Matt Berninger, Beabadoobee 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.

Matt Berninger – ‘Serpentine Prison’

NME say:

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There’s “poise and prowess” on this solo album from The National frontman. As we note in our review: “The singer takes in rich influences for a deep, intimate listen to be filed next to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ‘Boatman’s Call’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘You Want It Darker’”.

Norman Records say:

‘Serpentine Prison’ is the debut solo album from the National’s lead singer Matt Berninger. Commenced very shortly after the group’s last outing ‘I Am Easy To Find’, ‘Serpentine Prison’ feels like a natural outgrowth of that project, a collection of stately, collegiate indie-rock formed with contributions from his National bandmates, his EL VY companion Matt Sheehy and David Bowie’s guitarist Gail Ann Dorsey, on top of production from Booker T. Jones.

Buy it now from Norman Records

Beabadoobee – ‘Fake It Flowers’

NME say:

This record is “the sound of a modern guitar great in bloom”, as we write in our five-star review. It’s “the journey from bedroom-pop hero to bonafide rock star is completed in bruising fashion on the Londoner’s stunning debut album of anthemic slacker rock.”

Norman Records say:

‘Fake It Flowers’ is the highly anticipated debut album from British singer-songwriter beabadoobee. Building up her massive fanbase off the back of a stream of excellent EPs since the beginning of 2018 – not to mention the viral sensation of ‘Coffee’ – Bea Kristi is one of the most promising young talents in a long time.

Preorder it now from Norman Records

Kevin Morby – ‘Sundowner’

NME say:

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We called Kevin Morby’s last album, 2019’s ‘Oh My God’, a “remarkable achievement that may serve as a companion and guide in tough times”. Obviously, then, we’re excited for his follow-up. ‘Sundowner’ is equally as pensive and is meant as an ode to the “Middle American twilight”.

Norman Records say:

Inspired by a move back to his native Kansas from L.A., and recorded to a Tascam four-track in a converted shed with, ‘Sundowner’ is the sixth solo album from the prolific Kevin Morby. It’s an LP which claims influence from the surroundings in which it was made, particularly the sprawling landscapes and open spaces of Middle America.

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Sigur Rós – ‘Takk’

NME say:

Back in 2005, we praised “the love, grace and breathless passion that this, the Icelandic quartet’s fourth album, has bolted to the girders of its monumental beauty.” Sigur Rós’ seminal album still has that same transportive power 15 years on.

Norman Records say:

‘Takk’ was the fourth LP by lauded Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros and the one that became their biggest-selling album, something helped no doubt by a lot of songs being used in adverts and nature series (most notably BBC’s ‘Planet Earth’). The record now comes repressed onto double-vinyl plus etched 10″ housed in a die-cut sleeve on Krunk. Sounds like, oh you know, ethereal and stirring and all things nice.

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Eartheater – ‘Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin’

NME say:

Like the titular phoenix rising from flames in the album’s title, this new album from experimental musician Eartheater takes darkness and turns it into something new. It hops between genres too – ambient, folk, downtempo electronica all weaved together.

Norman Records say:

Recorded during a ten-week artistic residency in northern Spain, ‘Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin’ is the latest ambitious project from performance artist Eartheater. Full of baroque guitar passages, swelling orchestral arrangements and centred around her operatic vocals, it’s an album of opposites being resolved, symbolised by the record’s sub-title.

Pre-order it now from Norman Records

Surprise Chef – ‘Daylight Savings’

NME say:

“A soul-funk soundtrack to rejuvenate a beleaguered Melbourne,” we write in our review of this record. It sees “the instrumental band bring uplifting jazz-funk optimism to a city in need of some healing”.

Norman Records say:

Surprise Chef are an instrumental four-piece from Melbourne. Daylight Savings sees them moving away from soul and leaning into a 70s jazz / funk sound, focusing on the power of the rhythm section. The production values have been upped to create a dramatic album with a widescreen scope.

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Good Sad Happy Bad – ‘Shades’

NME say:

This is Mica Levi’s latest project, and a new name for Micachu and The Shapes. Live all Levi projects, you know it’s worth checking out. “Like the band name the songs are either good, sad, happy or bad and sometimes either slow, fast, heavy or light, and sometimes cold, hot, warm or freezing, and sometimes tasty, nasty, bland or spicy,” the band say in a statement.

Norman Records say:

Good Sad Happy Bad are an experimental indie four-piece who used to be known by the name Micachu and The Shapes. The personnel remains the same, but who plays what has changed. Their name comes from the last album they recorded in their previous incarnation. ‘Shades’ is their first album, and who knows, maybe a future band name.

Preorder it now from Norman Records

Touché Amoré – ‘Lament’

NME say:

“Melodic hardcore from a band on the brink of greatness,” we write in our review of ‘Lament’, adding: “The sensitive LA rockers have drafted in uber-producer Ross Robinson, the man who drew the world’s attention to, erm, Limp Bizkit.”

Norman Records say:

‘Lament’ is the sixth studio album by Los Angeles post-hardcore band Touché Amoré following a period of loss and heartbreak, the band hooked up with At The Drive In / Slipknot producer Ross Robinson. The band’s intensity met with Robinson’s vigour head on to produce a ferocious roar of an album.

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Open Mike Eagle – ‘Anime, Trauma and Divorce’

NME say:

Open Mike Eagle has long been one of the most interesting voices in alternative hip-hop. Now his latest album is a deeply personal record that started as a concept album about anime.

Norman Records say:

Following the critical praise that greeted his last album ‘Brick Body Kids Still Daydream’ three years ago, American hip-hop artist and comedian Michael Eagle delivers his fifth record as Open Mike Eagle. Featuring production work from Black Milk, Gold Panda and Frank Leone, ‘Anime, Trauma And Divorce’ is another playful and highly enjoyable collection from one of underground hip-hop’s most consistently impressive figures.

Buy it now from Norman Records

The Phoenix Foundation – ‘Friend Ship’

NME say:

We previously praised this New Zealand band for their “fabulous meld of power-pop, electronica and US West Coast harmony”. Their latest is their first album in five years, and incorporates some psych elements too.

Norman Records say:

New Zealanders the Phoenix Foundation have waited a full five years since their previous missive Give Up On Your Dreams but they have been busy touring and working on other projects. Friend Ship appears with the band revitalised and continuing to pursue a gently psychedelic form of songcraft that features guest spots from Nadia Reid and Tiny Ruins’ Hollie Fullbrook.

Buy it now from Norman Records

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