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PIAS Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Violent Femmes
Hotel Last Resort

10th album from the Violent Femmes, a band I'm almost certain everyone reading this has heard at least one song by. Hotel Last Resort features Television's Tom Verlaine on the title track for some free form noodling. Lyrically they've moved to something that feels quite stream of consciousness and surreal. I like it.

The Slow Show
Lust and Learn

The Slow Show, as well as being my latter day footballing nickname, are an indie band from Manchester who combine elements of The Blue Nile, Talk Talk and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. As you can imagine from a band with such a name, their songs unfold gradually revealing their greatness, unlike my latter day 5-a-side career. Lust and Learn is their third album. LP and CD on PIAS.

Geowulf
My Resignation

Aussie duo Geowulf return with their second LP. My Resignation is a set of rose-tinted alternative pop/rock tracks that often come with an electronic tang. The likes of lead single ‘I See Red’ combine the wistfulness of Saint Etienne with the sort of bold choruses that PJ Harvey was dealing around the time of Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea.

Soap&Skin
Lovetune For Vacuum

Soap&Skin’s Lovetune For Vacuum came out in 2009, but this particular Norman Records™ writer is typing up its description a decade later. As such, listening to Soap&Skin’s debut LP has been as much of a chance to muse on the changing musical winds of the past ten years as it has been an exercise in music journalism. You really don’t hear much stuff like it anymore, but I can distinctly recall a time when this Regina Spektor/Dresden Dolls/PJ Harvey-type thing was very much the order of the day. The only things here that aren’t quite as time-stamped are glitching techno cuts like ‘DDMMYYYY’. While the style is a bit dated now, you really can’t fault the songwriting. Indeed, the piano balladry here is a few notches above the Adeles and Olafur Arnaldses we’re having to deal with at the moment. More power to Soap&Skin!
  • Label(s):
  • PIAS

Various
Dancing In Darkness: EBM, Black Synth & Dark Beats From The 80s

EBM?  Electronic Body Music, the sort of dark, proto-techno, industrial music pioneered by the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Deutsch Amerikanische Freudschaft - all of which are included on Dancing In Darkness: EBM, Black Synth & Dark Beats From The 80s. It's a comprehensive look at the darker sounds of the '80s and includes many dancefloor fillers and off-the-wall noises. 

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Beileid

Whenever you feel like moving in slow motion and perceiving everything around you as the setting of a monochrome film noire, stick on some Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Beileid is their 2011 seventh album, and it doesn’t mess with the winning Bohren formula, apart from the surprising presence of vocals, on one track, by Mike Patton no less! First time on vinyl.
  • Vinyl LP (PIASD5035LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

HVOB
Rocco

Viennese duo HVOB - which doesn’t appear to be an acronym, by the way - drop their fourth LP and first one for PIAS. Rocco is an LP of pretty, emotive electronica from the duo of Anna Müller and Paul Wallner. Tunes such as ‘Bloom’ and ‘2nd World’ also show shades of contemporary classical composition. Think Nils Frahm and Mark Pritchard’s more recent work.

Rina Mushonga
In A Galaxy

A short time to go (next February) in a galaxy not that far away (this one, the Milky Way) before the arrival of South London-based Dutch-Zimbabwean artist Rita Mushonga's new album In A Galaxy. Her songwriting orbits indie and Afropop with a lot of electronic twists and turns; downpitched vocals, pentatonic synths, and it sounds great.

White Lies
Five

Five is the er….fifth album by London three-piece White Lies. The facts Normanites might like to know is that it was produced by Ed Buller (Suede, Boo Radleys, Pulp etc) and mixed by Alan Moulder (JAMC, Ride, NIN etc) and renowned producer, Flood, plays synth on it a bit too. LP and CD on PIAS.

Dead Can Dance
Dionysus

Neo-hippy and alternative stoner sweethearts Dead Can Dance are finally back with their first new album in six years. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that Dionysus is about reaching a state of trance, about spiritual journeys, about combining musical folk traditions from all across the world.

Soap&Skin
From Gas to Solid / you are my friend

Third album from inexplicable Austrian chart topper Soap&Skin. I say inexplicable not because the music is bad, far from it, but because this is clearly not 'pop' music. From Gas to Solid / you are my friend is an album of sparse gothic beauty, which explores Anja Plaschg's sense of self as she is she encounters parenthood and the album cycle. 

David August
D'Angelo

David August has always felt an affinity to the parts of him that came from Palestrina in Italy. On D'Angelo he takes his first steps in exploring this feeling in public. Recorded in Italy (by necessity), the album is a muscular mixture of Balearic pop and darker sounds of the noir soundtrack. 

Neil & Liam Finn
Lightsleeper

Nice family get together here as new Fleetwood Mac guy Neil Finn (Crowded House etc) teams up with son Liam Finn. Mum is on here as well as is Liam's brother Elroy and weird uncles Connan Mockasin and Mick Fleetwood also put in appearances.  No sign of Tim Finn but there's still more than enough family talent here. 

Teen Creeps
Birthmarks

Teen Creeps hail from Ghent in Belgium. Their debut album is throwback to the ‘90s with noisy guitars and melodic vocals. It was produced by Rory Attwell who has previously brought the nineties-ness out of Yuck and Veronica Falls as well as helming albums by The Vaccines. Fans of Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, Cloud Nothings and Yuck should give this a spin. LP and CD on PIAS.

De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve
First Serve


  • Label(s):
  • PIAS

Public Service Broadcasting
Every Valley

Public Service Broadcasting carry on with a third full-length album, this one focusing on (and recorded in a key hub of) South Wales’ faded mining tradition. As well as the usual line-up, Every Valley features Welsh guest appearances from Manic Street Preacher Mr. James Dean Bradfield and Lisa Jen Brown. CD and vinyl editions available from PIAS.

Dillon
Kind

On her third opus, Dominique Dillon De Byington (or Dillon to us music listeners) looks at something over to the right. Enough about the cover - Kind is a feast of brass instrumentation over an electronic pop backdrop, with Feist and Bjork comparisons to boot. As with all great pop songs, this deals with love, that old thing with all its ups and downs.

Basement 5
In Dub

Dub companion to the reissue of the London post-punk band’s sole LP, the Martin Hannett-produced 1965-1980. In some cases the craze of using dub techniques to expand the aesthetic horizons of guitar bands seemed opportunist or overly optimistic, but Basement 5’s original rhythms were solid enough, and the basslines heavy enough, for that approach to make sense in this case. It’s a high-energy half hour that emphasises the extremes of Hannett’s production and a worthwhile companion piece to the parent LP.  

Basement 5
1965-1980

Hard to believe that a prime post-punk era Martin Hannett production has languished in relative obscurity for so long. Basement 5 were a short-lived, all-black London band operating in a similar dub / punk territory to early Public Image Ltd and Killing Joke. At one point fronted by Don Letts before photographer Dennis Morris took over, this, their sole LP, features Blockhead "Gentleman" Charles Charles sitting in on drums. There’s a nice balance between a heavy and precise rhythm section and scratchy, sloppy guitar and vocals, lyrically politicised as you’d expect, with Hannett applying some effects familiar from his work with Joy Division and others. The CD version features the In Dub EP, available separately on vinyl.

Témé Tan
Témé Tan

Teme Tan, aka multi-instrumentalist Tanguy Haesevoets, presents this self-titled debut offering, which reflects upon the producer's wanderlust. Brought up to and from the corners of of the DRC, Belgium and Kinshasha, the pioneer's well-cultured attitude is reflected in his works; this is unique and complex material.

Ghostpoet
Meltdown

Woooooooooo! Grab your candles, the Ghostpoet is back. ‘Meltdown’ is lifted from the one born Obaro Ejimiwe’s 2013 LP Some Say I So I Say Light. The track is a typically meditative piece - Mr. Poet and an unnamed female accomplice coo blue nothings over an instrumental that draws from hip-hop, UK bass, post-dubstep and neo-soul. On the flip Squarepusher Squarepusher-ifies the original.

Angus & Julia Stone
Snow

Angus and Julia Stone are two siblings that have come together to create some nice sounding indie-pop music together. Some may find it a little weird that a brother and sister can sing to each other about their lovers and relationships, but I don't. Snow is a great sounding record that is released on [PIAS] Le Label and is available on blue coloured double vinyl LP, clear double vinyl LP and CD.  

INHEAVEN
INHEAVEN

INHEAVEN will release their self-titled debut album on September 1st. Not straying away from their indie rock identity, the album expresses the energy and electricity of which makes the band so easily recognisable. The 12 track debut album is available on both CD and Vinyl, available on Play It Again Sam.

J. Bernardt
Running Days

Taking some time out from the day job, Balthazar member Jinte Deprez comes through with ten tracks of chest-swelling indie-’n’-b. The press release claims influence from How to Dress Well and Gorillaz, but there’s also more than a pinch of Plan B and Adele to the swagger of tracks like ‘The Other Man’.

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Dolores

While Bohren & der Club of Gore may not exactly be a household name, they’ve got fans where it counts. Mike Patton, Sigur Ros and Burial are all noted followers of the German ambient jazz group. You sense Dolores, with its somnambulant organs and closing-time saxophone ballads, will only strengthen those bonds. Very atmospheric listening.

Balthazar
Applause

The debut album by Belgian five-piece, Balthazar is now available on vinyl for the first time since its original CD release in 2010. Applause won the best album of 2010 at the 2011 Music Industry Awards. The band have been likened to Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, The XX and Gorillaz, which is a mix I just can’t comprehend.  

Mogwai
Happy Songs For Happy People

Happy Songs For Happy People was the fourth album by loveable Scottish rascals Mogwai and saw the band tone down their earlier post-rock excesses to a more subdued form of mostly instrumental composition. Synths and keyboards were used more prominently and there are some vocal contributions but it is the emotional depth and always simmering tension that suggests that this is one of the high points in their ever expanding musical canon.  

Joan As Police Woman
The Deep Field

Joan As Police Woman keeps trying to fool us into thinking that she’s law enforcement, but we’re onto her. We’re not sure how we know - maybe it’s the lack of a badge, the fact that we've never seen her eat a doughnut, or all the LPs she releases - but we're just sure that the one born Joan Wasser ain’t working for the man. Fourth full-length The Deep Field isn’t a copper’s record either. With its chunky soul-rock grooves and Wasser’s Cat Power-esque songwriting turns, The Deep Field is more Lou Reed than Eddie & Lou.

Hollywood, Mon Amour
Hollywood, Mon Amor


The Triffids
The Black Swan

The Black Swan is the fifth and final LP from much-loved Australian post-punks The Triffids. Originally released in 1989, the band drafted in The Smiths’ producer extraordinaire Stephen Street to help them put together their most ambitious record. From the cover artwork it should be obvious that their songwriting style had moved towards the sort of gallows balladry Nick Cave was doing around the same time. The Triffids are good at it, too.

The Triffids
Treeless Plain

Seminal Aussie group The Triffids have had a couple of their LPs reissued through PIAS, and unsurprisingly the band’s 1983 debut LP Treeless Plain is among the number. This is a florid collection that synthesises various contemporaneous strains of post-punk. Joy Division’s doomy prognoses, Durutti Column-style dreaminess, The Smiths’ 60’s-indebted indie and the energetic pop of Orange Juice all combine here. It makes for a wistful, often lovely listen. This new edition of Treeless Plain includes seven bonus tracks that The Triffids taped live for radio.

The Triffids
Born Sandy Devotional

The Triffids were one of 1980’s Australia’s greatest alternative rock groups. Grand, sweeping songs, driven by the basslines of Martyn Casey, later of The Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Born Sandy Devotional hasn’t been in print on vinyl since the original release in 1986, and is now handsomely remastered. Limited edition, on heavyweight vinyl.