Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon Leads the Return of the Retro-Rock Chick

A holy trinity of old-school frontwomen are back this month with albums that remind you why you crushed on them in the first place.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images; Luz Gallardo/Courtesy of Press Here Publicity; Matt Beard/Courtesy of MAD Ink PR.

A holy trinity of old-school frontwomen are back this month with albums that remind you why you crushed on them in the first place.

1. Kim Gordon of Body/Head, Coming Apart, out September 10

The girl: That cool-ass, bass-playing chick in Sonic Youth (R.I.P.), recently divorced from ex-frontman Thurston Moore.

Reason to love her then: Her growling haute-grunge style was kind of sexy—and scary.

Reason to love her now: She's single and, at 60, the well-preserved lead singer of a noise-rock duo that channels early Sonic Youth.

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2. Terri Nunn of Berlin, Animal, out September 17

The girl: Breathy balladeer behind 1986's Top Gun love theme—"Take My Breath Away."

Reason to love her then: In the span of a single year, 1982, she released the banned-by-radio single "Sex (I'm A…)" with Berlin and made an appearance on Trapper John, M.D.

Reason to love her now: The 52-year-old still rocks platinum locks and smoky eyeliner, but now her band's power ballads sound cool instead of schmaltzy.

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3. Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, Seasons of Your Day, out September 24

The girl: Dark-tressed nineties dream-pop icon who's put out two little-heard albums since 2000.

Reason to love her then: Her swoon-inducing vocals on 1993's "Fade Into You" soundtracked many a college make-out session.

Reason to love her now: You've sampled Mazzy Star's imitators (think Beach House), but their first album in 17 years proves that no one does ethereal like Sandoval can.

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