounds li...view item »

Joan Of Arc
He's Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands

Here he is: the less emotional but certifiably more obnoxious Kinsella brother, the one you’re far less likely to go getting a lyrics tattoo in tribute to. Having used the proggy, skronky, and downright stupid Joan of Arc as a vehicle for the most dissonant and untenable musical positions of his career, he now returns with the del...view item »


Intelligent, nerdy, bouncy indie-pop with clear David Byrne and Beatles influences. That’s the sound of San Diego’s Rafter Roberts in a nutshell. So let me step out of that nutshell a moment… It’s like if Mark Oliver Everett / E made electro-pop. Or Hot Chip minus Alexis maybe. In any case, there are some gems on this re...view item »

Golden Tickets EP

West coast backpack hip-poppers Why? continue their slow metamorphosis into They Might Be Giants this week with a whimsical EP based around the lives of their own fans, selecting people who bought records from their webstore and internet stalking them before composing tracks ba...view item »

Busman’s Holiday
Popular Cycles

Busman's Holiday are a pair of brothers from Indiana. Not that you'd know they were brothers by looking at them. One looks like a cherubic supersized John Grant, the other Mackenzie Crook. Their music is the sort of thing that is so instantly enjoyable that you feel that they must be holding back something really...view item »

Goblin Cock

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Goblin Cock, led by the right honourable Lord Phallus, on guitar and vocals. Please, give him a round of applause for his two awards on tonight’s show: worst band name 2016 and erectile fixation runner up 2017. So, Phallus, how do you feel to hold such esteem? I don’t wanna know. I can&r...view item »

Dumb Numbers

With guitars that gleefully grunge and a mission statement that reads “look how many bands we are also in!!!”, Dumb Numbers return for a second record of sludge action, compiling their personnel fodder of Melvins, Dino Jr., ...view item »

Kishi Bashi

Sonderlust may sound merry and shimmery, but it is a record produced from the depths of a challenging personal struggle: Kishi Bashi’s marriage was on the brink of collapse. The heavy situation inspired a heartfelt record of beautiful electronic / orchestral pop music, with Bashi’s soul bare...view item »

Jad and David Fair
Shake, Cackle and Squall

Jad and David Fair will be more familiar as the brothers behind Half Japanese, but this session sees them casting off other members and the moniker for stripped-back fun. Shake, Cackle and Squall is a drums-guitar-voice set of wonderfully-titled weirdo rock songs, as uninterested in doi...view item »

Big Business
Command Your Weather

Good old-fashioned shouty guitar rock from LA's Big Business, aka Coady Willis and Jared Warren (The Melvins). Apparently it has a concept, something to do with nature and its power over mankind, but aside from that it's a good record to destroy your brain cells to on the dance floor. Available on vinyl or CD. Rock on. Yeah....view item »

Yoni & Geti

Hi Yoni. Been a while. Hi Geti  - been about 5 seconds. Whereas Serengeti has been everywhere of late, we’ve not heard a squeak from Yoni Wolf (aka Why?) for some time.  Well here they are together for their second collaboration (never heard the first) and it’s made up of the sort of hip-hop/indie-r...view item »

Tim Kinsella
Firecracker In A Box Of Mirrors

So many Tim's, so little time. Coming on the most garishly orange vinyl you’ll ever see and spinning at 45rpm,  this is the latest offering from Joan of Arc, Cap'n Jazz oddball Tim Kinsella. These songs were conceived when he opened solo for ...view item »

Saqqara Mastabas

Close collaborators from their shared time in Fiery Furnaces, Matthew Friedberger and Bob D’Amico (also of Sebadoh) have gone wild and spiritual with this Saqqara Mastabas project of theirs. Libras sounds something roughly like the kind of pagan r...view item »

Mike Adams At His Honest Weight
Casino Drone

I’m frankly a little disappointed that Casio Drone isn’t just an album of Casio keyboard drones. But that’s probably a minority opinion, as the actual sound of Mike Adams At His Honest Weight is richly-textured independent pop, warm and friendly and full of wit. There is some ambience too to be fair&he...view item »


Last night I sat down to watch 'Psychedelic Britannia' but unfortunately for all concerned I fell asleep. Probably in the middle of a Soft Machine jam. How could I not? Had any music that sounded anything remotely similar to Helvetia been on then it would be very likely I’d have managed to keep my eyes...view item »

Half Japanese

After a very welcome reissue campaign of their essential old records, the time has now come for a brand new Half Japanese album! Perfect is as full of energy as ever, boldly jolting through a joyful set of tracks. They have picked up some instrumental abilities over the years (like it or not), but their sound remains on...view item »

Science & Magic

Lil BUB is a cat! An actual cat! Whooah! Quirky! From the cutesy name through to the cutesy concept, this is truly a contemporary internet-age record. Science & Magic is the debut full-length for this cat (and its band): turns out felines really like electro-pop! Who knew. CD / LP, with the coloured vinyl available ...view item »

J Fernandez
Many Levels of Laughter

Please enjoy supreme pleasantness. There may be a lot of chill low-stakes indie rock out there, but that doesn’t stop J Fernandez from popping in for a record of slight treats inspired by a hopefully reciprocated fondness for his listener. On ‘Many Levels of Laughter’, the riffs are twinkly and sweet, the arrangements are smoot...view item »

Jad Fair & Norman Blake

Jad Fair has made some impenetrable records over the years but here he has teamed up with Teenage Fanclub man and professional Bill Gates lookalike Norman Blake for an album of sweetly naive pop songs. Blake’s background in melodic catchy guitar pop ensures that the music is a smoothly tuneful ...view item »

Stranger Cat
In The Wilderness

Cat Martino wrote and made ‘In The Wilderness’ out in a cottage, but its expanse and supernatural magic is true: this music is otherworldly, unconfined by four walls, straining for that big and impenetrable pop sound. This kind of grandstanding about melody is usually conjured by bold artists like Lon...view item »

Lurid Glow

It’s electronic pop day in my bleak corner of the office but whereas you can imagine Jerry Paper sitting alone in his study, Reptar sound like the kind of guys to get the party started. There’s a lot of Cindy Lauper in opener ‘No One Will Ever Love You’ ...view item »

Kenny Dennis III

I've not encountered Kenny Dennis before, Serengeti's scarred everyman who across this album relays the story of his band Perfecto. With partner in crime Ders they embark on an adventure that is in turn funny, poignant  always interesting. Thick moustached KD finds things don't always pan out but as a listener, I feel better for g...view item »

Half Japanese

I've always struggled a little with Half Japanese, be it the semi-unlistenable guff that forms half their back-catalogue or that man’s voice. You know that voice. Jad Fair often deploys one of the most bleared nasally, yelpy cartoon American voices ever, falling somewhere between ...view item »

Man At Arms
A Waste Of Time And Space

The sticker on the front of this CD says it's "recommended for fans of The Minutemen's 'Paranoid Time', Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' and Space Ghost Coast to Coast"...that's a six-minute-long record, a book and a cartoon for stoners. The post-it left by a colleague gives more of a clue as to the...view item »

Kishi Bashi

Lighght is Kishi Bashi’s follow up to his acclaimed debut, 151a for which he was awarded the accolade of Best New Artist by NPR. 151a was recorded over a stretched out 4 years when, The singer, composer and violinist went on tour with the likes of Sondre Lerche, Regina Spektor an...view item »

Busman's Holiday
A Long Goodbye

Busman’s Holiday are a duo made up of brothers Lewis and Addison Rogers. The boys make indie-pop music together and harbour little quirks such as using a suitcase as a bass drum. Their musical cvs include touring with Swedish indie-popper Jens Lekman when Addison played drums and Lewis being the original guitarist in Sleeping Bag. A Long G...view item »

Jorma Whittaker
Jorma Whittaker

Best known as the frontman in Indianapolis dark pop band Marmoset, this eponymous debut is very much a one-man affair despite featuring an array of interesting instruments. Dealing essentially with relationships, and with some impressive Phil Spector-inspired production, it's definitely worth a spin. ...view item »

Dumb Numbers
Dumb Numbers

‘Have You Ever Seen Such Name Droppage?’ screams the nicely self-aware blurb on the front of this cd and its true, we may not have even noticed this record if it didn’t have guest spots from Lou Barlow, Dale Crover, ...view item »

David Yow
Tonight You Look Like A Spider

You already know David Yow’s garbled vocalisations from his historically important work in such legendary bands as Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard, but now, 15 years after the ‘Lizard last put out a studio record, he has a solo album for us to list...view item »

Talk Normal

On vinyl that I can only describe as half red and half pink, this is a messy, scratchy take on New York cool by way of post punk. The usual influences are present, Sonic Youth, Wire, The ...view item »

Record in Red

The album's simplicity belies a deeply psychotic streak in this Hoosier hoedown: talk of monsters speaking in the singer's voice ("telling me what to do"), artists as Green River Killers, etc. Tremendous, creepy stuff. Pretty simple execution (indie guitar, bass, drum rattle) but with nice parsley on the side: echo, keys, sha-la-las. For fans of...view item »