Morning! This week’s #TopTenSunday takes a thoroughly lugubrious approach. It’s a Top 10 full of beautiful tracks that will resonate with you, and leave you as nothing more than a quivering wreck. As usual, let us know where we’re wrong, and pick up the Spotify playlist at the end. What songs strum your heart strings? Enjoy, and prepare yourself!
10. Bush – Glycerine
Grunge guru Gavin Rossdale laid it all bare with this track from the brilliant Sixteen Stone, turning down the guitars and even introducing a cello. It’s a memoir about something uncontrollably slipping away, and coming to terms with the inevitable.
9. Coldplay – Warning Sign
We now know Coldplay as a hankering band who inebriate themselves on the adulation of the unthinking majority, but they began their career with two LPs of unerring brilliance. This pained expedition was a high- (or low?) light of A Rush of Blood To The Head.
8. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
Many have offered their own version of Leonard Cohen’s crowning jewel, but no one has grasped it better than Jeff Buckley. His interpretation remains, 20 years on, bewilderingly stunning, with his own exclusive prowess audaciously woven around an iconic song.
7. Rival Sons – Jordan
This quartet from Long Beach, California spend most of their time churning out massive, blues-laden riffs. Their trump card, though, is an incredible vocalist by the name of Jay Buchanan, and here he gives an incredible, heartbreaking performance over a gorgeous chord progression.
6. Temple of the Dog – Hunger Strike
Behind (and often amongst) the sludge and the fuzz, the Seattle grunge scene was littered with music that was intense and emotionally bare. Chris Cornell wrote this song, and together with Eddie Vedder supplied an anguished vocal duet that launched the latter’s career.
5. Skunk Anansie – Hedonism
Skin describes her band’s genre as ‘clit-rock’; a conglomerate of heavy metal and black-feminist rage. Skunk Anansie’s music was abrasive, frenzied and often off the wall, but with this track, Skin delivers an ardent vocal that will stimulate many a lacrimal gland.
4. Sharon van Etten – I Love You But I’m Lost
Sharon van Etten is an artist who has that uncanny knack of writing songs that are so beautifully heart-wrenching, you’ll be left cradling your soul in a corner before you have a chance to have a say in the matter. This yearning number from 2014’s Are We There will break your heart.
3. Pearl Jam – Release
Eddie Vedder was always going to have more than one contribution in a list like this. He possesses a voice that is powerful and evocative, with a rare ability to be as uplifting as it is sorrowful. Release is a poignant, desperate longing for the relationship Vedder wished he had had with his father.
2. Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
Alice in Chains closed their first album since Layne Staley’s death with a tribute to him. Jerry Cantrell told of how the band were facing up to the darkness that the tragedy had left, and how moving forward together was the only thing that could shine a light. An extremely moving piece.
1. Sun Kil Moon – I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love
Mark Kozelek’s gift for storytelling has been honed throughout a career spanning over a quarter of a century, and this years LP, Benji, is his most intimate and penetrating work yet. This track is exactly what it says – how the prospect of living without your mother is one that is incomprehensible. It is delivered a devoted vulnerability, and is this weeks superlative.