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.
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.
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.