Sad, Sad Song
Label: Merge Records
In the '00s, Matt Ward graduated from indie rock's rank and file to become his own old-timey, roots-inflected singer-songwriter institution -- the hipster Neil Young (sort of). Among his many great albums, Transfigurations is the best, a tribute to his deceased friend that's mournful and joyous and devastated and ecstatic all at once. Ward's John Fahey-inspired acoustic work abounds, as do loads of lovely lyrics too florid to only partially quote (just listen to the dang songs). Plus, there's the impossibly languid Bowie song "Let's Dance," arguably the decade's best cover.