1. 'Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer' - of Montreal.
I'd never heard anything by this ludicrous, electro-flirting bunch of non-Canadians until being blown away by their rollicking live set at a festival. It featured spectacular noises held together with captivating displays of showmanship and the most flamboyant range of costume changes this side of pop. I was so impressed I actually bought their CD. Groaning 11 minute epic The Past Is A Grotesque Animal is it's crowning glory - definitively monstrous it exemplifies every brilliant thing about of Montreal and is an apocolyptic ode to a shattering emotional stalemate.
2. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire. What happens when angry gets eloquent. Delicious tension punctuated with devastating flourishes of tonal unpredictability and unshackled emotion, this is rage 2.0. Protest music that doesn't necessitate the wearing of a headscarf sewn together with the tears of refugees.
3. Release The Stars - Rufus Wanwright. The magnificent, grandoise antithesis to banality, Rufus proves bleak human experience and bitter cynicism have a place in show tunes.
4. Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release - Simian Mobile Disco. Relentless disco filth that even sounds great in daylight.
5. Knives Don't Have Your Back - Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton. Beautiful melodies with dark thoughts attached. I like listening to it with a chest-pain's worth of coffee and newspapers on a Sunday morning.
I'd end it at 5 but for the sake of truth-over-satisfying-closure I'll push on to 6 and the foul Grinderman LP. Good god, this is gratuitously unhinged. It's like the murky depths of human psyche laid raw in audio form, the sonic celebration of those things you're not supposed to say and instead leave rotting away at your subconcious. It's got some very wrong ideas in it - this clearly makes it astoundingly appealing and utterly brilliant.
Right, any more on that list and one loses a frame of reference for value judgement and is just naming albums. A bit like one of those godawful 100 Greatest... shows.
You get it though - basically my top listens are for the most part dark, moody fare that tug at threads Westlife keep neatly stiched. If Freud had a record label he'd probably sign them. If that was at all conceptually or historically possible, obviously.