The Genius Of… Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie

Thematically centered around the pain of maintaining a relationship at long distance. Death Cab’s cinematic fourth album still stands as the high watermark of their songwriting expertise, sewn together with warm acoustics, haunting piano and washes of reverb-drenched guitar chords.

The Genius Of… Parallel Lines by Blondie

With their iconic third album, Blondie mixed up disco, the retro sound of 50s girl groups and their angular new-wave punk ethos to build songs which would elevate the New York outfit to a position of globally acknowledged importance, without sacrificing their characteristic edge.

The Genius Of… In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel

The product of an introverted genius, Neutral Milk Hotel’s second album is a tangled web of distortion and surreal imagery haunted by the ghost of Anne Frank. It was both the band’s defining and final statement.

The Genius Of… Are We There by Sharon Van Etten

The New Jersey songwriter switched to the present tense on an emotionally raw fourth album that showcased the devastating power of her voice and placed her at the centre of New York’s indie-rock community.