1. Cigarettes After Sex Cigarettes After Sex (Partisan) So slow and sensual that the Texan band’s gigs attracted legions of, er, “necking” couples. Heavens, it’s good though, with Greg Gonzalez’s androgynous voice the wonder of the year.
2. Real Estate In Mind (Domino) The New Jersey band’s first since guitarist Matt Mondanile departed was also their finest work to date: wide-eyed and magical pop at its best.
3. Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band Big Machine (Topic) Eliza’s mash-up of traditional folk and pounding rock rhythms takes the breath away. Mrs Dyer The Baby Farmer, about the Victorian mass murderess, was also the year’s creepiest song…
4. Wolf Alice Visions Of A Life (Dirty Hit) If the Londoners’ 2015 debut My Love Is Cool was good this was a delight, Ellie Rowsell leaping from Cure-like whisper to punky scream.
5. Nick Heyward Woodland Echoes (Gladsome Hawk) Fantastic days were here again with Heyward’s most happy-go-lucky work since since Haircut 100, infused with the joy of music-making.
6. Nerina Pallot Stay Lucky (Idaho) Half-French, half-Indian Nerina is a songwriter of extraordinary skill. Juno, Man Didn’t Walk On The Moon and The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter are exquisite melodies Adele would kill for.
7. Lee Ann Womack The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone (ATO) Lee Ann peaks on Hollywood, about a cheating husband, the orchestral backing pure old film noir. Country for people who don’t line-dance.
8. Jaws Of Love Tasha Sits Close To The Piano (K Rizzla) With his dog on the piano pedals, Kelcey Ayer, from LA’s Local Natives, made the year’s most moving album. Wait till the cat gets involved…
9. Alison Krauss Windy City (Capitol) Losing You and River In The Rain are worth the price alone on this collection of covers by one of America’s purest female voices.
10. Chuck Berry Chuck (Decca) Proof that he could still rock as hard, but also a tender family affair with his sons and daughter Ingrid, Berry’s 20th album was a fitting farewel