2. Lykke Li, “No Rest For the Wicked”
On an album comprised solely of devastating, downbeat, minimalist exercises in misery, Lykke Li’s “No Rest For the Wicked” is the initial focal point, the one track that ropes the listener in the quickest. Built around a simple, plaintive six-note piano melody, Lykke Li and her longtime collaborator Bjorn Yttling create a lush sound from as few instruments as possible, utilizing thudding, Phil Spector-style tom beats, tambourine, and bass as the foundation for a track that wisely puts her vocals front and center. “I had his heart but I broke it every time,” she sings, that gutwrenching piano melody echoing through listeners’ heads long after.