Looking for some new tunes for the month? We’ve got just the thing. Spanning expressive hip-hop, grizzled rock ’n’ roll, and Christmas-themed R&B, these albums feel like a warm hug in the winter. Give them a listen!
Genre: Hip hop
Artist: Lord Cinic
From the mesmerizing flow of opening track About Time to the expertly processed samples of King Pens, this album is oozing with originality. Cinic waxes poetic about world-weary reflection, while the surrounding mix sparkles with clever instrumentals against a backdrop of low-end heavy beats. The highlight comes courtesy of the soulful arrangement of With U. This soothing, Philly soul-adjacent universe counterpoints Cinic’s wistful rhymes superbly. A bountiful listen!
Prepare to embark on a stunning aural journey. Themed around the idea of navigating different timelines, this science fiction-flavored album reaches serious cinematic highs (You Can’t Save Everybody’s World, Disconnect). Massive synths and epic strings are masterfully balanced with gently evocative atmospheres. Led by Andcelang’s haunting vocals (Sky is a key example), this album will take you to a whole other world.
Artist: Tyler Rich
Tyler Rich serves up a confectionary-filled selection box of your Christmas favorites, reimagined. This mix-up features classics from the Christmas canon with some strong new originals. Tyler Rich demonstrates both his vocal prowess and a shrewd skill for re-working timeless tunes. Indulge in the slick, Prince-esque wah-guitars of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, or vibe to an R&B take on Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song. Our favorite cut goes to the stripped-back, piano-oriented version of Ella Fitzgerald’s What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? Tyler’s sumptuous jazz croon takes center stage in a duet with the elegantly-voiced Fiona Hendry. It’s a real treat.
Artist: Dames Rocket
To round it up, Dames Rocket is taking us back to a rock club circa 1975. Journey through a range of classic rock genres as Dames Rocket demonstrates a versatile grasp of their field. The Iron Maiden-recalling pile-driver Anyway sits comfortably alongside the ominous, off-kilter rhythms of Invaders, which harkens back to early Pink Floyd. Showboating guitar solos and immense drum fills take the lead, while Kenny’s lead vox is suitably hefty and gnarled. The standout here is A Bit of Overindulgence, which is something of a freewheeling musical tour-de-force. Rock on.
Did our winter favorites hit you with an aha moment? Ride that wave of inspiration and get working on a stunner. Your BandLab album might feature in our next curation!
About the author: Andy Price is the former editor of MusicTech magazine and website. He has subsequently written on music making and listening for NME, MusicRadar, Uncut, Guitar.com, and Computer Music amongst others.