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2018's Best New Albums (so far)

We'll be unveiling our official Albums of the Year 2018 on Friday 28th December, but here - in completely random order - are the records we've been eyeing up. Sign up for our emails and we'll ping you when our final Top 50 is announced. And remember that from now until Friday 21st December we're offering double NormanPoints on all orders.

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David August
DCXXXIX A.C.

David August lets the drums drop away for this latest LP. DCXXXIX is made up of twenty-four tracks that investigate all things ambient. Droning synths, nuggets of found sound, idly hit percussion, some ivory-tinkling, that sort of thing. A nice record to get lost in for an hour. Will appeal to fans of the Icelandic scho...view item »


Juliana Daugherty
Light

Singer-songwriter Juliana Daugherty is back with this limited-edition, milky-clear LP, out on Western Vinyl, a dreamy record that traverses mental illness, political outrage and societal ills, all laced with Daugherty's crooning, lilting vocals. Expect motorik pulses, vaporous strumming and heartbreaking choruses. Killer....view item »


The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Something Else

Something Else is the first of two full-length albums promised to us by The Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2018. After dabbling in experimentation - using Brazilian and Middle Eastern Music along with shoegaze as inspiration for a couple of albums, Anton Newcombe returns to the sound his fans know and love. 180g wh...view item »


Joseph Shabason
Anne

Yeah this is a good one. Anne was composed for Joseph Shabason’s mother in honour of her struggles with degenerative illness. The personal and familial turmoil of this experience crinkles the edges of these milky instrumentals. There is a feeling of tender, quiet sadness to the likes of ‘Forest Run’ th...view item »


Ryley Walker
Deafman Glance

New from Ryley Walker  - a musician always willing to step outside himself to find new sounds and the one snippet we heard sounds like he's been heavily pounding the Jim O'Rourke/Gastr Del Sol axis.  Sweet bucolic folk with flutes galore and some unexpected harshness. Looking forward t...view item »


East Man
Red, White & Zero

Anthoney Hart - he of Basic Rhythm and Imaginary Forces fame - drops the first release of his East Man project on Planet Mu. Red, White & Zero is a whip-smart take on grime also incorporates elements of jungle, techno and hardcore, with an over...view item »


Arve Henriksen
The Height Of The Reeds

In a work specially commissioned for Hull City of Culture 2017, Arve Henriksen relates to the love-affair-on-the-waves between Scandinavia and the hitherto unheralded Yorkshire port-town on The Height Of The Reeds. Composed alongside Elvind Aarset and Jan Bang, the music accompanied a sound walk last ye...view item »


Parquet Courts
Wide Awake!

Here they come again with their fifth album which is produced by none other than Danger Mouse. This is another bold and groundbreaking work that benefits from full band arrangements with the group playing with their usual true punk rock passion. More confident with each release this is set to be their biggest missive yet. ...view item »


Fucked Up
Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up have pulled out all the stops to make, arguably, the album of their career with Dose Your Dreams. Whilst it kicks off in a familiar punk fashion, they then take unexpected turns into psychedelia, groove work-outs and even doo-wop before is brought to a close with a Krautrock epic. LP and CD on Merge....view item »


BEAST
Ens

Beast is Koen Holtkamp, who is also known as one half of Mountains with Brendan Angeregg. Ens sees Holtkamp making more tightly constructed compositions, compared with his previous sprawling explorations. The album was made as Holtkamp’s par...view item »


Tony Molina
Kill The Lights

I just can't believe they are marketing this as an album. It's over by the time you've blown your nose but on the plus side the music is absolutely brilliant. Tony Molina writes perfect mini-jangle pop things that sound like a pint-sized Teenage Fanclub or the Byrds. Opener “Nothing I Can Say” i...view item »


Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, James Rushford
Face Time

Another collaboration for Black Truffle between intrepid sound manipulators Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger and James Rushford. Like its predecessor, Face Time comes on splendid coloured vinyl (neon orange this time) and boasts cover design from Stephen O)))’Malley. ...view item »


Palm
Rock Island

The nervously invigorating Palm have impressed us plenty already and return with an obnoxiously captivating record in Rock Island. It swerves away from their common, jangly lexicon and then points back towards it, offering a noisy, danceable, jubilant and melancholic record of stutter pop. They make loops...view item »


The Breeders
All Nerve

Taking a break from their knitting for awhile, the Patti and Selma Bouvier of indie rock re-unite with the 'classic' era line up of the Breeders for their much anticipated first new album in a decade. Expect taut and lop-sided avant rock full of unusual melodies and that golden throated voice. How much better will it be than the...view item »


Concretism
For Concrete and Country

Some good old-fashioned idiosyncrasy from Concretism here. For Concrete And Country synthesises much of the Great British oddball lineage - the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Ghost Box Records, Public Service Broadcasting etc. - with a newly-resurfaced Cold War paranoia. It’s the aural...view item »


Courtney Barnett
Tell Me How You Really Feel

This here offering is Courtney's second album following up {long title}, but also that thing she did with Kurt Vile. Here her witty observations are matched with a more serious tone capturing more obviously the beauty and warmth in her delivery. She's becoming increasingly popular so this will be a big 'un....view item »


The Necks
Body

You know how the Necks do. Wake up. Get the coffee on. Simultaneously improvise instrumental gold. Another day. The wonderful and surprisingly dense Unfold was their last record and it came out on LP; now in typical Necks fashion they're releasing a CD only called Body, relying on the u...view item »


epic45
Through Broken Summer

It's only a new record from Epic45, my favourite Staffordshire-based post-indie rock band. I can only imagine how beautiful Through Broken Summer will be if their other albums are to go by. You can already hear the calming, yet oddly satisfying sound permeating through your brain, melting your very core. Available on vi...view item »


Kamasi Washington
Heaven and Earth

Oh my God he is walking on water whilst carrying a saxophone. To some Kamasi Washington is the sort of person who could walk on water with his blend of psychedelic cosmic jazz and horn workouts. His first album 'The Epic' was a hell of a thing and 'Heaven & Earth' which is split into two bits ('Heaven'/'Earth') is bound to be ju...view item »


Young Fathers
Cocoa Sugar

Cocoa Sugar is the third album by Edinburgh hip-hop threesome Young Fathers. It follows on from the critically acclaimed second album White Men Are Black Men Too and the single Only God Knows which featured on the soundtrack to Trainspotting 2. It’s available on CD and two vinyl versions - coloured, indies only limited edi...view item »


Jono McCleery
Seeds Of A Dandelion

We've heard this one in the office quite a bit, and it has become a personal favourite of mine. Jono McCleery's voice is truly brilliant. He sings with so much soul and genuine passion. It's raw and it's beautiful. Available on vinyl LP and CD and both have been released on Counter Records. Trust me. It's a good 'un....view item »


Julia Holter
Aviary

It may well be difficult to think of a record more expansive than Julia Holter's 2015 opus 'Have You In My Wilderness' but it seems like 'Aviary' might just do it. This 15 song record explores the feeling of cacophony we feel on living in the modern world and a search for solitude and sweetness. Holter's theatrical vocals and cinematic synth wor...view item »


Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa + Good Willsmith
Exit Future Heart

I for one am extremely excited about this. Dustin Wong is the guitar knotter and looper known, in addition to his past service in noise rock band Ponytail, for making majestic records out of simple, riffed ideas. The ecstasy of his music will here be paired with noise pranksters Good Wills...view item »


Blood Orange
Negro Swan

Devonte Hynes has explored punk in his teens with Test Icicles, orchestral pop under the name of Lightspeed Champion, and as Blood Orange, perhaps his most successful and critically acclaimed project, he has made four albums underpinned by R’n’B and electronica....view item »


Tess Roby
Beacon

Tess Roby’s debut LP Beacon, out via Italians Do It Better (Chromatics, Glass Candy), is a well-wrought collection of electronic ballads. Bringing to mind a more considered and nuanced version of Zola Jesus, Roby’s poised vocals dovetail wit...view item »


The Amazing
In Transit

The fifth LP from The Amazing features more of the heartfelt, slightly shoegazey indie-rock that has served the band well up to this point. Tracks like ‘Rewind’ and ‘Pull’, with their delicate grooves and singer Christoffer Gunrup’s dreamy vocal, come off as pitched somewhere between The Ant...view item »


Resina
Traces

Polish cellist Resina resurfaces on FatCat offshoot 130701 with more of her assured and poised neoclassical narratives, on Traces. The release marks somewhat of a career curve with an increased jaggedness and vitality, and in a bold move she employs her stark vocal to dramatic effect. Drums and percussi...view item »


Nicolas Jaar
Pomegranates

Ooh Pomegranates - remember them? Sat in front of Top of the Pops with a pin and some newspaper. Who in their right mind would let children eat fruit with a pin eh? Anyway just like the titular fruit, Pomegranates is a slow moving work, intimate, elegant and contains some of Nicolas Jaar's most touching work. This is the first t...view item »


Tigue
Strange Paradise

On Strange Paradise, Tigue, who are loosely described as a percussion trio, utilise drums, vibraphones, gongs, synths and other found items that make interesting sounds to create a soundscape that changes subtly in tone and rhythm as each musician reacts to one another’s actions. LP on NNA T...view item »


Aukai
Branches of Sun

Markus Sieber -- born in East Germany, 15 years prior to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall -- delivers his sophomore album as Aukai, 'Branches of Sun'. Sieber spent a month holed up in the Colorado Rockies; each day crossing a frozen lake twice, to and from his studio in a cabin in the mountains. The result is an album...view item »


Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
An Angel Fell

The well travelled and long-enduring Pyramids, led by sax man Idris Ackamoor, ready a new record of fantasy-filtered allegory. An Angel Fell is a jazz record in protest of our environmental complacency. Recorded in a week, it's another intense marvel from a group who still managed to...view item »


Daughters
You Won't Get What You Want

The first Daughters LP for Ipecac Records (Mike Patton, Faith No More) finds the grindcore-turned-noise-punk band in good nick. You Won’t Get What You Want is a ten-song set that, while heavy as ever, sees Daughters expand their palette to good effect. ‘Sata...view item »


Tropics
Nocturnal Souls

After LPs for Planet Mu and Innovative Leisure, the latest full-length from Chris Ward’s Tropics project drops via Plus Fours. Nocturnal Souls is an accomplished neo-soul album in the vein of his mates BADBADNOTGOOD - indeed, the celebrated jazz g...view item »


Jessica Moss
Entanglement

Entanglement is album number three from Jessica Moss. Moss earned her stripes with a fifteen year stint in Canadian post-everything band Thee Silver Mt. Zion (and all variations on that name). She has also worked with such luminaries as Vic Chesnutt and Ca...view item »


Rival Consoles
Persona

Erased Tapes' cool dance guy Ryan Lee West drops down his newest Rival Consoles record! Making serene IDM with a pounding heart to guide it, Persona sees him do a Jam City by exploring the possibilities of shoegaze. Expect pedals and a heightened sense of drama as he experiments...view item »


Heather Leigh
Throne

Editions Mego (Shit & Shine, Oren Ambarchi) drop the latest LP from Heather Leigh (once known as Heather Leigh Murray). Throne is a record of singer-songwriter noir full of dark energy. Leigh commands her tracks with a smouldering intensity that is ...view item »


The Lotus Eaters
Desatura

Please be very very careful. This is not the 1980s Lotus Eaters famous for their 'First Picture of You' single. Instead these are two techno artists Lucy and Rrose. Here the two step away from the usual techno instrumentation and use synthesized sound and feedback to generate both textural and percussive el...view item »


Shinichi Atobe
Heat

Mysterious Japanese producer Shinichi Atobe surprise-drops a new LP via Demdike Stare’s DDS (Micachu, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe). Heat is a bit more welcoming than the austere techno sound Atobe has previously exhibited, with tracks like ‘So G...view item »


The Body
I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer

Portland duo The Body push their sound to yet more extremes on their latest LP. I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer sees the pair bringing in a few collaborators - Assembly of Light Choir’s Chrissy Wolpert, Sandworm’s Ben Eberie to name but two - to beef u...view item »


Bridget Hayden
Pure Touch Only From Now On, They Said So.

Released on 9th September 2018 to coincide with a new moon. This one’s a real gem - a plaintive, lachrymose, arcane classic in the making… I’m not sure my B grade GCSE English skills are quite up to articulating just how profoundly moving and devastatingly gorgeous this record is. ‘Pure Touch Only From Now O...view item »


Eric Bachmann
No Recover

Former Archers Of Loaf/Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann drops the third LP under his given name. No Recover isn’t a title that screams positivity, and despite the many gentle acoustic treatments and ringing vocal harmonies that crop up here the overall feeling of the album...view item »


Miss Red
Dagga / One Shot Killer

Pure dancehall fire from MC Miss Red with two cuts from her imminent 'K.O.' album. Both are produced by bass quake riddim master Kevin Martin AKA The Bug. Miss Red's fierce chattin' style and Martin's production are a match made in heaven. This limited edition, hand-stamped red wax sampler is hard evidence ...view item »


Neotropic
The Absolute Elsewhere

Riz Malsen has had quite the career. In the 90s she worked with likes of 4hero and The Future Sound of London as well as a fruitful and varied solo career.  The Absolute Elsewhere is her first album as Neotropic in nine ye...view item »


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