Essentially the one man side project of Chris Barth from the Impossible Shapes; a rougher, less electric but no less eclectic version of the Shapes' folk inflected punk. Whereas the Shapes often sound like Pan fronting a post-punk forest collective, Normanoak is Pan's drunken afterparty. Barth's songs feel like the bare bones workings of a creative mind that can't quit itself. The songs aren't as complete as anything that the full band has put out but the charm in them seems to be that you've caught him with his guard down; a snapshot of 4 a.m. insomniac demos that beg to be listened to and reasoned with. Occasionally though, as will happen with just that type of recording, moments of brilliant songcraft sneak out of nowhere and become lodged in your head. Normanoak's latest LP is out on Secretly Canadian.
[MP3] Normanoak -Your Love
[MP3] Normanoak -Mercury