Winter Music Rotation 

by Gavin Schauble

Over Winter Break, I decided to branch out in music more than I had been over the last few months. I used to make it a goal to listen to a new album everyday, but over the past year I have been slacking off. With extra time on my hands though, it has been much easier to listen to artists and albums that I have never heard before. In this article I will talk about artists and songs in my new rotation. 

Brent Faiyaz

I used to talk about how much I hated Brent Faiyaz; this was not necessarily because I thought his music was bad, I just felt people overrated him for no reason. I listened to a few songs off of his album WASTELAND when it released and only really came back to two songs, “ROLE MODEL,” and “JACKIE BROWN.” When break started I decided to sit down and give the album another try – and I was not disappointed. Every single song on the album is great. After this I listened to his mixtape F*ck The World, which I enjoyed even more. Brent is also part of a group called Sonder with producers Atu and Dpat. They have released a decent amount of music over the years that matches the quality of Brent’s solo releases. In the span of just a few weeks, Brent went from an artist I strongly disliked to one I am a big fan of. 

If you want to get into his music, I would recommend these songs: “Let Me Know,” “Bluffin,” “JACKIE BROWN”, “Moment of Your Life,” “Paper Soldier,” and “Too Fast.” 

Zach Bryan

Even though I grew up listening to country music, it isn’t something I go out of my way to listen to. Recently, however, I was in the car when I turned on the radio and heard “Something In The Orange” playing. Immediately I was a fan of the songwriting and overall sound. I listened to a lot of Zach Bryan’s music that same day and was surprised by how good it was. I find a lot of new country music to be repetitive, and his discography is a breath of fresh air. His songwriting is amazing, and his music has much more variety than any new country artist I have heard. 

Although I have yet to sit through any of his albums in their entirety, I have listened to over twenty songs. My favorites are: “Something In The Orange - Z&E’s Version”, “Burn, Burn, Burn”, “Oklahoma Smokeshow”, and “Sun To Me.” 

Boldly James 

Boldly James is an underground rapper from Detroit who is signed to the Griselda record label. The sound he specializes in is a mix of drumless, gangsta, and conscious rap. Boldy was one of my favorite artists in 2022 because of his two collaboration albums with producer The Alchemist that were released the year prior. For the majority of 2023 though, I did not listen to him nearly as much. I recently got back into his music after I heard his album The Price of Tea In China – it was a well-timed reminder of what I was missing out on. I went back through Boldy’s discography, listening to eight of his albums in the last week and a half, and enjoyed all of them. His laid-back vocals and flow, strong, witty songwriting, and the unique instrumentals make him an extremely consistent artist. The best word I can think of to describe Boldy’s style is ‘smooth’. He always finds the pocket on a beat without having to change his style from song to song. One aspect that makes Boldly unique is that almost all of his projects are made with a single producer; this gives all of his albums a unique sound. 

The projects I enjoyed the most were: Fair Exchange, No Robbery, The Price of Tea In China (Deluxe), and Super Tecmo Bo. 


A jerk rap song with a beat that could be described as goofy, but is extremely fun. 

A mix of RNB and West Coast rap that has a laid-back vibe and great rapping and singing from both artists.

An extremely catchy J-Pop song with almost no words in English, but it still makes for a great listen. 

An RNB song with some of the catchiest, most beautiful vocals I have ever heard. 

A complete change of pace from his usual rage rap sound, this song has an ethereal sound 

and one of the best instrumentals of any song released this year.  

A similar sound to Boldy James, the beat has an amazing vocal sample that loops throughout, complimenting Marciano’s rapping perfectly. 

A melancholic song by UK indie singer Bakar, whose vocals carry a great amount of emotion throughout the entire track. The song is enhanced by its simplistic guitar instrumental.