1. Kim Deal | Likkle More
I love Kim's new solo releases. Likkle More is a heartbreaking lullaby reminiscent of Mercedes Sosa at times. To me, it represents Kim Deal at her strongest musically, but perhaps at her most vulnerable personally.
2. Connie Converse | Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)
Lyrically, this song is humorous as well as poignant - a feat that is extremely hard to pull off. Connie's voice has a sense of mild detachment which fascinates me. She's was also an amazing guitarist. Apparently, Connie packed her car with her bags and drove off never to be seen again. I find this to be a brutal, raw and haunting part of Connie's legacy.
3. Ry Cooder | Paris, Texas (Paris, Texas Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Ry Cooder created the perfect soundtrack to a perfect film. Lead track, Paris, Texas is a Minimalist masterpiece. It demonstrates the intense level of Emotion that can be achieved with such little Music and so much atmosphere. Genius.
4. The Knife | N.Y. Hotel
It would be blasphemous of me to not pay my respects to one of the greatest bands of all-time who, rather unfortunately, have called it a day. It's impossible to fully grasp what The Knife have achieved artistically, visually and musically, as it will take us years to digest. This song proves they are true masters of beautiful Art no matter what style of Music they choose to create.
5. Sylvia Plath | Tulips (Sylvia Plath: The Spoken Word)
OK, so this isn't technically a song, however Sylvia Plath: The Spoken Word BBC recordings is one of my most cherished CDs. I like this recording of Tulips because it was recorded live and you can hear some mic noise and people coughing and shifting in their chairs. It reminds me that Sylvia was a real, living person. Sometimes it's hard to separate the myth from the Reality.
6. Willis Earl Beal | In Your Hands
My favourite contemporary musician. No one else comes close in terms of Originality, vocal talent and genre-crossing styles. I love his new album, Experiments In Time. This song makes me feel like he's singing in an abandoned church with Fever Ray accompanying him on synths. I want this song played at my funeral.
7. Lizzy Mercier Descloux | Fire (The Midi Première Performance)
Time for some French Disco that Stereolab would be proud of. I recently saw the footage of Lizzy performing this on a TV show with Serge Gainsbourg as guest. She comes up on stage, dances like a woman possessed and doesn't give a damn. I mean, how else can anyone follow Serge on stage?!
8. Mania D | Track 4
I love Mania D. This track sounds like it was recorded in a cramped, tin-roofed squat in Berlin. Perhaps it was. Track 4 is abrasive but hugely listenable. The girls went on to form Malaria! and continued to infuse Industrial, Post-Punk and Electronics seamlessly.
9. Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi | Hari Tum Haro
I grew up listening to M.S. Subbulakshmi as she's one of my father's most favourite singers. She's a Carnatic vocalist with an impressive tone and richness to her voice. Most of her songs are devotional and religious. It takes you to another planet listening to this...
10. SuReal | You Take My Breath Away (Lange Mix)
I'm a '90s child and can't escape the lure of revisting Music from this era. There were lots of great '90s Dance hits, but this, to me, is one of the best. It's danceable, melodic and has definitive emotional female vocals. Now, where's the party at?