10. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
Stream: ‘Carissa’ (6:55)
The fact Mark Kozelek’s “dispute” with The War on Drugs has overshadowed Benji in press coverage speaks volumes for how fucking stupid it was, but at least it proved Mark doesn’t hold anything back. When he spends an album fearing, thinking about and reflecting on death you know he means it; when he says sorry to the kid he punched in high school you know he means it; when he explains how terrified he is of losing his mother you damn well know he means it.
And that’s what makes Benji so special. In his long-winded, meandering way, Mark has exposed himself to the world without a thought of how the world might react. The album doesn’t lose impact over time because there is nothing to be cynical about: nothing to see through. This is it, and it is sad, but with one line at the end of ‘Michellene’ Mark manages to remind us not to worry, because there is always each other. — Jonny
9. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Stream: ‘Rattlesnake’ (3:36)
Perhaps the most frequent justification for a record being self-titled is that it signifies a definitive statement; a culmination of all that’s great…