There can be something so simple in a powerful song. A message transposed across radio waves (or cellular towers), captured in rhythm, beat and lyric. Today We Are: The Guard has the pleasure of bringing you a look at Overcoats’ “The Fool,” (...)
The duo MXMS step into the light about the painful reality of bullying and social exclusion on "What's My Name?" in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. [Content Warning: References to suicidal ideation and (...)
This era (2019) will be officially known as the time of electro-tinged depression pop. I’m so unequivocally sure of this that we’ve officially trademarked the phrase. Electro-tinged depression pop. You can just trademark something by (...)
Hello, everyone, and thanks for joining me for the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs! While most people are still basking in the afterglow of Norman F*cking Rockwell! (okay, well, most people except Ann Powers), (...)

Starting off as a mood, chill vibes started to permeate other genres. Most musical styles have some form of chill variant, especially if they've been around for a while. Downtempo/Trip-Hop is one variant, blending chilled hip-hop beats with noirish, jazzy vocals. Jazz, 'world music', hip-hop, and pop are all serve chilled, at times. Looking at this aspect of indie chill out also starts to illustrate some of its darker aspects. 

One aspect of indie chill focuses on the relaxing, mellow, soothing, sometimes hypnotic aspects of a style. The other showcases how nearly any style, sound, or genre can be subverted, polished into sanitized, sterilized safety. This is kind of chill with digeridoos looped over stale house beats, looped ad nauseam. In our more enlightened, culturally-sensitive times, we'd like to think this style would've fallen out of fashion. 

Not everybody's super adept at introspection, unfortunately. New Age-sounding beats paired with generic chanting samples are just as prevalent as they've ever been, if not more so. 

Seeing as how we've made a case for chill being more of a mood or a feeling that a proper genre, per se, let's delve into some of the most popular variants of chill indie music.

While there are still technically over two weeks left of summer, it's definitely starting to feel like fall around these parts. And no, I'm not just saying that as the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back in stock! Anyways, as the temperatures begin to (...)
Like a true diva, Summer is closing with a bang and it seems that the indie-pop music genre decided to tear a page from summer’s playbook because it’s flaming. Yes! This week’s Best Pop Playlist is filled with bangers that will temporarily (...)
In a world of production wizards: we’re hearing songs that are bigger, better, wilder, weirder crisper, catchier, and with more sheen and polish than ever before. It’s almost too hard to keep up. Alright, whos making the hottest (...)
Four Tet creates moving, emotional ambient dance music for paintings on "Anna Paintings." His music has always sought the equilibrium between the physical and the cerebral. Kieran Hebden's music is as much for the art gallery as the (...)
Pop singer Leon Else details love's escapist tendencies on "Easy Love." When you hear the phrase "love song," you might imagine a Disney medley, full of soaring strings and cartoon birds. Or maybe a Taylor Swift-style pop banger, full (...)

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