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Fortuna POP! Vinyl, CD & tapes from Norman Records

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Martha
Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart

Lovely Martha are basically a pop-punk supergroup to the stars. 50% folk-shouting duo ONSIND, 25% raw power poppers No Ditching and 25% prolific songwriter and ex Discount Horse, there’s a lot of chops in this band -- happy chops, a...view item »

Joanna Gruesome
Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All)

The first release from Welsh group Joanna Gruesome since the departure of their vocalist, Pretty Fucking Sick (Of it All) brings in a new vocalist and keys. The tune is about being pursued by intelligence operatives and set in Llangrannog in Wales (which is a lovely place actually). Some more good ol’ shou...view item »

Martha
The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues

Martha use their DIY punk stylings to take a swipe at the Tory government and the austerity cuts with The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues on what will be the final release on the Fortuna Pop! Label. It is backed with Fix My Brain, a cover, originally by Texan punks The Marked Men...view item »

Karl Smith
Kites

The voice of Sodastream releases his first solo album. No matter how hard I try, I can recall Sodastream though they were apparently popular on the John Peel programme some time ago. Solo, he does a kind of quirky singer songwritery thing, part Go Betweens solo album territory, p...view item »

September Girls
Veneer

September Girls make the sort of music that’s difficult to dislike. It’s the same kind of propulsive noise-pop and melodic hooks that a lot of bands associated with C86 extolled, but to get anywhere these days, it’s a hard aesthetic to get right without sounding like copyists, and it’s even more difficult to stand out amo...view item »

Flowers
Say 123

London trio Flowers I'm sure are happy to contribute one more single to Fortuna Pop before the label calls it a day. Instead of recording new tracks the band picked out a couple of demos and previously unheard recordings including 'Rhodes' which was recorded in one take while they were waiting for the van to turn up. Wholesome i...view item »

Cinema Red and Blue
Come Back To The City, Babyface

As Fortuna Pop takes itself off this mortal coil it finishes with a flourish, bidding farewell with a series of releases including this one -- it's by a supergroup which contains members of Comet Gain, Crystal Stilts and Pale Lights. They 'farted out' (their words) these songs which have a West ...view item »

Joanna Gruesome
Peanut Butter 

Yes to this band. They are the reason I can’t tell the difference between noise rock and twee pop, and they are the reason I feel swathes of nostalgia and joy among distortion and thrash. ‘Peanut Butter’ is a pretty good name for one of their records: texturally it can be a total mess, but that’s the delight -- they ...view item »

Martha
Courting Strong

Bit of lively and highly melodic indie pop here from Martha, a band not a person. It's on FortunaPOP! and it's produced by Hookworms wunderkind MJ so my expectations are high. It's fast-paced and has a chunky late '90s power pop sound to the guitars. The songs are all quite wordy with boldly delivered boy/girl v...view item »

Shrag
On The Spines Of Old Cathedrals

Limited edition single taken from Shrag’s third album Canines. Joyful harmonies and influences including New Order and Chic make for an upbeat track which brings to mind hot summer’s days and the feeling that you get when you feel unstoppable. Lyrically brilliant from Helen King. 7” vinyl....view item »

Allo Darlin'
Europe

Allo Darlin' don't really suit my musical sensibilities and there's probably better people out there to review this record so apologies in advance. As you're probably aware, Allo Darlin' are the darlings of the UK indie-pop scene. Formed and fronted by Austr...view item »

The Proper Ornaments
Wooden Head

Here we have a Veronica Falls bloke and his new album with The Proper Ornaments From the get go ‘Wooden Head’ is drenched in breezy Velvet Underground summer pop with a little Byrdsian jangle thrown in, with a gentle and lazy...view item »

Allo Darlin'
Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin' is ex pat Aussie Elizabeth Morris and various cohorts who conspire to produce honest-to-goodness rattly twee guitar pop & atmospheric indie that succeeds on many levels. After the daft smasheroonie 'Henry Rollins Don't Dance', I wasn't expecting such a well rounded album from these peeps, more a shambling whimsical novelty hit '...view item »

Darren Hayman and Papernut Cambridge
I've Been a Bad Bad Boy

Darren Hayman (formerly of Hefner) has most recently been performing with Papernut Cambridge, a project run by former Death In Vegas guitarist Ian Button. Here Darren leads the ensemble in 2 tracks of lovely old-fashioned widescreen pop, present...view item »


Continental Drift

This release is totally a team effort, with the Fortuna POP! and Slumberland pairing up to release a four-way split between Mercury Girls, Wildhoney, The Spook School and Tigercats. So that’s four different spins on the lively indie-pop sound, dosed with more or less punk,...view item »

Evans The Death
Vanilla

This is a reasonably swift follow up to 2015s ‘Expect Delays’ but over the course of those twelve or so months Evans the Death have obviously been working on gnarling their sound up a bit. ‘Haunted Wheelchair’ sets the stall out from the get go with a piece of mangled rock that sounds rather like ...view item »

September Girls
Age of Indignation

I’m not really sure what September Girls are doing with this second album. Their first was an entertaining squall of noisy shoegaze guitars and the kind of gritty and gruesome underground rock that belies their rather glamorous press photos.  Here, the shoegaze guitars have gone and the C86 isms lost. Instead we get a sludgy, dreadf...view item »

Flowers
Everybody’s Dying To Meet You

Flowers are that most popular breed - an average indie pop band. They have neither great tunes, a great sound, a great singer, originality or good musicianship. Instead they do just enough to get by.   They are the now version of the Parachute Men. They make th...view item »

Pete Astor
Spilt Milk

I would enjoy this record most at a prime location of a good house with a smattering of windowsill plants and a tendency to pronounce raindrops, but several famous pop songs have told me that You Can’t Always Get What You Want, so I’m listening to it in front of blank walls in a council warehouse. Maybe we need Pete Astor&rs...view item »

Steven James Adams
Old Magick

Steven James Adams made his name in Broken Family Band, but now singer-songwriters solo. Old Magick is his second solo record, a melodic and thoughtful outing. Personnel on the record includes members of The Drink, but Old Magick finds Adams stripping things do...view item »

The Spook School
Binary

The sound of this Spook School record is a quite cool mix between Iggy Pop and Stephen Pastel. One of their best songs ’Binary’ has been re-recorded to reflect this and... well... they just weren't overly enamoured with the first version. 'Binary' is well worth the double stamp and is a catchy wa...view item »

Mammoth Penguins
Hide and Seek

Mammoth Penguins might not grab you immediately, which is curious: here’s a band trading stems of catchy old Weezer songs with the (non-)sensibilities of the Ergs!, with all their chugged chords and jubilant guitar upswings. It’s pop-punk meets garage in a marriage of melody, is ‘Hide And Seek&rsquo...view item »

Let's Wrestle
Let's Wrestle

The Let's Wrestles return this week with a new album on FortunaPOP!. They seem to have matured from their obnoxious early shamblepop into a more polished kind of indie-pop, tightly delivered and full of falsetto vocal harmonies. I'm eating tacos with my housemate and he just said it sounds like the Kaiser Chiefs...view item »

Chorusgirl
Chorusgirl

Chorusgirl (apparently named in reference to frontwoman Silvi Wersing’s experiences of playing supporting roles in other bands) are a noise pop band heavy on the pop. The songs are tuneful and bouncy, with that breezy vibe that the best of this kind of material always has (but with heavy lyrical content). ...view item »

The Spook School
Try To Be Hopeful

You may or may not be aware that these lands are privy to a lot of really good pop slash folk slash orgcore -punk bands clamouring their way towards your heart, but if not, it doesn’t really matter: Martha exist, Joanna Gruesome exist, Sauna Yo...view item »

Simon Love
The New Adam And Eve

Here we have the lead single from Simon Love’s new album It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. The song, titled The New Adam And Eve, is a tale of a jealous lover longing to attack and brutalise anyone he perceives as competition, told over a jaunty indie-chamber-pop tune. An Oasis cove...view item »

Mammoth Penguins
Propped Up / Thinking Of You

The first single from debut album Hide And Seek, Propped Up sees Cambridge indie-pop three-piece Mammoth Penguins embrace the punk style of The Slits with the pop songwriting sensibilities of Superchunk. Big choruses for small, sweaty stages. Altogether now! Out on limited blue vinyl 7" on Fortuna POP!...view item »

Simon Love
It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

The quixotic Mr. Love used to be in a band named the Loves, but love is no longer a plural: going solo, he still manages to create a sardonic but orchestrally overwrought twee pop that sounds caught between the obnoxious tone of Ezra Furman and the dulcet tones of Belle & Sebastian. Horns? Aplenty, friends. ‘It Seemed Like A Good Idea ...view item »

Pete Astor
Mr. Music

Pete Astor just pops along doesn't he? Doing a bit of this, a bit of that. The former The Loft and the Weather Prophets man is content to make pleasant strummy homespun indie with storytelling lyrics and its all rather lovely indeed. The A Side 'Mr Music' is a catchy littl...view item »

Tigercats
Sleeping In The Backseat

I hate parties me. That's why I like Tigercats best when they are miserable - their party type songs just make me want to thump someone. Here they are and luckily for me they are in misery mood on a mid tempo song which drifts along longingly and the male and female vocalists harmonies whilst presumably not looking anywhere near each others...view item »

Joanna Gruesome / Perfect Pussy
Astonishing Adventures EP

Following on from their recent split release with Trust Fund comes ‘Astonishing Adventures’,  a new split EP by indiepop noisemakers Joanna Gruesome and their American counterparts Perfect Pussy. This 7” EP features four remarkable songs showcasing some of the first new material from Joanna Gruesome since their 2013 debut ...view item »

Evans The Death
Expect Delays

Proving that the C86-influenced acts of today aren't all just jangle and fey posturing, Evans The Death continue their affinity for reverb and fuzz on second album Expect Delays, heightening it perhaps a little more here, which is what I felt was missing from their self-titled 2012 debut. They sound more sophisticated...view item »

Tigercats
Mysteries

Indie-pop can perhaps sound the most primitive of the indie sub-genres, but there's a method to its naivety - it's not always easy to pull off with such conviction. Tigercats represent the kind of perfect pop that never fails to enamour me, so this review might be a little bit more hyperbolic than some people th...view item »

The Chemistry Experiment
Gongs Played By Voice

Coming to my ears through the headphone wire is a warm swirl of organs and acoustic guitars bringing to mind the smoky whisky-clad folk of Tindersticks. The voice is as low as the human voice gets. This will be inaudible to dogs but luckily us people can get our ears soothed with the musics gentle refrains. &n...view item »

Flowers
Joanna

Wierdly the titles on this records by these modern day twee-poppers both (almost) reference the names of recent lady companions of mine....most possibly to rub in my uselessness in such matters. On the A side ‘Joanna’ is a tale of someones deep depression over a kinda perky sorta shambolic strummy shamble. The lady’s voice is s...view item »

Comet Gain
Paperback Ghosts

Dependable culty indie pop types Comet Gain are back with album number seven this week. As usual it’s a thoughtful and bittersweet mixture of Americana-tinged prettiness, jangly indie rock and jagged garagey post-punk with more of a wistful and downbeat feel than their more forceful previous album ‘Howl of the Lonely Crowd’, al...view item »

Allo Darlin'
We Come From The Same Place

Always kind of enjoyed these unapologetically indie-schmindie folks. Well their first album was a fair pleasure! Now we somehow have their third effort in my furry paw and I'm not sure if its making virtually no real impact on me or I haven't actually woken up yet. This is an ungodly time to be doing reviews! Led by Aussie native Elizabe...view item »

September Girls
Cursing The Sea

The process of doling out reviews to our various staff is more fraught than you may think. This record seems to have been knocking about forever and still we wait on the review from its once enthusiastic champion. A sequence of implausible events have scuppered it but we are not letting it get away though, no way,  so September Girls, you a...view item »

Flowers
Do What You Want To, Its What You Should Do

The first track on un-googleable indie-poppers Flowers debut album on Fortuna Pop is proof if ever it were needed that the music industry isn’t as 'voice-ist' as people may suggest. Singer Rachel’s voice, let's face it, is somewhat of a struggle. High-pitched bordering on shrill it circles around a track very much in the vein of the ...view item »

John Sims
Palomino

John Sims is actually not a person named John Sims, but a band of people who just happen to think it sounds nice and will be awesomely confusing. Their new record, 'Palomino', is released on Fortuna Pop!, and shows off a twee application of hazy kraut-influenced sounds. It comes with a Silver Apples cover, so you know -- nice experiments only....view item »

Joanna Gruesome
Weird Sister

"Heard it all before blah blah blah". I'd like to be all "whatevers" about this album but it's so damn lovable and exuberant that I'd feel like some schoolyard shithead that's just knocked the specs off some poor shy kid and stolen his Monster Munch. I'd feel bad if I accused them merely of aping early ...view item »

Withered Hand
New Gods

New Gods is the second album from Edinburgh-based singer Songwriter Dan Wilson, aka Withered Hand. With the aid of a grant from Creative Scotland, Wilson was able to utilise everything a proper studio had to offer to bring his folk-rock musings to life. Assisted by producer Tony Doogan, New Gods features g...view item »

Cocoanut Groove
How To Build A Maze

We have long been fans of Cocoanut Groove here at the towers so its to our utter delight that they have now signed to Fortuna Pop and dropped the big one so to speak. Its a good job their music is terrific as the photo’s of lead Groover Olov Antonsson could be enough to put you off on first glance. He’s now ditched the stripey jumper...view item »

Evans The Death
Evans The Death

Last time I heard these guys I kinda marked them down as fairly anonymous twee girl-fronted indie pop along the lines of Allo Darlin' but putting this disc on my player blasts those preconceptions out of the window a little bit as the first track opens with some impressively gnarly bass ...view item »

Herman Dune
Strange Moosic

Herman Dune are a band I was quite fond of about a decade ago, so it's comforting to see these guys are still bringing out records. They're one of those bands whose albums just sound instantly familiar, totally warm and casual. Apparently Andre left the band a couple of albums ago which kind of surprised me since I always thought that the whole ...view item »

The Ladybug Transistor
Clutching Stems

This group has been recording music for twenty years under the name The Ladybug Transistor. I have no idea what a Ladybug Transistor is supposed to be, and you know what? I don't care. Anyone who makes music this good can go by any bizarre name they want. The lead singer reminds me a lot of The Reivers, and the spirit of the music falls along th...view item »

Darren Hayman
The Ship’s Piano

Darren Hayman makes a lot of music. Known primarily for his stint as singer-songwriter of indie-pop favourites Hefner, nowadays he can be found writing and performing with various characters including members of The Wave Pictures and 'Allo Darlin whilst making an effort to perform live ...view item »

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