Fontaines D.C., Disclosure and other vinyl releases you need this week

You'll want these records in your collection...

In this fast-paced musical landscape, where it’s so easy to simply put a playlist on shuffle, nothing compares to putting a record on, sitting back and enjoying all it has to offer in full (or at least until you have get up again to flip it over).

Every week, we here at NME round up the best vinyl releases, available to buy or pre-order via Norman Records. Here are the latest picks.

Fontaines D.C. – ‘A Hero’s Death’

NME say:

Fontaines D.C.’s second record is full of “excoriating anthems about flirting with self-destruction”. As we note in our review: “[There’s a “surrealism is at the heart of ‘A Hero’s Death’, the inner turmoil that festered in the wake of the band’s outward success spat out with venom”.

Norman Records say:

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In the spirit of striking while the iron’s hot, Dublin post-punk act Fontaines D.C. deliver their second studio album ‘A Hero’s Death’ barely a year after their debut ‘Dogrel’ won such universal acclaim. Stoic and energetic, it seeks to address the grander themes in life, but hasn’t succumbed to a dose of ‘The Big Music’, fortunately! 

Buy it now from Norman Records

Disclosure – ‘Ecstasy’

NME say:

While we await the band’s new album ‘Energy’, why not treat yourself to this new five-track EP from the brothers Lawrence? We’ve already heard the lead-track, which features a sample of ‘Fantasy’, the title track from the second album by ’70s soul group Aquarium Dream, and Gloria Jones’ vocals cut in between pulsating beats and synth bursts, plus there’s four more to enjoy.

Norman Records say:

Disclosure return with a new 5-track 12″ to celebrate 10 years in the biz despite them both still only being in their mid 20s. Lead track ‘Ecstasy’ already sounds like a hit with its cut up disco and soul samples and thumping kick drums. The four other tracks here have been teased already on various mainstream media so this should be another big seller for the lads. 

Buy it now from Norman Records

Emma-Jean Thackray – ‘UM YANG 음 양’

NME say:

Multi-instrumentalist Emma-Jean Thackray’s new collection, ‘UM YANG 음 양’, “brings together Taoist ideals with a sparkling fusion of jazz, electronic music and experimental flourishes,” as we put it in our feature on the London musician. But beyond the key jazz touchstones, she’s also “woven in elements of LA’s lo-fi scene, Madlib-influenced beats and the vibe of Detroit’s ‘90s house scene”.

Norman Records say:

Fronting a seven-piece band featuring Soweto Kinch and Steam Down’s Wonky Logic, British jazz star Emma-Jean Thackray cut her latest album ‘UM YANG 음 양’ straight to vinyl in the studio over a weekend in October 2019. Framed around the Taoist teachings of harmony and duality, it’s a record that’s she’s long hoped to fulfil. 

Preorder it now from Norman Records

Daniel Blumberg – ‘On&On’

NME say:

After the snotty 00s indie of Cajun Dance Party and scrappy scuzz-rock of Yuck, Daniel Blumberg’s music has been drifting further left-field under his birth name. His latest incorporates free improvisation and has the kind of quiet, warped experimentation reminiscent of Arthur Russell.

Norman Records say:

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‘On&On’ is the sublime new studio album from London-based musician and visual artist Daniel Blumberg. Retaining the same cast of backing musicians that helped him create his debut for Mute back in 2018 titled ‘Minus’, Blumberg creates a nine-track suite that pushes his artistry into new sonic territory.  

Buy it now from Norman Records

Max Richter – ‘Voices’

NME say:

This Max Richter album is all about providing light in darkness for humankind. “We live in a hugely challenging time and, looking around at the world we have made, it’s easy to feel hopeless or angry,” he says. Inspired and featuring readings from  the Declaration of Human Rights, Richter adds of the LP: “I like the idea of a piece of music as a place to think, and it is clear we all have some thinking to do at the moment.”

Norman Records say:

New work from legendary composer Max Richter. Inspired by the Declaration of Human Rights, ‘Voices’ was a major undertaking for the musician sourcing people from around the world to read the text in over 70 different languages. The voices form part of the composition which Richter later embellished – the idea being to create hope in a disturbed and often hopeless world. 

Buy it now from Norman Records

Romare – ‘Home’

NME say:

The latest record from electronic maestro Romare is all about identity. “Identity and a sense of belonging is something I’ve been searching for more since becoming a father,” he has explained. His new LP, then, was made while experimenting with some found items from his past, including his dad’s old guitar and his childhood drum kit.

Norman Records say:

Romare is a DJ and producer with a knack for making a mixture of cut and paste soul, jazz and dancefloor. ‘Home’ is his third album and sees him leaning further towards dancefloor but retaining the melodic textures.

Buy it now from Norman Records

Wye Oak – ‘No Horizon’

NME say:

Wye Oak’s new EP was recorded with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Its lead single ‘AEIOU’ is hair-raising, with the band saying: This song is about the inadequacy of language… Language is bigger than the powers that try to control it, but we are so much bigger than language. We are so much more than anything that can be suggested with words.”

Norman Records say:

The latest Wye Oak EP, No Horizon, shows Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack in a state of transition. Originally composed over a year ago and then performed as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York, the five tracks here stand apart from any of their five studio albums, yet are still recognisably Wye Oak.

Preorder it now from Norman Records

Belle and Sebastian – ‘Push Barman To Open Old Wounds (Deluxe Edition)’

NME say:

This 2005 compilation from Scottish indie royalty Belle and Sebastian features songs mostly dating around 1997, rarities recorded and released between their two seminal albums ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ (1996) and ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ (1998). Peak Belle and Seb then, some might say.

Norman Records say:

Named after some graffiti in the toilets of a bar in Glasgow, ‘Push Barman To Open Old Wounds’ was originally released in 2005 and housed all of the EPs and singles released up to that point by Belle And Sebastian, arranged chronologically. It now gets re-issued as a beautiful 3xLP coloured vinyl set. 

Buy it now from Norman Records

Plan B – ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’

NME say:

Plan B’s switch from rapper to soul singer in 2010 was surprising then and the artist’s career trajectory still seems quite unlikely now. ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’, then, is always going to be a polarising record: it’s sold almost 1.5 million copies in the UK, but as our review at the time noted, the highlights are ultimately his “dynamic, free-flowing streams of consciousness”.

Norman Records say:

2020’s National Album Day sees a tenth anniversary re-issue on oxblood coloured vinyl for The Defamation of Strickland Banks, the ubiquitous million-seller that saw English rapper and singer Plan B turn from promising newcomer to global megastar. Containing no fewer than four UK Top 40 hits and the 20th best-selling album in the UK over the last decade, it’s a modern classic of soul and hip-hop. 

Buy it now from Norman Records

Joe Hisaishi – ‘Princess Mononoke (Soundtrack)’

NME say:

Princess Mononoke is one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved films, but as well as its incredible, spellbinding animation, it boasts a pretty stunning soundtrack too.

Norman Records say:

Recently made available on Netflix and one of the flagship films in anime company Studio Ghibli’s stable, 1997’s Princess Mononoke also boasted a magnificent soundtrack and symphonic score by Joe Hisaishi. This soundtrack edition is performed by the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra. Includes the Princess Mononoke Main Theme with vocals by Yoshikazu Mera. First-time on vinyl.

Buy it now from Norman Records

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