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Weekly Update Stearica, Toro Y Moi, The Apartments, Michael Price, Tigercats, and more...

Aaaah sunshine, blue skies, being trapped inside a concrete tower block with the blinds drawn…it’s been a wonderful week here at the Towers what with the exhaust fumes through the open windows and jolly lunches overlooking the ring road. Bliss. It’s been a pretty fine week for music too, we’ve been enjoying new sounds from The Mountain Goats, Ava Luna, Prefuse 73, Slug, Sleep, James Blackshaw and tonnes more. We’ll take you through the best bits if you just scroll down a little further...we know you can do it.

Meanwhile there’s just seven shopping days left until Record Store Day. Are you with us? If so here’s all the information you could possibly need and if you want to join in the social space-face fun then here’s our Facebook Event page. We’ll have cake and coffee, records and ample parking. Join us.

Out now

  • Ava Luna have come up with one of the week’s most striking releases - all over the shop pop somewhere between Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear and Sun City Girls.
  • Slug feature touring members of Field Music and their aesthetic is almost identical. Sunderland based slanted jerk-pop.
  • Veterans Wire release another album which has its moments of gloomy understated art rock.
  • Nasal and wordy whiner Mountain Goats release more folky oddness - subject matter this time? Pro wrestling.
  • The Leisure Society return with more folky goodness perfect for eating an ice cream to at the summer festivals but dark enough for cold winter nights.
  • Ian and Robin rejoice! Your heroes Idlewild are back.
  • Bop English is the solo effort from the White Denim frontman and according to Robin, deserves a small round of applause.
  • Black Moon Circle play tripped-out psych of weaving linear narrative as if they were in a suave, hair metal David Attenborough nature doc.
  • Michael Price plays tear jerking neo-classical pieces so nice that Robin has forgiven him for his involvement in Sherlock.
  • Tout Croche are Huddersfield’s leading practitioners of tactile drone and noise.
  • Villagers have one amazing song on their new album and a bunch of fairly pleasant ones.
  • Oh dear. Stealing Sheep’s reliance on in vogue ‘80s synths has got Clint (..er.. that’s me - hello) all angry and stuff.
  • Moth Effect have krauty synths and wobbly soundscapes gained from a lifetime listening to Stereolab and MBV records.
  • Death and the Maiden make dark minimal wave electronica and ‘80s dream pop.
  • James Blackshaw is back with a new album. He sings this time - Robin’s heart is won over.
  • Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart collab’d for seven days….this is the result.
  • I Am Kloot are responsible for healing many warring middle-aged couples. Listen to them do it live in front of a studio audience who have escaped from the kids for a night.
  • Toro Y Moi’s new one is a bit of a disappointment. Disagree? Then tell us by reviewing it if you like. We think it’s an unfocused mess.
  • None of us are old enough yet to enjoy Calexico’s music. Maybe in 20 years time it will click. Anyway their new album is out.
  • Ramin Djawadi’s blood splattered vinyl soundtrack for ‘Game of Thrones 3’ is in.
  • Stearica’s ferocious, frenetic post rock will make you do things at 500x speed.

Electronica

  • Drizzly found-sound by Gareth Hardwick who gives us ‘Two Songs’ on a 10”.
  • Who likes hexagons? We like hexagons. Richard Neale releases a hexagonal CD full of rich electronica.
  • Irresistible bass music from Also aka Appleblim and another bloke.
  • Drawing Virtual Gardens album on the ever lavish Time Released Sound was made whilst his wife was in labour. Stress-tronics.
  • Japanese melancholy pianist Akira Kosemura has two new albums out ‘Embers’ and ‘Trio’ performed live with cello and violin.
  • We have two limited CDs in as part of Temporary Residences ‘Travels in Constants’ series ADW is Stars of the Lid’s Adam Witzie aka maker of the warmest and grandest nap music of the last couple decades. The second is by moist beats practitioner Prefuse 73 - an excellent release marrying five full compositions to a series of loops.
  • Literally every new electronic record is called ‘Whorl’ these days. Here’s another - ‘Whorls’ by Tim Catlin and Machinefabriek.
  • “It drifts,it tinkles, it twinkles”....Cass makes soft mini-tronica on Home Normal. On the same label come Fifto with delightful ambience inspired by drone and woodland techno.
  • Robert Hood’s Floorplan returns with some aggressive remixes of some of his classic trax.
  • There’s some raw early material from Brutalist Techno practitioner Surgeon.

Re-issues

  • Swans affiliates and people we sold a lot of records by a few years ago, Big Blood re-release ‘Double Days I’ and ‘Double Days II’ on limited cdrs
  • Phil likes rap now so we’ve got re-issues from Ghostface Killah, Ice Cube, NWA and Mos Def. Big up to the Pudsey massive.
  • The Apartments were an Australian band from the early ‘80s who sounded a lot like the Go-Betweens. Captured Tracks have lovingly re-issued their recordings.
  • The self same Captured Tracks have also given us the dubious thrills of Dinner’s ‘Three EP’s’. This will be one Dinner we won’t be enjoying.
  • The collector’s bespoke edition of Popul Vuh’s ‘Kailash’ is here and is as thick as a big sandwich.
  • Lords of weed chords and bong metal trailblazers Sleep get their Sleep’s Holy Mountain’ re-issued (finally!)

7”s

  • Teleman release a super 7” of catchy electronic pop on the highly collectible Speedy Wunderground imprint.
  • Ala.ni knows where to put her dots and knows how to make quaint vintage sounding music - one for the grandmas.
  • Ethereal folkish pop from Flo Morrissey who has very long hair.
  • I feel full of regret regret that I wasn’t totally nice to Tigercats last week. I was in a bad mood, ok? To make it up to them I am going to publicise their new 7” on Fortuna Pop which I quite enjoyed!
  • Also on Fortuna Pop, indie poppers Evans the Death make a right old racket on a 7” to promote their new album ‘Expect Delays’....the title of which also could serve as a warning for anyone who has ordered vinyl around the time of Record Store Day.

That’s it for now. We hope your weekends are totally skill and expect to see us back on Monday for Record Store Day week. Yikes!

Words by Clinton.
Other work done by Everyone Else.
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Ela Orleans

Upper Hell

10/10 from Brian

Musician, artist, dreamer, nomad and proud insomniac Ela Orleans is no stranger to Norman Records. One of the absolute finest things about having worked in this madh...read on »

Ava Luna

Infinite House

9/10 from Robin

Between their several hundred members, you could forgive Ava Luna for absorbing and then transmitting into orbit as many genres as they can: R&B, funk, stoner, psych rock,...read on »

Prefuse 73

Travels In Constants Volume 25

9/10 from Clinton

Aaaarrgggggghhhhhhhh. This is nice. The opening sounds are as soft and lathery as being placed in the human equivalent of a car wash on a hot summers days and then being throw...read on »

James Blackshaw

Summoning Suns

9/10 from Robin

I’m like Marge Simpson thinking she’s got Homer all figured out just as he delivers a bouquet of roses from the sky right now, in so far as I thought James Blacksh...read on »

Fifto

with miur

9/10 from Robin

Always a pleasure to hear from Home Alone Normal 2: Lost In New York, and this time the label is offering up an older but no less fragile pastiche of sound. Fifto isn’t ...read on »

The Mountain Goats

Beat The Champ

8/10 from Robin

It’s been a long while since chief mountain goat John Darnielle put out ‘Transcendental Youth’, a brass-assured treatise on loneliness and staying alive in a...read on »

Slug

Ripe

8/10 from Clinton

Sunderland. Funny place isn't it?. The centre resembles an out of town shopping mall which has been plonked in the middle of the city. Its inside is its outside and its o...read on »

Senyawa

Menjadi

8/10 from Robin

Indonesian math outfit Zoo have a few more experimental tricks up their sleeve if you’re willing, and Senyawa is one: this collaboration seeks out band frontman Rully Sh...read on »

American Wrestlers

American Wrestlers

8/10 from Clinton

Last week I bemoaned the fact that the War on Drugs had made it perfectly acceptable to try to emulate Christopher Cross and the ‘80s FM radio ‘greats’. This...read on »

Teleman

Strange Combinations

8/10 from Clinton

This will go as quick as Alan Wells in the 1980 Summer Olympics so I’d get in there fast and push the button that delivers the records if I were you. On the hip and inf...read on »

ABW

Travels In Constants Volume 24

8/10 from Robin

Come now. Adam Bryanbaum Witzie has more soundtracking of peaceful sleeps and cinematic turning points to do, having not been satiated by his time in the best drone act o...read on »

Drawing Virtual Gardens

Six Weeks Were Too Long To Wait

8/10 from Robin

An ode to time-stamped tension, David Gutman composed and recorded ‘Six Weeks Were Too Long To Wait’ in the build-up to his daughter’s birth, as well as the ...read on »

Michael Price

Entanglement

8/10 from Robin

While I absolutely hold his involvement in Sherlock against him, I can’t deny that Michael Price knows his way around a minimal tearjerker. Price’s brand of neo-cl...read on »

Gareth Hardwick

Two Songs

8/10 from Robin

There’s not much I can really say about Gareth Hardwick’s new one because upon listening to it I have transcended sentient human life and become a sleeping tree. T...read on »

Moth Effect

Crocodilians

8/10 from Robin

The idea behind Moth Effect’s music is apparently that humans are like moths, following pretty lights and alluring patterns to our sad but inevitable end. Basically, we&...read on »

Stearica

Fertile

8/10 from Robin

Stearica might be the most frenetic post-rock band since *shels did their dustbowl thing back with ‘The Plains of the Purple Buffalo’. These folks rock, roll and c...read on »

Cass

Magical Magical

8/10 from Clinton

What is it with Home Normal these days? Their release schedule resembles that of a label that knows the end of the world is imminent and have to get everything out before we r...read on »

Tim Catlin & Machinefabriek

Whorls

8/10 from Laurie

Here is the world’s third Whorl album, what an accolade. It is only in a world where so many people are talking (mostly bull) that a single word can actually stand out a...read on »

Richard Neale

Deep Blue (part 1)

8/10 from Laurie

Namedropping AFX, BoC, Sigur Ros and GY!BE is certainly a brave move. My cynical side says ‘crowdpleasing’, but ultimately intrigue wins over, especially since tha...read on »

Akira Kosemura

Trio

8/10 from Clinton

There are two things in by Akira Kosemura this week. I chose ‘Trio’ as a) I used to like the biscuit of the same name and b) it does what it says on the tin which ...read on »

Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart

8/10 from Robin

Jerusalem In My Heart is Constellation's best kept secret, the recording project of Radwan Moumneh, who has recorded and mastered a hefty chunk of the avant-garde darlings who...read on »

Big Blood

Double Days I

8/10 from Robin

Here is a thing. It is Big Blood’s diverse eight-year old album of genre checklists. At first, they sound like an ambient Hop Along -- singer-songwriters who would&rsquo...read on »

Featured albums

Prefuse 73
Big Blood
Richard Neale
Moth Effect
Big Blood
ABW
Akira Kosemura
ALA.NI
Akira Kosemura
Teleman
Flo Morrissey
I Am Kloot
Villagers
Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart
Slug
Dinner
Tim Catlin & Machinefabriek
Drawing Virtual Gardens
Ghostface Killah
N.W.A.
Ice Cube
Gareth Hardwick
Mos Def
Death And The Maiden
The Mountain Goats
Stearica
Tigercats
Ava Luna
Cass
Surgeon
Fifto
Sleep
Popol Vuh
Toro Y Moi
Wire
ALSO
Michael Price
Stealing Sheep
Bop English
Calexico
The Leisure Society
Ramin Djawadi
Idlewild
Evans The Death
James Blackshaw
Black Moon Circle
Floorplan (Robert Hood)
The Apartments