1. Fugazi | Life And Limb
Probably the band that have meant the most to me. Consistently fresh, inventive and excellent across all of their records, which is incredibly rare.
2. Elliot Smith | Angeles
If I can just make one person listening to Astronauts feel like I always do when Elliot Smith sings no-one’s going to fool around with us in this song, then my work is done!
3. Mark Hollis | The Gift
Talk Talk frontman, taken from his self-titled solo record from 1998. The word genius is used too frequently in my opinion, but in this case...
4. The Impressions | They Don’t Know
Curtis Mayfield’s band before he went solo, from the year Martin Luther King was shot, and the first album they did where he properly took the role of front man. Soul Music at its rawest. And what about that guitar/bass intro!?!?!?
5. Arch Garrison | I Will Be A Pilgrim
Title track from an album that has blown me away this year. Beautifully fragmented, Folky hymns to the English countryside. Distinctive and brilliant.
6. Robert Wyatt | Gharbzadegi
Oh, that voice. Heartbreaking stuff. And we get so out of touch, words take the place of meaning. Never fails to get me.
7. The God Machine | She Said
I can still remember hearing Scenes From The Second Storey for the first time. It opened my eyes to the fact that Music can be crushingly heavy, but also minimal and introspective. The intensity of the second half of this song still takes me by surprise.
8. Marvin Gaye | God Is Love
I’m not remotely religious, but if ever anything could convert me, it would be this song.
9. Cardiacs | Jibber And Twitch
I’ve only picked this particular song because I’m pretty sure it was the first thing I ever heard by Cardiacs. Insanely original, and completely brilliant. I am permanently fascinated by this band.
10. Nick Drake | Pink Moon
Difficult to pick one song, but this is the title track from his final album proper. I don’t really know what to say about this, other than – listen to it, if you haven’t already. Then go and listen to everything else he did.