Now here me out, it’s number 10 for a reason! I know The smiths were cancelled and I know Morrissey is a problematic boomer human, but this album is a diamond in the rough. Always overlooked by ‘The Queen is Dead’ it’s actually much more melancholy, if that was possible and much more subtle. Perfect for playing in the background of tasks, or after a long day ‘Reel Around the Fountain’ sets the scene and you immediately feel comfortable with Marr’s tones. And don’t get me wrong it does contain classic bops like ‘This Charming Man’ and ‘Hand in Glove’ Even if you’re anti Morrissey, I would still advise listening to this the whole way through, once in your life. Happy sad hour.
9. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Swedish powerhouse women with blood harmonies, where’s your excuse? Okay this had to go on my list as it is probably one of the most memorable albums of my teenagehood, but when I talk to people about it, I’m surprised to believe that most people haven’t heard it apart from the overplayed single that launched their career ‘Emmylou’. Now that song is a true bop, but what about the B Side ‘This Old Routine’ A reflective narrative about an elderly couple and why they stay together each day. The self titled ‘Lion’s Roar’ classic eery folk harmonies. FAK are an absolute force, soaked up by their 70’s country-folk influences, they feel familiar, yet new at the same time. Go and lay in the sunlight to this album right now.
8. Elkie Brooks – Pearls
This album graced my collection because of my mum and the fact she wouldn’t stop telling me to listen to it. Eventually I caved and it’s now here in my top 10. Definitely an artist who is overlooked a lot, Elkie’s vocals are crazy and that famous husk keeps you wanting more songs once it’s finished. My favourite obviously is the classic ‘Pearls a Singer’ call me a mainstream Elkie fan I don’t care, it’s a perfect song. Listen to this whilst making your morning coffee, she’ll make your day better.
7. Banks – The Alter
The ultimate dark-elctro-dream-breakup album, bare with me. Banks is the queen of dark pop. Starting with bedroom recordings to this LA produced life experience of an album. I might be biased because I have used this album to get me through many a heartbreak, but it literally goes through all the stages of grief. We’ve got shock, denial, anger with my favourite song on the album ‘Poltergiest’ and finally the B side road to acceptance. It’s perfect, dance to it alone in your room, cry to it, lose your mind to it, it’s the perfect time for it.
6. Will’o The Wisp – Leon Russell
A new one for me. Even though the dark country king of music has been around for 3 decades and only passed away a few years ago, he just wasn’t on my radar. However after reading Elton John’s new autobiography, there’s whole chapters dedicated to this man, so I thought I should see what all the love is about. This album quickly became my favourite, even though it’s not the most popular. Can we just take a look at that beautiful artwork, the colours, that whole aesthetic. Also the album itself is so deep and emotional and a real take on commentary lyrics. ‘Back to the Island’ is a favourite of mine, probably because of the added choir in the background. Listen to this outside, on your one government regulated walk a day, soak it up, enjoy.
5. Pure Heroine – Lorde
Another bias from my teenage memories but I do think that this genius album was overshadowed by it’s all too catchy single ‘Royals’. The rest of the album follows mature ideas about teenage hierarchy and classism. Also these songs are pure bops, a completely new sound, so innovative and if you’ve never given it the time of day. Listen to this in full and reminisce on teenage innocence. Spin around in circles all day.
4. Honky Chateau – Elton John
My main man. I had to put him in the list somewhere and even though this album is pretty famously distinctive I think the B Side is sometimes overlooked. My favourite Elton song of all time resides in this album ‘Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters’ another perfect song oh my. I wouldn’t normally advise further research on albums but the making of this is a hoot, listen to it whilst on Wikipedia wow wow wow.
3. Salt – Angie McMahon
By far one of my most favourite albums of 2019. So powerful, so femme, so much soft grunge. This Australian dog lover is blowing up, listen to her before that happens for hipster reasons or just because she’s so good and her lyrics speak so much mellenial truth, ew I can’t believe I just said the phrase ‘mellenial truth’ but whatever. Listen to this in the bath.
2. Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissete
Released in 1995, a month after yours truly came into the world. I still managed to get it listened to quite early on in my life, I must have been around 7 or 8 when I discovered ‘You Ought to Know’ and would scream the notes in my mums car. This is a perfect album, even if it does contain ‘Ironic’ just let it happen, it’s fine. Definitely worth re-visiting during this time, scream out the words in your car whilst driving to the shops for toilet roll. It’s angry, emotional and truly captures a decade whilst still feeling modern, genius.
1. Buckingham Nicks – Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks
The ultimate hidden album. This beast of an album doesn’t exist on any streaming platforms. Until I was lovingly gifted this on vinyl last year, I had to listen to all the tracks on YouTube, uploaded by a rebel Mac nerd. Now I can play it and dance to it any time of day and it is so, so worth it. It’s sexy and complex and really shows you the seeds of Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham might be an absolute arse but his guitar sound was always there from the get-go. The only thing I dislike about this album is how repressed Stevie is in vocals, many of the songs she wrote he sings solo because you know, arse. But don’t worry she re-recorded the songs years later and made more money eg ‘Crystal’. Make this your quarantine album, first thing in the morning or last thing you hear at night, it fits every mood. You’ll be walking down the street singing the songs in order, you’ll be brushing your teeth and randomly want to play tambourine and spin around. It will stay with you forever, trust me.