The Graceless Age is extraordinary, a profound and moving meditation – the kind of album that answers questions you didn’t realise you were asking. Musically, it’s hardly unfamiliar – weeping Americana, backed with fuzzes of electric guitar and organ that slide in and out of focus, discomfiting and discombobulating – but expertly done. Lyrically, though, it’s remarkable: brutal, frank and beautiful. Through stories that are partly his own – the centrepiece, Little Coloured Balloons ends with Murry’s overdose (“I took an ambulance ride – they said I should’ve died, right there on 16th and Mission”) – Murry invests the South with a necromantic realism, where decay is the one constant, but he somehow avoids self-pity or lachrymosity. Don’t expect to hear a better album this year.