The latest from hip hop artist Denver Hall is an evolution of his skillful combining of whip-tight music and lyrical bite. The four-song collection, Winter, builds on the strengths of Hall’s earlier releases, Made by Friends and Cranial Confessions, with impressive results. Opening cut “Blue,” featuring guest vocalist Tenny Rudolph, is a slow burn that dips mildly into the blues, albeit blues gliding along in a syrupy three-quarter waltz, boasting an impressive breakdown in the bridge. Hall steps it up on “Ringer.” Over a bed of warm funk grooves, the raps glide just ahead of the beat, Hall laying out a laundry list of hassles, spitting out the refrain, “You might find out I don’t fight too fair/My pride already been through the wringer.”

The opening of “Rip” features a bed of reverb-soaked Lonnie Liston Smith-style keyboards, upright bass, and bells that evoke Pharoah Sanders’ 1971 cut, “Astral Travelling.” Including production and instrumental contributions by Josh Cobb, B. Young, and Hunter Hileman, Hall’s latest benefits greatly from its psych-leaning sonics and his casual-style rhymes and delivery. The end result makes Winter a chill affair and worthy contribution to contemporary Duval hip hop.