Former Czars frontman John Grant brings the drama on the embittered follow-up to his widely acclaimed 2010 solo debut, Queen Of Denmark.
Last summer, the bearish 44-year-old revealed during a performance at London's Meltdown Festival that he is HIV-positive, one of many subjects he tackles - homophobia, breakups, addiction and aging, among others - with his signature unflinching honesty.
Recorded in Iceland with Biggi Veira of electro-pop group GusGus (and featuring Sinéad O'Connor on backing vocals), Pale Green Ghosts is undeniably angry but tempered by the considered introspection that comes with age. The production has a pristine, streamlined quality, with Grant's vocals high in the mix, so the album's blend of orchestral and squelchy electronic arrangements mirrors the clarity and grace with which he delivers his crude, self-lacerating ballads.
Top track: Glacier