Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (2000)
This album had such an influence on me. It was one of the first americana albums I bought and it blew my mind. It’s also one of the best break-up albums ever made. Top track, Come Pick Me Up
Patti Smith, Land (2002)
Amazing career retrospective.
Gillian Welch, Hell Among the Yearlings (1998)
I think this feels like Gillian Welch’s coldest, starkest work. I don’t listen to it very often. Top track: Caleb Meyer
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, The Letting Go (2006)
This is one of my favourite Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy albums. The arrangements and harmonies are so beautiful. Top track: Strange Form of Life
Suede, Coming Up (1996)
Nostalgia kick of the week. Top track: Beautiful Ones
Cat Power, Sun (2012)
I don’t love it as much as The Greatest, but I like it a lot. Top track, ‘Ruin‘
Uh Huh Her, Common Reaction (2008)
Shiny electropop and so much fun. Top track: ‘Not a Love Song‘.
Neil Young, Decade (1977)
Incredible retrospective and it’s only the first ten years. Top tracks ‘Expecting to Fly‘ and ‘Winterlong‘, which is probably my favourite Neil Young song.
I’ve been listening to a lot of First Aid Kit recently. I love the new album, Ruins. Stay Gold is amazing too.
Kate Bush, The Sensual World (1989)
Not one of my favourite Kate Bush albums, but it’s grown on me in recent years. Top track: ‘The Sensual World‘
Aimee Mann, Lost in Space (2002)
I absolutely love this album. The songs are sad, but for some reason I find it comforting. Top track: The Moth
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Boatman’s Call (1997)
So much bellyaching about various relationship breakups on this album. Love it though, except for ‘Green Eyes’. Top tracks ‘Lime Tree Arbour‘ and, if I really want some misery, ‘Where do we go now but nowhere?’
Cowboy Junkies, 200 More Miles: Live Performances 1985 – 1994
I first came across the Cowboy Junkies through the track ‘Me and the Devil‘ which was on the soundtrack to teen angst movie Pump Up the Volume (1990). I thought they were so cool and my local library had this on CD, which was a surprise. Later, they turned out to be the first band that I went to see with my girlfriend – mainly because Mary Gauthier was also playing, but hey. Top track: Sweet Jane.
Uh huh Her, Nocturnes (2011)
Fun lesbian electronica. Top track: Another Case
Mark Lanegan, Blues Funeral (2012)
Swampy, dirgy, kind of synthpoppy rock. What a voice.
Black Francis, Sven fngrs (2008) and Frank Black, Frank black (1993)
I had a Frank Black afternoon the other day. Sven Fngrs is dark and punky, while Frank Black is more of a surf rock album.
Johnny Cash, Murder (2000)
I always play this at the beginning of winter.
Nina Nastasia, The Blackened Air (2002)
Chilly beauty for the beginning of November.
Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke (2008)
This is a lot of fun. It energised me while I was cleaning the kitchen.
Massive Attack, Blue Lines (1991)
I hadn’t listened to Blue Lines for a long time. It threw me straight back to my second year at university. We lived in a grotty, damp student house, but we had cool music.
Tom Waits, Blue Valentine (1978)
I tend to think of myself as preferring later Tom when he’s banging on pots and pans with bones, but then I listen to Blue Valentine and think yeah, it’s perfection.
Kristin Hersh, Wyatt at the Coyote Hotel Wyatt at the Coyote Hotel (2016)
Love everything she’s done and I think this is one of her best.