Album: The Dresden Dolls, 2004
Justification: No-one makes me want to write songs more than Amanda Palmer. She’s a much-underrated lyricist, dropping puns and wordplay left and right before blindsiding the listener with a confession straight out of a psychiatrist’s case notes, and every time I listen to either her solo stuff or the Dolls material it sends me straight to my notebook. She’s started to dial the wacky up too high of late, as on her Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under album – see what happens when you get all happy and contented, Little Miss About To Marry Neil Gaiman? – but I will happily hold the likes of ‘Sex Changes’ or ‘Missed Me’ up as being among the most perfect lyrics ever written. And it was this song that first introduced me to the duo: at first I thought it was a novelty song by a pair of theatre grads, but it was the bridge that took my breath away. That and the fact that the album it was on was released through metal label Roadrunner, which confused the hell out of me at the time.
Both she and drummer Brian Viglione are absolutely fantastic interviews, by the way. Smart, funny, articulate – damn them and their cursed talents.
Oh, and technically the album was released in 2003 through the band’s own indie label 8ft; I’m going on the Roadrunner international release, because I’m not cool enough to have been hanging out in the Boston cabaret scene at the time.