7. Silver Jews American Water

(Drag City, 1998)

Often viewed by some as a Pavement side-project (the band actually started up roughly the same time as their critically acclaimed cousins) Silver Jews turned out a fine blend of lo-fi, indie and country rock over the course of six albums.

And though Stephen Malkmus’ input was often significant, the Jews were David Berman’s band.

On American Water, both Malkmus and Berman are on top form. Berman’s lyrics are as poetic and witty as ever (in particular on the brilliant opener ‘Random Rules’), while the two trade vocals and guitar on the sublime ‘Smith and Jones Forever’, ‘Honk if your Lonely (Tonight)’ and ‘Federal Dust’ .

A laid-back, fun record that’s perfect for a road trip with friends, American Water deserves to be labelled as a modern classic.

Try also: Silver Jews Starlite Walker (Drag City, 1994).