Daniel Caesar–Freudian (2017)

Last year one of my favorite albums that was independently released was Daniel Caesar's Freudian. The Canadian R&B/Soul artist received a Grammy nomination for "Best R&B Album" in 2017 for his quiet-storm, gospel-inspired first full length LP. Freudian is a record filled with love songs, psychological reckonings, existential crises, and emotional epiphanies. 

Little Dragon–Little Dragon (2007)

In 2007, just over a decade ago, the Swedish electronic band Little Dragon released their eponymous debut album on Village Again Records. What makes Little Dragon's initial release so outstanding is its great tracks with songs like "Twice," "Constant Surprises," "Recommendation," and "Turn Left." It's the kind of album I would want to listen to on a rainy day or meditating in a blissful-zen state.

Tigran Hamasyan–An Ancient Observer (2017)

The Armenian jazz virtuoso pianist, Tigran Hamasyan is a powerhouse musical force to be reckoned with. In 2017, the 31-year-old composer released probably his most accessible and gorgeous album to date, An Ancient Observer. He manages to capitivate his listeners with his sheer raw talent and intricate melodies inspired by world-folk music and Eastern European traditional tunes. He also beatboxes and hums falsetto harmonies while shredding away on both a synthesizer and a grand piano.

Zero 7-Simple Things (2001)

Back in 2001 British DJs and sound engineers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker created their first studio album called Simple Things under the moniker Zero 7. What makes Simple Things such a stellar album is its fantastic collection of downtempo, trip-hop songs that hypnotically lull you into a blissful zen-like state once hearing the album in full. 

9th Review: Ben Williams-Coming of Age

Ben Williams's second full length album, "Coming of Age," was released in 2015 to pretty remarkable reviews from various jazz critics. Williams infuses elements of R&B/neo-soul, fusion, post-bop, funk, and hip-hop into his innovative compositions. The 31-year old Washington D.C. upright bass player, Ben Williams, sheds a new prominent voice in the rising jazz scene

8th Review: Erykah Badu-Baduizm

On February 11, 1997, 21 years ago Erykah Badu fcreated an album that became the essential go to neo soul album of the 1990s. This album was called "Baduizm," and was very highly acclaimed when it was initially released, earning Ms. Badu a 3X platinum certification. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Badu can be compared to [...]