DAMON ALBARN, EVERYDAY ROBOTS (2013)
Chosen by: Tom Doyle, Q writer
Amid the reflective and confessional tones of Albarn’s debut solo album, Hostiles stood out for its elegant sadness and quiet desperation. Like much of the record, there was something of the hazy watercolour moods of Robert Wyatt about its semi-detached vocal and unhurried melody, while its arcane lyric worked on two levels. On the surface a song about playing computer games, gunning down nameless “hostiles”, it was also, its writer admitted, trying to capture the doleful hours of a hangover, with the hostiles of the title being the intoxicants the singer had imbibed and was now battling. All in all, it was a thing of enormous beauty.