Top 20 Albums of the Decade – Killian Laher
I’ve attempted to compile the albums of the decade. I suspect there’s little overlap with anyone else’s albums of the decade. Who is right and who is wrong?
20. Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest
I’m putting this one low down as it hasn’t had time to really settle, out a matter of months rather than years. But it would be wrong to omit it for being “too new”.
19. Richmond Fontaine – You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To
A great way for Richmond Fontaine to sign off, a band that never knew how to tread water. This album shows what they do best.
18. Ryley Walker – Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
One of the most exciting live acts of recent years, this is an album where he shook off his influences to create his strongest collection of songs.
17. The Amazing – Ambulance
Lush, immersive music with guitar lines to sink into. Strongly evocative of classic 90s ‘slowcore’.
16. Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises
Speaking of so-called slowcore, Kozelek emerged at the start of the decade with an absolute masterclass in nylon guitar playing. It’s worth overlooking his recent material to appreciate this album.
15. Low – Ones and Sixes
Low don’t make bad albums, this one sticks largely to a classic Low sound but with a glitchy influence which paved the way for 2018’s Double Negative.
14. A Winged Victory for the Sullen – A Winged Victory for the Sullen
A bit like an aural hug, the debut from Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie is a highwater mark in a good decade for instrumental music.
13. Mogwai – Les Revenants OST
Mogwai on even more eerie form than usual on this soundtrack to a French zombie series.
12. Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
Mark Lanegan at his grimly determined best, growling his way through some great songs.
11. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
Possibly their least typical album, dominated by chilly synths and a frantic energy.
10. Low – C’mon
Very much a classic Low album, full of their trademark harmonies and plenty of Alan Sparhawk guitar noise.
9. Mark Lanegan Band – Gargoyle
His finest (to date) SYNTHesis of the dark Lanegan sound with electronics. And Nocturne is on it.
8. The Hedge Schools – At the End of a Winding Day
Some beautifully affecting songs from Pat Barrett and Joe Chester.
7. Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent
Joe Casey spits out stream of consciousness lyrics over dark punk. Which is as good as that sounds.
6. Chequerboard – The Unfolding
John Lambert creates gorgeous soundscapes using guitar and loop pedal, to soaring effect.
5. Caught In The Wake Forever – Against A Simple Wooden Cross
If ever there is an album that is more than the sum of its parts, this is it. Fraser McGowan creates highly evocative soundscapes which he occasionally sings softly over.
4. The Hedge Schools – Magnificent Birds
Barrett and Chester’s writing had matured even more on this beautifully recorded album.
3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away
The beginning of a new, devastating phase for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. One of his most listenable and addictive albums.
2. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
The artist formerly known as Smog on imperious form on seven songs carved out of the finest oak.
1. Nite Fields – Depersonalisation
The mysterious Australian band arrived fully formed with an album of dark guitar jangle and maximum brooding. And disappeared just as quickly.