Destroyer - City of Daughters
Dan Bejar is one of the most accomplished songwriters of the 2000s; there is no debating this. And if you happened to hear City of Daughters upon its release in 1998, you would have been one of the chosen few who could have predicted this trajectory. While the album doesn’t contain the sonic splendor found on future efforts, it was the first time Bejar expanded beyond accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, which allowed his songwriting vision to become more fully formed. “No Cease Fires! (Crimes Against the State of Our Love, Baby)” is arguably the first classic Destroyer song, with the kind of musical and lyrical twists and turns that put it in the same class as any of Bejar’s best. Meanwhile, “I Want This Cyclops” is one of the first Destroyer songs that begs for a line-by-line breakdown to fully appreciate the higher plane of lyricism that Bejar works on. Listening to City of Daughters twenty years after the fact is a rare treat, a chance to hear one of our era’s greats when he’s slightly unguarded and coming into his voice. For many, it would be a career highlight. For Destroyer, it was a pivotal launching point.