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
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posted by dissensous at 10:05:00 AM


Blogger Elsa Nekola said...

Yes indeed, 'A Double Gift of Tongues' is quite a record. So much wonderful reverb I feel as though Normanoak is projecting from inside a cave somewhere deep in the forest. the Shapes and Normanoak are always on or near my record player, and I've made my friends listen to them with positive results. Good to know someone is blogging about these guys- they are really special, so special that gals living in the perpetual snowstorm that is Wisconsin are putting them on mixed tapes any chance we get!

10:37 PM  

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