Weekly Update

Hello. Please stop looking under the sofa; Phil isn’t there. He’s away, potentially having a nice time. In his place we are six imbeciles strong, hard at work beautifying the office. We got a sprinkler; we’ve just ordered a fondue fountain; Laurie put on a clean t-shirt. We scrub up pretty well. We don’t know if Phil is coming back, because we didn’t bother asking, but rest assured we’re working very hard to get you those things inscribed with music. We know you’re fond of them.

This week we purveyed all things chill, primarily enjoying the felty goodness of a new Beach House album that is best listened to in a hammock -- as in, put your record player in the hammock. As if that wasn’t good enough for your quaint soul, Death & Vanilla have followed up their fine new record with an even finer new EP that has sparked over-fence debates between Yorkshire neighbours. And then there’s Yo La Tengo being Yo La Tengo but also not being Yo La Tengo in a covers album sequel to Fakebook. I’m glad they still exist. There’s a lot of glad-rock this week, but if you want to even it out with some grumble pop, there’s always an LP version of Sun Kil Moon’s not-so-Universal Themes.

We’re still twin-writing these words this week (Robin with a bit of Clint at your service), so if you notice any arguments cropping up in the following run-down of releases, please remember your training and Don’t Mind Us:

This week’s all important Things That We Have™:

  • If I know Dan Bejar, he probably says “sha la de da” at some point on his new Destroyer album.
  • Royal Headache’s new album couldn’t hurt.
  • Lots of things happen in a certain timeframe and then are compressed to physical form on a freeform collaboration between Natural Information Society and Bitchin Bajas.
  • It sounds like the title of a lost Kooks album, but Kunk is actually by the great Dope Body and progresses their woodpecker hardcore.
  • What went down? Our interest in the music of Foals. Ha ha ha ha!!!
  • The unthinkable combination of poems and sounds is on display on a new collaboration between Susan Howe and David Grubbs.
  • Speaking of shock collaborations, country twang and exclamation marks are reunited on the Last Hurrah!!’s new record.
  • Barbara Morgenstern does the synther-songwriter thing, and very well.
  • Hooton Tennis Club offered us a slither of hope for British indie rock before triumphing at not being good.
  • In peak ambient news, Ancient Ocean bow a banjo.
  • Willis Earl Beal will be your soul pilot for this flight.
  • Budget keyboards and weird pop songs come out of Pete Um’s house and face.
  • Saturn isn’t even near the sun but here’s some drone from both of those things.
  • Carey Mercer’s got a new Frog Eyes album out and it’s something of a folk rock opera, if that’s allowed to exist.
  • They’ve won a grammy before, and now they’ve also won the coveted Norman Records Award for 14th Band Mentioned In The Weekly Update. Get paid, Backyard Babies.
  • Swirlers Hills make music for untied shoelaces.
  • Synths, drums, things! It’s Romperayo.
  • The Central Executives make dance music for a loft party, so if you don’t live in a loft I advise moving.
  • Advance Base appeared on Benji but his new album isn’t Benji so that’s okay.
  • Garage/blueslady Holly Golightly has just released her first album in 11 years.
  • Gravel groaner Mark Lanegan would like you to listen. Would you please? Thanks.
  • Ex-Blakfish member Sam Manville now wants to sound like the Streets. Good luck with that.
  • Just in right at this second a lovely new album from Isnaj Dui. Not recommended to those with aulophobia.
  • Endless Melancholy are perfectly named for Clint’s ‘wire in wheel of chair’ woes.
  • When I got back from holiday I had a bath. Dawn McCarthy released a tape.

Ant’s Electronic Roundup (Feat. Ant “Man Of Faith” Locke)

Here he is live from some kind of neo Pennine techno cave......

  • Slow moving, deep, spaced out ambient techno debut from Mosam Howieson on Further Records. Recommended for fans of Donato Dozzy’s ‘K’.
  • Cabaret Voltaire, Miles Whittaker (Demdike Stare) and Sweden’s excellent Abdulla Rashim have selections from live performances at Berlin Atonal festival, pressed to 3x12” wax in an edition of 500 copies.
  • Emptyset’s bowel emptying self-titled debut 2LP is reissued on Subtext.
  • Saturn and The Sun are Skull Defekts’ Joachim Nordwall and Henrik Rylander. Poland’s Bocian present their ‘Journey To The Center Of Your Mind’ LP. Like whoa.
  • Also on the dark, droney, disturbient™ tip is Innercity’s ‘ABABABABABABAS’ LP which is also on Further Records, like that record up top.
  • Our Clint appears to have been seduced by the dark melancholy electronica of OKADA’s ‘Impermanence’ CD n5MD (once he overcame his irrational fear of the sleeve, bless him).


Time keeps slipping, but if we’re anything like records we’ll come back to life as remastered versions of ourselves, so it’s okay:

  • Continuous Breath have been poring through the archives of French label Futura for weird nonsense to celebrate, including Bernard Vivet’s disorientating works and Jean Guerin’s psych-jazz. It sounds like i made that up but I didn’t.
  • Johnny Cash was once at Folsom Prison. Not so much anymore, but this is a pretty classic record.
  • Converge’s greatest record is You Fail Me and it has been reborn on vinyl. Hi-five it.
  • The Fall released an album for every time John Peel said their name, and now you can grab Dragnet and Live At The Witch Trials on LP.
  • Swiss Kraut-prog from 1973, anyone? They’re called Krokodil and you could say they’re freaky.
  • There’s also a reissue for jazz-prog outfit Atlas, who that one guy Gotye really loves.
  • Mastodon’s weird rawk album The Hunter sees new life.
  • The only Faith No More-related things I know are that Mike Patton doesn’t like Wolfmother and he once struggled to eat a burger. Here’s a reissue of The Real Thing.
  • The Kitchen Cinq are the ‘60’s band led by a pre- moustache Lee Hazlewood. Lights in the Attic have re-issued their stuff.

7 inches of separation:

Your pocket money, adjusted for inflation, could be well served on a vast number of these small wax things. Parquet Courts did a split with a pizza restaurant or a band or something, while there are also ones from garage bluesters Holly Golightly, skateboarders FIDLAR, synth baddies Ausmuteants, spray painters Spray Paint and spooksters Brown Spiders. Years & Years still exist, as does EYE from Boredoms, which is surprising considering his truck-driving skills -- he’s done a little record fellow noise humans Gagakrise. Death Waltz also shrink down a little bit for this snippet of The Midnight Swim (.....oh and Robin can I make a contribution? Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - thanks, Clint)

Thanks for reading. That was awfully nice of you. Perhaps you’d like to write it next week?

Words by Robin with a bit from Ant and a minimal contribution from Clint.

The Normanites this week were: Laurie, Kim, Seal, Ian, Nathon, and whatever the opposite of Phil is.

Bless this mess.

Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Beach House

Depression Cherry

9/10 from Robin

If you didn’t like ‘Bloom’, that’s okay: I don’t think Beach House did either. The dreamer duo’s last record amped up their sound and stret...read on »

Death And Vanilla

California Owls EP

8/10 from Clinton

You know you've really made it as a band when you get discussed by suburbanites over the garden fence but Death and Vanilla was the subject my brothers neighbour wanted t...read on »



8/10 from Robin

Woah okay there. This is some sort of thing. Tarracoir come self described as grindcore (a lie, for the most part), hardcore (a definite lie) and “not Normcore” (w...read on »

Saturn and the Sun

Journey To The Center Of Your Mind

8/10 from Robin

Our latest in peeled and stretched VHS drones comes from crushcrew Saturn and the Sun, two members of the Skull Defekts who earlier this year proved to have no chill at all wi...read on »

Jean Guerin


8/10 from Laurie

What could the music to an anarchic film sound like? Visceral punk? Challenging war-collage? Johnny Rotten’s butter ads? To the musical mind of Jean Guerin, none of the ...read on »

Ancient Ocean

Blood Moon

8/10 from Robin

You know ambient has gone too far when someone’s playing the bowed banjo. I’m pretty sure we could just get the same sound out of slowing down a Mumford & Sons...read on »

Advance Base

Nephew In The Wild

8/10 from Robin

Since his last record as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, slumbering songwriter Owen Ashworth contributed to Sun Kil Moon’s critically acclaimed and objectively terrib...read on »

Yo La Tengo

Stuff Like That There

8/10 from Clinton

It doesn’t matter how hard you try,  there’s no avoiding comparing this record to 1990’s superb ‘Fakebook’. This was the one where Yo La Ten...read on »

Frog Eyes

Pickpocket’s Locket

8/10 from Robin

Carey Mercer sounds furious, but his music is meditation. With its bold, endlessly ricocheting guitar tones, his last record sounded like it was trembling; really, it was rumi...read on »

Laura Cannell

Beneath Swooping Talons

8/10 from Robin

A master of bows and strings, Laura Cannell is a soloist who can sound responsible for a whole orchestra on her own. ‘Beneath Swooping Talons’ is an improvised rec...read on »

Mosam Howieson


8/10 from Ant

Promising debut EP on Seattle’s Further Records from Australian producer Mosam Howieson. ‘Spiral 7’ is slowly unfurling submerged, aquatic, ambient leaning t...read on »

Featured albums

Jean Guerin
Bernard Vitet
Pete Um
Years & Years
Endless Melancholy
Johnny Cash
Saturn and the Sun
Isnaj Dui
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Frog Eyes
Mister Squinter / Ellen Reid
Backyard Babies
Dope Body
Susan Howe & David Grubbs
Yo La Tengo
Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas
Spray Paint / EXEK
Dawn McCarthy
Mosam Howieson
Advance Base
Gagakirise and EYE
Mark Lanegan
Parquet Courts / Joey Pizza Slice
Holly Golightly
Willis Earl Beal
Barbara Morgenstern
The Kitchen Cinq
Death And Vanilla
The Last Hurrah!!
Ancient Ocean
Royal Headache
Beach House
Hooton Tennis Club
Sun Kil Moon
The Central Executives
Faith No More
The Fall
The Fall