Gina Tron is the features editor for Ladygunn, a NY and LA based bad-ass magazine that focuses on music, fashion, art, and culture.
1. Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour (1969)
How can you not enjoy the beautiful sounds of Stevie Wonder, one of the most prolific Soul & R&B artists of all time? And on none better than his 11th album which kicks off with one of the best songs ever written about unrequited love, “My Cherie Amour.” A great bonus on this album is Stevie’s take on The Doors hit “Light My Fire.”
2. Lou Doillon – Places (2012)
Not only is this French singer a model, an accomplished actress, and a major muse behind Givenchy, but she is a hell of a singer. The underlying themes in this album seem to be desperation and regret. The topics are interwoven with sounds that are as haunting as they are beautiful. Her voice is lovely; we would put it on par with the vocal chords of Amy Winehouse. Her voice is also reminiscent of legends like Billie Holiday. "ICU" is a favorite, a tune that speaks of a relationship now dead and gone, and its residual effects.
3. Die Antwoord – $0$ (2010)
We can’t get enough of this straight from space, ZEF to death, wild duo. Their tunes are ahead of the time and dance-inducing. Yo-landi and Ninja kill it with their animated and versatile rapping abilities. They do it the best on this work of art, which we feel is their best album. The sounds are not as produced and clean as on their 2012 album, Ten$ion, which is also awesome but not as much. "Wat Kyk Jy" and "Fish Paste" are raw, catchy, and bitingly funny. "Evil Boy" is a classic as is "Enter The Ninja"’s sweet and scathing sounds. And Ninja’s "She Makes Me A Killer" is a " beautifully" twisted ballad.
4. Mono – Formica Blues (1997)
Mono was one of the singers from the trip hop movement. She reigned alongside Esthero, Portishead, and The Sneaker Pimps in the mid-nineties. Formica Blues is a compilation of some pretty neat ambient techno, but the best tracks are the most most moody ones. Tragic and sensual, these are the songs that take you to another dimension. Which makes sense as the first track, "Life In Mono" was used in the soundtrack to the 1998 film version of Great Expectations. "Slimcea Girl" is another epically heartbreaking track.
5. Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record (2013)
This album is just what it sounds like, a personal record. It’s the audio equivalent to reading someone’s diary, and a beautiful one at that. This is Eleanor Friedberger’s first solo album. She previously sang pop music with her brother in indie favorite The Fiery Furnaces. But now her voice has matured, and the mood of her tracks transition from defeated to triumphant.