Does he do his own stuff?
Never understood the love for MO (seen them many times, heard all the records), and his Bad Books songs (especially on the first record) are such a letdown compared to KD's tunes.
What specifically is so good about Andy Hull / recommend me his best songs?
I don't know, I couldn't get into them for a long time and then one day at work I had my iPod on shuffle and Colly Strings came on and blew me so completely away and I've been devout ever since. Lyrically speaking, he's probably my favourite songwriter that's ever lived, although objectively speaking I know there are better.
He's not on tour solo at the moment, but his solo material is under the moniker Right Away, Great Captain!, which is by far my favourite material that he's ever done. Under it, he released a trilogy of three concept albums that detail the story of a sailor that finds out his wife is having an affair with his brother the evening before he leaves on a three year long voyage out at sea, on which he subsequently loses his mind and becomes bent on revenge. It's much quieter and lyrically driven than MO's stuff.
I do have to agree with you though, Bad Books always seemed like a brilliant idea to me that just never panned out as well as it should have. I prefer both artists solo work over both titles any day, even if II was an improvement.
Manchester Orchestra: Colly Strings, The River, Wolves At Night, Now That You're Home, The Procession, Where Have You Been?, One Hundred Dollars, Pride, Virgin, Deer, Ladida, The Girl With Broken Wings, Marked Unknown
RAGC!- Love Come Save Me, Right Ahead Young Sailor, Gasoline Family, Down To Your Soul, What A Pity, Cutting Off The Blood To Ten, I Was A Cage, Blame, Fur Stop Caring, We Were Made Out Of Lightning.
Kindof lengthy lists but those songs cover the full scope of what Andy and the whole band are capable of, I think.