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Play It Again Sam Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Melanie de Biasio
No Deal

Originally from Charleroi and currently based in Brussels, De Biasio is a classically trained flautist and the possessor of an extraordinary voice - she has been called the Belgian Billie Holiday. The minimalist, semi-improvised 'No Deal' should appeal to fans of late-period Talk Talk: Mark Hollis is a huge figure for De Biasio. She also...view item »

Agnes Obel
Citizen Of Glass

It’s time to get (neo)classical with the songs of Danish-born Agnes Obel, who is now based in Berlin, ‘cos Berlin. When it comes to telling you a story with her voice, she likes to dream bigger - her head must be filled with a dozen string quartets and a gaggle of harpsichords when sat at the piano. Which she is classically trained i...view item »

Editors
Violence

Clever. Apparently the 'Vi' from the title of this album refers to the fact that this is Editors sixth album. It is the most innovative thing about the entire release that's for sure. I'm finding it hard to actually put into words how bad opener 'Cold' is- I think I need to invent a new language. They've veered off into a vaguely electro-po...view item »

Joan As Police Woman
Damned Devotion

Damned Devotion is the 5th album proper album by Joan As Policewoman. It sees the Connecticut-born singer/songwriter returning to the emotionally charged music of her earlier releases, such as 2006’s Real Life. Damned Devotion has lyrics tinged with regret about her previous mistakes in love and life....view item »

Lord Huron
Strange Trails

Oh God what have War on Drugs done? This is the second new album this week which is under the impression that it’s totally fine to blatantly reference Bruce Springsteen and John Cougar Mellencamp. At one point in history they’d be shot for this but the trailbl...view item »

Melanie De Biasio
Lilies

As much as I want to re-use my Nina Simone meets Bark Psychosis one stop comparison to describe the music of Melanie De Biasio this her third full length album moves away somewhat from the sprawling night jazz of last years 'The Blackened City' and concentrates mor...view item »

Oscar And The Wolf
Infinity

Oscar And The Wolf returns to Play It Again Sam for his second full length album. Electrified and diverse synth pop that jumps from up beat electro soul, R’n’B and disco to vibrant pop and darker introverted Purple-esque moments. Inspiration ranges from falling in love with a vampire to the urge to m...view item »

Ghostpoet
Dark Days + Canapés

Forgive me a moment whilst I tell you about my running route. I head to Bingley, past Cottingley, up a massive hill (it hurts) and down a beautiful leafy lane that eventually takes me out at Lister Park near Bradford. I tell you this because my usual audio accompaniment is Ghostpoet's previous album 'Shedding Skin'  - a brilliant effort tha...view item »

Enter Shikari
The Spark

I have been waiting for this for ages. Seriously, I've been checking through the post on the down-low at work hoping for a glimpse for about a month. I'm not too sure if my enthusiasm is shared by everyone in the office though, and I'm pretty sure a few people might not have actually ever heard an Enter Shikari song. I get it, they're a little b...view item »

Ghostpoet
Shedding Skin

Ghostpoet certainly starts like an express train on his third album. Opener ‘Off Peak Dreams’ is a skittering, soulful effort driven by pounding drums, sparse piano notes and a funk ladled synth. It’s like he’s woken up and realised that he’s spent two albums making underground hip hop with esoteric appeal but has n...view item »

Arcane Roots
Left Fire

Although this may only be an EP, it packs a punch or two. ‘Left Fire’ is a solid and raw attempt at breaking up an already heavy and clustered scene of progressive metal and maths rock. With the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and ...view item »

J. Bernardt
Wicked Streets / On Fire

Big belter from Belgian songwriter Jinte Deprez who helps steer the big indie rock ship that is Balthzar. He's made a brass-booming, piano-slamming anthem in "Wicked Streets", where his soft and reliable voice slots in amidst a furious and keening band arrangement. It's catac...view item »

Zulu Winter
Silver Tongue

After an afternoon of reviewing largely vibrant sounds, I've finished up with a seven inch by Zulu Winter. I don't know whether to laugh, cry or go outside and aggressively smoke cigarettes whilst glaring at a particularly intere...view item »

Mew
Visuals

It's interesting to look back and wonder just how did Yes go from 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' to 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' in just ten years.  Yet here are once brilliant Danish prog rockers Mew making music as polished and poppy as your go-to Radio 2 playlist thumpers. Mew, of course, were never as progressive...view item »

Soulwax
From DEEWEE

A new studio album from Soulwax, renowned by dancers the world over for their electro-dance-rock good times. From DEEWEE was, impressively, apparently recorded in one single take, with their touring live band locking into the grooves and getting the twelve songs on tape. It’s a double LP (or single CD) release, ou...view item »

Agnes Obel
Aventine

I’ve never heard Agnes Obel before. She’s one of those many artists that come in that we just never get chance to hear, there’s too many records and not enough time! Well here I am shocked to find out she’s sold almost half a million copies of her debut across the world! I figure it’...view item »

Minor Victories
Orchestral Variations

That Minor Victories album from last year, then… from last Summer… you remember that don’t you? You liked it. Well, our Clint did and so did Ian (of course). It’s what the [..word we never use..] word ‘epic’ was meant for. Stadium-ready and filled to the rafters with big string sections and anthemic songs....view item »

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Geisterfaust

In 2005, noire-doom-jazz ensemble Bohren & Der Club Of Gore decided to get even slower and sparser than they had been previously (which was already pretty slow and sparse). Geisterfaust is a one hour span of beautiful crawl for long dark nights. Reissued on CD and, for the first time, on vinyl. From Play It Again Sa...view item »

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Sunset Mission

Vintage dark-ambient-noir-jazz-doom from the German masters of the field, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Sunset Mission is their 2000 album, the first in which saxophone appears. No lively jaunts here though: smooth black darkness is the way of Bohren. This moody work is reissued on CD and on gatefold-h...view item »

Crystal Fighters
Everything Is My Family

All the bands with ‘Crystal’ in their name always make me think of hazy fuzz-guitars, but Crystal Fighters have more than that up their sleeve on this new album (their third). Everything Is My Family is born out of the band members’ various gap-yearish global travels, and they all came back with a new ...view item »

Lisa Hannigan
Passenger

After a successful stint as Damien Rice's vocal partner, Lisa Hannigan set out to prove herself as not just a singer but a multi-instrumentalist folk songwriter. 2011's Passenger, Hannigan's sophomore release, showcased her true talents as an all-rounder, and is now available on vinyl&nb...view item »

Few Bits
Big Sparks

If I could play guitar and write songs I’d like to think that I’d be able to write something like the opening track ’Summer Sun’ on this the second LP from these enjoyable Berlin based indie poppers. They use delicious twirling guitars to create a delightful mattress for Karolien Van Ransbeeck’s...view item »

Newmoon
Space

Swing and sway to your heart’s content with this one. Layers and layers of guitars, sweetly understated distant vocals all blocked together as a soothing harmonious duvet for you to wrap up in. Big and satisfying chords with the tones of Smashing Pumpkins, a bit of My Bloody Valentine, and The Cure...view item »

Keaton Henson
Kindly Now

So… this dude is like if the National were replaced with a mangled computer? Is that it? Okay. ‘Kindly Now’ is a serene electronic collage of glitching orchestration in overdrive, opening on “March” in a vain attempt to not only be completely heartbreaking but also fairly confound...view item »

Martha Wainwright
Goodnight City

Martha Wainwright’s new album Goodnight City features an even split between songs written by Wainwright and songs written for her by friends. Impressive friends too, including Beth Orton, Glenn Hansard and Merril Garbus of Tune-Yards...view item »

Enter Shikari
Live at Alexandra Palace

Enter Shikari release the sixth edition in their ‘bootleg’ series of live documents, with what must surely be the largest to date: Live At Alexandra Palace. Pretty much the whole show is here, spread across 2 CDs or 2 splatter-coloured LPs, depending on consumer preference. Relive the experience of February ...view item »

Warhaus
We Fucked A Flame Into Being

Not only has Warhaus (a.k.a Maarten Devoldere) named his record in reference to a D. H. Lawrence novel about fucking, he’s also framed his album art to resemble a confusing aftershave/perfume advert and sung the lyric “you’re an angel or a whore / tell me who you’re working for / loving you isn't easy you know / but it's ...view item »

Lisa Hannigan
At Swim

Lisa Hannigan has released a couple of solo albums and made a couple of Damien Rice records a lot better, so by the time of writing about ‘At Swim’, she should be well and truly established. I’m not 100% if people jumped on ‘See-Saw’, but if not, this record should do them fine. Unlike some pop folkies' loud, c...view item »

Roisin Murphy
Take Her Up To Monto

Wowee. This is my first encounter with Roisin Murphy (full disclosure is just as valuable as journalistic insight… question mark?) and I am overwhelmed. This record opens with a pretty good summary of how it’s going to play, with synthesis of electronic tinkering -- chords deep, bleeps squeaky, melodies video gaming -- and ...view item »

Purple
Bodacious

Solid sophomore effort from this young power trio. Bodacious is more dynamic than their debut 409 and shows a range of styles / influences from rock, punk, funk, reggae and ska. Bodacious is a fantastic album especially if you like pop-punk with excellent drums and clever/cute lyrics. "Bliss" is the third cut on the album and is one of the catch...view item »

Minor Victories
Minor Victories

Minor Victories are the absolute perfect band for today’s older Twitter generation. Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai/ 24.4K Twitter followers) , Rachel Goswell (Slowdive/ 9.7k Twitter followers, Justin Lockey (Editors/ 3.1K Twitter followers)...view item »

FEWS
The Zoo

Swedish/American combo FEWS came to the attention of most people with their debut single Ill, which was released on Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground label. They also wowed the crowds at the Speedy Wunderground festival. Now signed to Play It Again Sam, their new single The Zoo mixes post-p...view item »

Melanie de Biasio
Blackened Cities

The sleeve is a black and white shot of an industrial area…say Middlesborough. On a yellow post it note the words ‘IAN WANTS PROMO’ scream out at me. However this ain’t no tiresome post rock  - they are elements of post-rock for sure but more in your Bark Psychosis/early ...view item »

FEWS
Means

Well then. These guys once made a pretty great kosmische jam over on the hybrid-happy Speedy Wunderground label -- it was a rock-reverent thrill-ride that I’m certain could have appeared on the soundtrack to a much lighter version of ‘Drive’. This is their first record proper, I believe, and things appear to be different ...view item »

Brodka
Clashes

The time has come for Brodka, a big deal within Poland, to spread her sound further afield with a full international release of her album Clashes. Her music is legit pop, but it is also unafraid to experiment with texture and tone. Bonus booklet with the CD edition, and a set of postcards with the vinyl. On Play It Agai...view item »

Spookyland
Beauty Already Beautiful

The first thing you’ll notice about the sound of Spookyland is likely to be the unusual vocals of Marcus Gordon: an accent from australia via some alien region. He fully inhabits the world of his voice and songwriting though: Beauty Already Beautiful is a bold and dramatic debut album and no mista...view item »

Violent Femmes
We Can Do Anything

We Can Do Anything is the ninth album from The Violent Femmes and the first new material from the dauntless three-piece in 15 years. The album finds the band in an alluring and exuberant mood mixing their own takes on folk, jazz, blues, punk and rock ‘n’ roll which stretch from the minimal to the cosmic. ...view item »

Lucius
Good Grief

Good Grief is the second album by Brooklyn band Lucius. It is the follow up to their impressive debut Wildewoman, The band’s sound is built around the vocal talents of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. The album was recorded after returning home following two years of touring...view item »

Enter Shikari
Slipshod (Urbandawn Remix)

Slipshod (Urbandawn Remix) is an accompaniment tp the Hospitalised version of Enter Shikari’s Mindsweep record, in which the Hospital Records roster of esteemed Drum & Bass producers rework the Shikari originals. So Urbandawn grafts the Shikari...view item »

Enter Shikari
The Mindsweep: Hospitalised

This is the Hospitalised version of Enter Shikari’s Mindsweep record, in which the Hospital Records roster of esteemed Drum & Bass producers rework the Shikari originals. So we have the likes of Danny Byrd and London Elektricity pumping up tunes for t...view item »

Editors
In Dream

I once heard a good Editors song. Actually no it wasn’t Editors at all but it was Ian Curtis-aping singer Tom Smith performing Prefab Sprout’s ‘Bonny’ solo.   I suppose they filled a hole for awhile in the era when someone else had to sound a bit like ...view item »

Elliot Moss
Highspeeds

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but Elliot Moss, with his slow and deep electronic music, is more of a rumbler. His voice cuts through clever instrumentation, with a subtle jazz influences drawing you in further. Highspeeds is the 21-year-old’s debut album, and invites compa...view item »

Zulu Winter
We Should Be Swimming

The second single from these Lamacq approved darksters. The lead track is a slab of catchy techno influenced pop music with a dark heart and a hummable chorus but it never really stings. It's slathered in keyboards and so sits somewhere between Friendly Fires, The Killers and Mystery Jets...view item »

Other Lives
Rituals

Other Lives started life in Oklahoma before moving their operation to the hip and happening city of Portland. The effect of moving to a new place has had on them is shown in their third album, Rituals with themes of travel and isolation. The album was produced by the band with the help of Joey Waronker who has worked wi...view item »

Mew
+-

Only an ‘s’ sound separates Mew from Muse. There are other similarities too, both make stadium-ready histrionic rock, both don’t know the meaning of the word ‘understatement’ but whereas Muse sell out stadiums across the world, Mew are big-ish in their native Denmark with a cult following ...view item »

Balthazar
Thin Walls

If, like me, you kind of wish Alex Turner would have kept at his The Last Shadow Puppets side project going then you are going to love the opening track on this fourth album by this Belgian collective. It’s smooth, it’s cinematic, the vocals sound exactly...view item »

Gallows
Desolation Sounds

After being in the business of recording and touring for ten years, hardcore favourites, Gallows release their fourth studio album, Desolation Sounds. The album takes it’s inspiration from cult TV shows such as Twin Peaks and True Detective. Fans will be treated to something a little different this time as Des...view item »

Enter Shikari
The Mindsweep

It's the skramz kids! Enter Shikari's deeply sighed post-hardcore emotions are on display agaiin, presented ecstatically on 'The Mindsweep', which continues to see the band swing wildly between the punky fury of the Blood Brothers, the obnoxious EDM of Skrilly, the prog metal of System of a Down and infectuous indie melodies that recall early Bl...view item »

CHAMPS
Vamala

Straight outta the Isle of Wight, meet CHAMPS, a duo with slightly odd voices. Vamala is their second album of odd-pop, and is released by Play It Again Sam. The track titles include a shout-out to Brutalist masterwork The Balfron Tower, which is always appreciated. Includes the single ‘Desire’, and availabl...view item »

Purple
(409)

Angsty but ultimately upbeat pop-punk that lands somewhere between Cage the Elephant, the Ting Tings, X and Jawbreaker? I’ll take it. That’s not the greatest roster of comparisons, really, but it gets ...view item »

Baxter Dury
It's A Pleasure

Baxter Dury (or his handlers) certainly knew his strengths when compiling this album. It starts in excellent style with four really strong tracks but tails off significantly as the album wears on. Dury sounds pretty much exactly like his dad vocally and at its best the album showcases a smart lo-fi style with archaic drum machine an...view item »

Courteeners
Concrete Love

Here is a new album by The Courteeners. Big in Manchester aren't they? But not many other places. Just taken a listen and its not as lad rock as I expected. Pretty tuneful laid back and pretty indie-rock. They are on sunday brunch on channel 4 so find out for yourselves. Just played another track and its brasher and a bit Interpol-y. Deluxe...view item »

Liz Green
Haul Away!

Charming folky Manc songstress Liz Green is back with her difficult second album, after her well received debut 'O, Devotion'. It's an enjoyable collection of songs with her northern accented sing-song voice backed by lushly understated arrangements sometimes led by piano and sometimes by a gently plucked acoustic guitar. It's quite a varied col...view item »

Lucius
Wildewoman

Wildewoman is the debut album from New York five-piece, Lucius. The band feature the vocal talents of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe, who sing dual lead vocals. Lucius have been wowing crowds across the United States, playing in sold out venues. Wildewoman is available on indies only limi...view item »

Joan As Policewoman
The Classic

I spent a long time getting Joan As Police Woman confused with Emmy The Great and unintentionally snoozed on checking her out. I only realised my error recently upon hearing her latest single 'Holy City' and discovering that actually she's a big-lunged soul lady who's snuck comfortably into the ...view item »

CHAMPS
Down Like Gold

Last week I had a load of really great records to review, it was a struggle to resist buying several of them for myself. Not every week is like that, though, and this time round I've managed to bag a few stinkers. Thomas J Speight has done a 7" I hated, there's a Lo-Fang a...view item »

Editors
The Weight Of Your Love

Editors are back in 2013 with a new record; THE WEIGHT OF YOUR LOVE. After 3 successful albums with Chris Urbanowicz on the electric guitars and synths on the 3rd effort In This Light and On This Evening, what could we expect after his departure from the band? With 2 new members, fans were forced to forget Chris' Rickenbacker guitar riffs. After...view item »

Harper Simon
Division Street

On his eponymous debut Harper Simon sounded a lot more like his dad (that’s Paul Simon, in case you were wondering) than he does here with the exception of “Just Like St. Teresa” and “Leaves of Golden Brown”. On “Division Street” he goes for a mid-fi-on-purpose sound,...view item »

Lord Huron
Lonesome Dreams

My first impression of Lord Huron after hearing the opening harmonies of the superb “Ends Of The Earth” was that they sound like some sort of Appalachian mountain Beach Boys tribute band. Then, I thought that they sound like Fleet Foxes with a bit of The Shins thrown in. I think that overall, a mix of all three is a pretty good asses...view item »

Dinosaur Jr
I Bet On Sky

Dinosaw Jumper are back with their latest album that sounds like J. Mescalines and the Frog but with the love-lorn one out of ace Indie emo noiseniks September-NO! re-instated and doing his day job like what he did in the late...view item »

Zulu Winter
Language

I have to admit I knew literally nothing about this band but on a recent visit back home, this album was on one of the listening stations in the local record store I was browsing. I liked what I heard from the couple of songs I sampled. Zulu Winter is an up-and-coming band from the UK, and if you are not familiar with their sound, think ...view item »

Soap and Skin
Narrow

Anja Plaschg, a.k.a Soap & Skin makes very serious music. Often diagnosed as 'an old soul in a young body', Plaschg work so far can only be categorised as music made by a lady wise beyond her years. On new mini-album 'Narrow' Plaschg is strips back to the bare essentials, in this case...view item »

Young Guns
Bones

The second record from Buckinghamshire based band Young Guns. All Our Kings Are Dead was obviously going to be a tough cookie to follow due to the commercial success it achieved. However, Bones...view item »

Liz Green
O, Devotion!

...From the producers of 'Driving Over Miss Daisy' and the director of 'Don't Look At Me (I'm A Shrew)' comes 'O, Devotion' which critics are saying is “a classic..shame its not a film.” (New York Times) and “I didn't like it...it's too violent” (Tim Robbins)...sorr...view item »

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