Pet Shop Boys, Pearl Jam and other big 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.

Pet Shop Boys – ‘Hotspot’

NME say:

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‘Hotspot’ is the 14th album from actual Godlike Geniuses Pet Shop Boys, and shows they still have that uncanny knack for mastering a pop hook. The record sees generations of pop mavericks combine, too: with Years & Years’ Olly Alexander featuring on a track.

Norman Records say:

Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Hotspot’ includes the single ‘Dreamland’ which features Years & Years – a band that probably wouldn’t exist at all if it wasn’t for the Godfathers of chart friendly synth pop. Judging by the single, the duo are still capable of knocking out a decent tune too.

Pearl Jam – ‘Gigaton’

NME say:

The 11th album from Pearl Jam is their first in seven years, as guitarist Mike McCready explains: “Making this record was a long journey. It was emotionally dark and confusing at times, but also an exciting and experimental road map to musical redemption. Collaborating with my bandmates on Gigaton ultimately gave me greater love, awareness and knowledge of the need for human connection in these times.” We’ll have to wait to see if this sense of triumph and overcoming is reflected on the record, which arrives in March.

Norman Records say:

Legendary Seattle-based rockers Pearl Jam emerge from hibernation for their first studio album in seven years. Their 11th effort overall, Gigaton promises to be a politically and ecologically aware experience, indicated by Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen’s image of a Norwegian ice cap melting to the extent that it’s created a waterfall. And fear not, PJ fans, there’s another of the band’s iconic world tours on the way as well!

Deap Lips – ‘Deap Lips’

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NME say:

The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne loves both a collaboration and a good pun (lest we forget ‘Lip$ha’, the proposed collab album between Kesha and Coyne’s band that we almost nearly got). This new LP sees Coyne and bandmate Steven Drozd team up with LA’s scuzzy rock duo Deap Vally as ‘Deap Lips’, and the resulting tracks are as brilliant as they are bizarre.

Norman Records say:

Deap Lips is a collaboration between Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips and Deap Vally, the L.A. rock duo made up of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards. Judging by the two tracks that have been released so far this eponymous LP has a sound that meets somewhere between not what you would imagine and exactly what you would imagine.

Neneh Cherry – ‘Raw Like Sushi’

NME say:

Neneh Cherry’s debut is still as vital three decades on, blending hip-hop with dance influences and Madonna-like pop sensibilities. With this 30th anniversary reissue, you can revisit the record in all its glory.

Norman Records say:

‘Raw Like Sushi’, the debut album by Neneh Cherry, was originally released 30 years ago. Here we have a deluxe expanded reissue. It included the massive hits ‘Buffalo Stanc’e and ‘Manchild’. Contributors to the album included 3D and Mushroom from Massive Attack and, looking very relaxed, on vibes, Nellee Hooper.

‘Black Lips – Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’

NME say:

In our review of Black Lips’ LP, we note how “the Atlanta stalwarts settle into a country groove,” adding: “despite the sense of chaos, there’s a level of sophistication and poise on show throughout. This record showcases Black Lips in a songwriting prime.”

Norman Records say:

Fire Records presents the ninth studio album from Atlantan garage rockers Black Lips, now veterans of the scene despite their notoriously riotous on-stage antics, vomiting and all. Barbed and vicious, ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ shows the band haven’t necessarily matured with age, but merely become more aware of the world around them.

Electronic – ‘Electronic’

NME say:

The Smiths’ Johnny Marr teaming up with New Order’s Bernard Sumner – what more could you ask for? In our original review of Electronic’s debut, we wrote: “This is a pretty 1990s sort of a record, fresh as a daisy and wearing huge new oxblood Doc Martens”.

Norman Records say:

What do two celebrated Manchester musicians do if they suddenly find themselves not doing what they always did? Well, Bernard Sumner took a little time out from New Order and Johnny Marr left The Smiths and joined forces to form Electronic. In 1991 they released their debut album, which also featured the Pet Shop Boys, most notably on the hit ‘Getting Away With it’. Reissued on 180g vinyl with a black cover.

Wolf Parade – ‘Thin Mind’

NME say:

15 years into their career and Wolf Parade don’t seem very optimistic about the future – channelling all that apocalyptic fear about modernity into their new record. “‘Thin Mind refers to the way that being around too much tech has made our focus thin,” explains keyboardist Spencer Krug, while guitarist Dan Boeckner adds: “It’s opening one more page, scrolling one more thing, and the weird, sort-of hollow automaton feeling that you get from it.”

Norman Records say:

Having released the caustic ‘Cry Cry Cry’ shortly after their reformation three years ago, Canadian post-punk revivalists Wolf Parade have wasted no time on their next project. Due for release in January, ‘Thin Mind’ was produced by the celebrated indie aesthete John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Death Cab) and contains a loose narrative framed with post-apocalyptic themes.

Wire – ‘Mind Hive’

NME say:

The 17th album from post-punks legends Wire, this record comes ahead of a new documentary about the band who are now over four decades deep into their career. ‘Mind Hive’ still sees Wire as fiercely creative as ever.

Norman Records say:

‘Mind Hive’ follows on from their critically acclaimed 2017 album, ‘Silver / Lead’. That album left fans and critics believing the band had found the form of their late ‘70s heyday. ‘Mind Hive’ may well have improved on that – and there’s the enticing prospect of one song, ‘Be Like Them’, featuring lyrics written in 1977 which were recently rediscovered.

The Chats – ‘High Risk Behaviour’

NME say:

When we last spoke to Australia’s self-described “pub-punk shed-rock band” The Chats, they told us how famous fan Dave Grohl told them “not to fuck it up”. Despite their upcoming debut being called ‘High Risk Behaviour’, there’s low risk of that – you know you’re going to be in store for some tongue-in-cheek humour and boozy-punk japes.

Norman Records say:

To describe something as ‘chat’ in Australia would be a way to express how terrible something is. It is where Australian punks The Chats get their name. However, judging by their celebrity fans (Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Josh Homme) and viral success, they are far from terrible. ‘High Risk Behaviour’ is a potential pub-punk classic.

En Attendant Ana – ‘Juillet’

NME say:

En Attendant Ana singer Margaux Bouchaudon calls the French band’s new album “a journey towards acceptation of losses (would they be friends, lovers or dreams through death, departure or disillusion…) but also towards self respect and independence.” In terms of the sound, expect some prime jangly, noir-pop.

Norman Records say:

‘Julliet’ is the second album by French band En Attendant Ana. It is the follow-up to their 2018 debut, ‘Lost & Found’. Whilst their debut gave us a pretty good impression of their sophisticated indie-pop, this shows us how good they really are. If you remember your GCSE french, you’ll realise that ‘Julliet’ is French for ‘July’, which is, I’m told, when spring becomes summer. The band used this title as they feel that the album is also a transition into the new for them.

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