Five albums you should listen to this winter

Nate McManus Headshot

As the weather outside is frightful, and the school year is winding down, here are five albums that should warm your soul heading into the winter season.

“Wallflower” by Jordan Rakei

Featured on the 2015 album “Caracal” from the producing sibling duo, Disclosure, Jordan Rakei has been making serious strides in solo career since then. “Wallflower,” Rakei’s debut project, is clearly polished as the R&B singer took the time to refine each and every track. A mix of Justin Timberlake and Sam Smith, with a few dashes of swagger, Rakei takes the listener on a smooth and sensual ride track by track, leaving his audience in awe by the album’s ending. Certainly this album will be listed as one of the year’s most underappreciated albums for 2017.

Standout Tracks: “Eye To Eye,” “Lucid,” “Goodbyes” and “Clues Blues”

When To Play: Sitting by a warm fire, sipping hot chocolate with a friend or two

“FEELS” by Snoh Aalegra

Bringing up all the feels, Snoh Aalegra’s second effort, but her first album, since her 2015 EP, “Don’t Explain,” should not be taken for granted. Aalegra’s voice slices through so effortlessly in each track that you’re not even surprised by her talented runs and the impressive control of her powerful voice by the midway point of “FEELS.” Full of ballads, Motown inspired tracks and alternative styles, “FEELS” after your first listen will not be an album you’ll quickly forget.

Standout Tracks: “Fool For You,” “You Got Me, Sometimes (ft. Logic)” and “Nothing Burns Like The Cold (ft. Vince Staples)”

When To Play: During a scenic sleigh ride right before the sun sets

“Sonder Son” by Brent Faiyaz

Traveling with a time machine from the year 1993, Brent Faiyaz is out here to prove pure R&B is not dead. Hot off of his soon to be iconic hook on the #1 Billboard Urban Charts hit “Crew” by GoldLink, “Sonder Son” does not disappoint. The smooth, Boyz II Men type crooning from Faiyaz is extremely refreshing in a world of auto-tune and SoundCloud rappers. Remember the name: Brent Faiyaz.

Standout Tracks: “Gang Over Luv,” “L.A,” “All I Want” and “First World Problemz / Nobody Carez”

When To Play: A cold winter’s night, walking down the city streets as the snow slowly falls

“Beach House” 3 by Ty Dolla $ign

Ty Dolla has had quite the streak on the radio of being featured on hit tracks like 24hrs’ “What You Like” and Jaquees’ “B.E.D. (Part 2),” without having any hits to call his own. With the third installment of “Beach House,” this is bound to change. Ty Dolla $ign finds a great balance of showcasing his unique sound with great production and perfect features to certainly get you out of those winter blues. With tracks like “Love U Better” already tearing up the radio, look out for more hits from “Beach House 3.”

Standout Tracks: “Stare (ft. Pharrell & Wiz Khalifa),” “Famous,” “Droptop In The Rain (ft. Tory Lanez)” and “Dawsin’s Breek (ft. Jeremih)”

When To Play: New Year’s Eve party, welcoming in the new year with friends

“Paradise” by Knox Fortune

Known quite well for his hook off of the classic Chance The Rapper’s party track “All Night,” Knox Fortune is definitely more than just a Chance song. Right off the bat listening to “Paradise,” the vibe and bouncing feel of his angelic voice mixed with the steady drums and full guitar has me moving. The singer and producer out of Chicago had only released one song outside of this project, which makes “Paradise” even more impressive. Knox Fortune should surely be an artist on every college student’s Spotify.

Standout Tracks: “No Dancing,” “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It,” “Lil Thing” and 24 Hours

When To Play: A snowball fight with all of your siblings and friends in the park