BEST CHILL MUSIC: THE TOP 10 SONGS FOR THE WEEKEND
Photo by Jack McKain
Happy Easter, everyone! Whatever it is you have planned over the next couple of days, I hope you find a moment to relax and unwind with your friends and family, not to mention eat lots of ham and chocolate. Just don't have them at the same time, of course! Before all of that, however, why not enjoy the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Music? Check out the following chill vibes from FKJ & Santana, Gracie Abrams, Fiji Blue, and plenty of others!
FKJ & SANTANA – GREENER
Ahead of the release of his sophomore album, V I N C E N T, FKJ's Vincent Fenton has unveiled "Greener" featuring the legendary Santana. Speaking in a press release, FKJ reveals "Greener" is all about our obsession with curating the perfect life online. "The theme is something I often think about – our tendency to compare our life with others and envy it, even though we have everything we need," he says of the cut, which hears his voice lapping like a turquoise ocean against Santana's characteristic riffage.
GRACIE ABRAMS – BLOCK ME OUT
She recently debuted it live while supporting Olivia Rodrigo on the SOUR Tour, and today, Gracie Abrams is finally unveiling the official studio recording of "Block me out." Written alongside Aaron Dessner at Taylor Swift's Long Pond Studios, "Block me out" is a dazzlingly intimate dive into Gracie's battles with her mental health. "Feelin' lost in every crowd/I feel 10 feet off the ground/I wish that I could block me out," cracks Gracie in the chorus – her voice as delicate as a petal in the palm of a hand.
FIJI BLUE – FEEL SOMETHING
They recently won over the BTS Army after Jungkook cosigned "It Takes Two," and this Friday, Fiji Blue's Trevor Dering and Valentin Fritz are setting their sights on even greater success with "Feel Something." "'Feel Something' is our way of expressing the emotions one goes through in the midst of questioning love," says Fiji Blue of the cut. With rhythmic strums serving as a backdrop to Trevor's soothingly longing melancholy, "Feel Something" is an essential addition to Sad Summer Mixtapes everywhere.
OMAR APOLLO – PETRIFIED
Just a few weeks on from unveiling the Pharrell Williams-produced "Tamagotchi," Omar Apollo is back and breaking hearts with "Petrified." Featured on his recent debut album, Ivory, "Petrified" hears Omar exploring a more folk-tinged territory. A song about the terrifying consequences of falling in love with a person who doesn't love you in return, "Petrified" has a gritty world-weariness about it that peaks come the howling chorus: "Thinking of you more each day/I'm thinking 'bout all the words you say to me."
TREVOR HALL & MARIEME – 2 OCEANS
This is deeply radiant. Trevor Hall teams up with Senegalese-American singer-songwriter Marieme for "2 Oceans." Written over Zoom, "2 Oceans" is a dappling folk lullaby that feels as hopeful as a summer sky. "It's always about love, '2 Oceans' is about getting there, finding balance in this crazy world where if you focus on the things you can't control, you'll drown," explains Marieme of the cut, which comes paired with a video that follows the emotional journey of former heroin addict Jeewa Fernando.
TRACE – DIVIDED
Coinciding with the announcement of her forthcoming EP, Cry, Baby, TRACE is making her swooningly romantic return today with "Divided." The follow-up to "For Goodness Sake," "Divided" is a song that cloaks the skin like the most luxurious of silk sheets, with TRACE's breathy vocals sounding more lovelorn with every exhale. TRACE: "Divided' is about feeling split, about chasing unworthy people, about momentary lust. It's about dodging a bullet – even though you wanted to kiss that dumb bullet one time."
SKYLAR STECKER (FEAT. TONE STITH) – WHAT'S GOOD
We Are: The Guard favorite Skylar Stecker is once again proving she can really do it all on her sizzling latest single, "What's Good." A collaboration with Tone Stith, "What's Good" hears Skylar continuing to make like an R&B great with her powerhouse singing, dancing, and acting skills. "Baby, what's good/Tell me what's good/You know I need that good/Show me what's good," croons Skylar on the desire-drenched, Latin-flavored ballad, which comes paired with a video that sees Skylar turn late-night waitress.
LUTALO – LITTLE CHANCE
Having recently shared the stage with Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker, Lutalo Jones is continuing to prove himself as a folk storyteller of the highest order on "Little Chance." The latest single to be unveiled from his forthcoming debut EP, Once Now, Then Again, "Little Chance" is a gently melancholy lull about a relationship slipping between his fingers like grains of sand. "Say that you love her again," softly repeats Lutalo in the chorus – his voice tinged with a quiet, intense despair. FFO: Bakar, Mac DeMarco.
44 ARDENT – 95OVERFLOW
Earlier this year, 44 Ardent debuted on We Are: The Guard with "pieces," and today, the Mammal Sounds signee returns with "95overflow." According to 44 Ardent, "95overflow" started life as a vocal-and-piano cut before becoming more beat-driven. "The biggest challenge for this song to work was getting the two concurrent basslines in the chorus to work together without clashing too much," adds 44 Ardent, with the Australian artist striking that perfect balance between complex production choices and chill vibes.
A BEACON SCHOOL – DOT
A Beacon School's Patrick J. Smith finds himself caught between hope and hopelessness on the stunningly gorgeous "Dot." His first single in three years is a dream-pop odyssey that takes listeners on an emotional voyage through his innermost thoughts. "The song oscillates between these moments of unfiltered wonder and inspiration, and the immediate skepticism that follows them," says Patrick, with his Elliott Smith-esque voice coming submerged beneath dense layers of guitar. Lush stuff.
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Jess Grant is a frustrated writer hailing from London, England. When she isn't tasked with disentangling her thoughts from her brain and putting them on paper, Jess can generally be found listening to The Beatles, or cooking vegetarian food.