Top Winter Albums
Winter doesn't have to be all darkness, but I like to think of it instead as introspective and a slower times. For the first time in years, I'm really excited for the holidays and what winter has to bring. These are the albums I'll be listening to.
Man on the Moon III: The Chosen- Kid Cudi
I have loved Kid Cud's return to form over the past year with the release of this album. It's the classic Cudi we remember from 2009, but more emotionally intelligent. Facing personal demons is familiar territory for Kid Cudi, but this go around feels more triumphant. He's been an open book about overcoming depression and really seems to be in the best place we've seen him in since becoming famous. Also, a Phoebe Bridgers collab? This album was a fantastic closer to 2020.
Standout Song: Tequila Shots
Circles- Mac Miller
An epilogue for a life taken way too soon. Mac Miller's only posthumous release plays like a continuation of Swimming, but hits different granted the context. The albums lo-fi style plays like sitting in a dark living room with candles lit, looking out into a snow storm. It's melancholy, but it's also really peaceful. Mac's final albums showed his growth as a lyricist and a maturity greater than casual listeners may realize.
Standout Song: Good News
Amo- Bring Me the Horizon
I'm still not over how surprised I was by this album because I'm not typically one for really extremely heavy metal, but Amo saw BMTH take a completely new direction exploring more pop and electronic genres without losing a touch of angst. I don't have a lot of "angry" albums per say, but this is one of them if not THE one. It's just the right amount of heavy to get that extra energy out. Perfect for working out indoors while it's cold.
Standout Song: Medicine
Little Dark Age- MGMT
Little Dark Age is to MGMT what Man on the Moon III was for Kid Cudi: a return to form. After a very artistically risky sophomore album dud of a self-titled third album, a lot of critics and fans debated MGMT's future success, but they came back HUGE with this album, producing their biggest hit (the title track) since any of the three massively popular singles from their debut ("Kids," "Time to Pretend," and "Electric Feel). This was a return to the indie pop roots wee know and love from the band.
Standout Song: Little Dark Age
Awaken My Love!- Childish Gambino
I had mentioned for the previous album artistic risk. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes, it REALLY does. I always liked Childish Gambino, and always knew he was incredibly talented, but this showed us a side that we didn't know existed. Diverging from his normal hip-hop and R&B offerings, we see Gambino dive into funk and psychedelic soul to the likes of Prince. It was polarizing upon its release, but has proved to be aging like fine wine over thee past five years.
Standout Song: Have Some Love
Contra- Vampire Weekend
All of Vampire Weeekend's have a grandiose way about them that feels right for any season, but maybe it's the way the album opens with the lyrics "In December drinking horchata" that feel right at home this time of year. Ezra Koenig's light and poppy voice is great for the highs of winter and maybe airs on the happier side compared to other albums on this list.
Standout Song: Giving up the Gun