Something like 15 members have made up Destroyer’s band over 25 years, but one man binds it all together: Dan Bejar. He sings like he’s theatrically (and drunkenly) reciting a Victorian poem. Sometimes he’s backed by a fierce electric guitar, sometimes a lush saxophone, sometimes a neon-tinged piano. These 30 songs convey a myriad of inspirations and styles but always has a sophisticated jubilee that is found so rarely outside of this discography. No matter how wordy the songs get, there’s a melody around the corner to sing along with.

Each song listed will have a notable lyric underneath it and a playlist of all songs is at the bottom. Thanks for reading!

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30. “Beggars Might Ride” (2001, Streethawk: A Seduction)

“Girl, what could have been ’til you gave up the violin for a slight but distasteful penchant for men”

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29. “Song for America” (2011, Kaputt)

“I wrote a song for America / They told me it was clever”

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28. “It Just Doesn’t Happen” (2020, Have We Met)

“I find the silence unbearable / What does that say about the silence?”

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27. “Looters’ Follies” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“Why can’t you see that a life in art and a life of mimicry — It’s the same thing!?”

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26. “Notorious Lightning” (2004, Your Blues)

“I lay myself down to observe your gilded jeans hit the ground and have not grown from this worship”

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25. “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood” (2017, Ken)

“Off in the corner doing poet’s work / That’s alright for now”

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24. “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker” (2011, Kaputt)

“Four more years / Four more years / Four hundred more years of this shit, fuck it”

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23. “Watercolours into the Ocean” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“Dragging the lagoon was a disaster / They found him alive and relatively well”


22. “Blue Flower/Blue Flame” (2008, Trouble in Dreams)

“A gray ashen sadness rises like the sun, oh well / It was time I decided to try this hotel”

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21. “Destroyer’s the Temple” (2000, Thief)

“There’s joy in being barred from the temple”

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20. “Downtown” (2011, Kaputt)

“He doesn’t see why Mary Jane from down the lane went insane / Ah, she’s still better off than I am downtown”

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19. “Hey, Snow White” (2002, This Night)

“When the company goes public, you’ve got to learn to love what own”

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18. “Crimson Tide” (2020, Have We Met)

“A child coos sweet nothings to a box of fuzz / He’s not a child, he’s 25”

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17. “The Very Modern Dance” (2001, Streethawk: A Seduction)

“Plucked by the transcendental brats to the trance world / But desertscapes on the face of a girl were not the answer”


16. “Foam Hands” (2008, Trouble in Dreams)

“True love regrets to inform you there are certain things you must do to perceive his face in the stains of the wall”

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15. “Rubies” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“Now come on honey, let’s go outside / You disrupt the world’s disorder just by the virtue of your grace, you know”

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14. “It’s Gonna Take an Airplane” (2004, Your Blues)

“Dressed like a dream dreamt by Lola magazine / Baby you were born to be seen”

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13. “Times Square” (2015, Poison Season)

“The writing on the wall wasn’t writing at all / Just forces of natures in love with a radio station”

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12. “Cue Synthesizer” (2020, Have We Met)

“Been to America, been to Europe — it’s the same shit”

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11. “Blue Eyes” (2011, Kaputt)

“You’re a permanent figure of jacked-up sorrow / I want you to love me / You send me a coffin of roses”

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10. “The Bad Arts” (2001, Streethawk: A Seduction)

“The world woke up one day to proclaim ‘Thou shall not take part in, or make, bad art'”

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9. “Dream Lover” (2015, Poison Season)

“I think I used to be more fun / Ah shit, here comes the sun”

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8. “Your Blood” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“Distinguished colleagues, dead music writers’ brides, I apologize”

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7. “Savage Night at the Opera” (2011, Kaputt)

“You’ll never guess where I’ve been / A life abandoned midstream / Quatrain etched on a turnstile / Just set the loop and then go wild”

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6. “European Oils” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“When I’m at war, I insist on slaughter and getting it on with the hangman’s daughter / She needs release, she needs to feel at peace with her father, the fucking maniac”


5. “Bay of Pigs” (2009, single & Kaputt)

“You traveled light (all night, every night) to arrive at the conclusion of the world’s inutterable secret / And your shut your mouth”

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4. “The Sublimation Hour” (2001, Streethawk: A Seduction)

“Hey, isn’t that what rock ‘n’ roll’s all about, Princess? Express your bloated self, willful and indignant, in the face of somebody’s lord”

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3. “Kaputt” (2011, Kaputt)

“Sound, Smash Hits, Melody Maker, NME / All sound like a dream to me”

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2. “Painter in Your Pocket” (2006, Destroyer’s Rubies)

“Where did you get that line? Where did you get that look? Where did you get that penchant for destruction in the way you talk?”

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1. “Chinatown” (2011, Kaputt)

“You can’t believe the way the wind’s talking to the sea / I heard that someone said it before — I don’t care”