BEST CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 17
Hello, one and all, and thanks for joining me and the team for the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Music. If you're new to this column, it's here where we meet every Friday to wash away the stresses and strains of the working week with the most soothing soundwaves to land on the blogosphere over the last seven days. Gather around, then, as it's time to relax and unwind into the weekend (finally!) with the following chill tunes from Four Tet, Cuco, Jacob Banks, EDEN, Tycho, and lots more.
FOUR TET – TEENAGE BIRDSONG
Fresh from his performances at Coachella over the last two weekends, Four Tet returns this Friday with the utterly radiant “Teenage Birdsong.” The song hears Kieran Hebden weaving an array of blissful flute and synth melodies around a pulsating dancefloor beat, resulting in a truly shimmering composition that makes for an essential addition to your spring playlists.
CUCO – HYDROCODONE
Sometimes a song is so nice, we have no choice but to feature it twice. Case in point: Cuco's “Hydrocodone.” Just three weeks on from unveiling the hallucinatory lullaby, the Hawthorne heartthrob returns this Friday with the appropriately fantastical official video, which sees Cuco leading what appears to be his own funeral procession through Mexico City. Tune in and drop out.
JACOB BANKS – EVERY AGE (JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ COVER)
It's incredible to think that an artist can have such an emotional impact on a person in the space of just two minutes and 10 seconds, but then again, that's Jacob Banks for you. The London crooner has the kind of voice that stops you in your tracks no matter where you are or what you're doing, as evidenced by this stunningly powerful reinvention of José González's “Every Age.”
THE CAREFUL ONES – BOYS CAN CRY TOO (FOR MY BROTHER)
Unfortunately, we live in a society where men are raised to believe that showing emotion somehow equates to weakness, but The Careful Ones are subverting this toxic way of thinking on their latest single. “Oh, I won't break/Even when I get like that/I know it's just a scrape/Gotta keep my shit intact,” begins “boys can cry too (for my brother),” a devastatingly beautiful folk ballad that most definitely brought a tear to my eye.
EDEN – 909
EDEN takes a moment to look back on his whirlwind year on his latest single “909.” The cathartic hymn finds the Dubliner reflecting on how much he's changed as a person since releasing his debut album vertigo in January 2018, with the song making use of EDEN's emotional energy in order to build to its soaring crescendo. “I don't think it occurred to me at the time but '909' feels like the close on a really strange era of my life,” he writes. Listen.
TYCHO – EASY
It's been three years, but Tycho is finally back this Friday with “Easy.” The first single to be unveiled from Scott Hansen's forthcoming as-yet-untitled fifth album is nothing short of an audible oasis, with a driving bassline acting as a backdrop against which Tycho is able to unfurl his lush, airy tranquillity. “'Easy' is about coming to terms with my past and defining a clear vision moving forward,” writes Scott. “'Easy' is the bridge to the future.”
IMPASTA – CORRUPT
Not sure if chill, or creepy?! Either way, I can't stop listening to this latest single from Impasta – the Chicago experimental beatmaker who was formerly known as both Finn and C5 – with the 24-year-old juxtaposing lush, organic-style sounds – such as bells and wind chimes – with a more droning bassline for an instrumental that'll send shivers right down to the tail of your spine.
YAS – EMPTY CROWN
Classically trained violinist YAS makes her debut on We Are: The Guard this Friday with “empty crown.” The song finds YAS bringing together orchestral and electronic sounds to deeply grandiose effect, with the combination of strings and dance beats coming topped off by an incredibly majestic vocal performance that hears the bitbird signee singing in the chorus: “My body's missing pieces/Can't pull it all together.”
MEN I TRUST – NUMB
Montreal's Men I Trust continue to tease the release of Oncle Jazz by sharing “Numb.” The follow-up to “Say, Can You Hear” is a neo-psychedelic groover that finds Emmanuelle “Emma” Proulx (sarcastically?!) offering up her apologies to a former lover who she wronged, with her viscous vocals melting like caramel over Connan Mockasin-esque chorus guitars and low-key funky basslines.
JEREMY ZUCKER (FEAT. CHELSEA CUTLER) – YOU WERE GOOD TO ME
It's a fact of life (and love!) that some relationships just don't work out. Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler are reminding us that we don't always have to feel animosity toward our exes, however, on their latest collaborative single. “Still, no matter where I go/At the end of every road/You were good to me,” sing the duo on the gut-wrenchingly beautiful “you were good to me,” which might be the most congenial breakup ballad that I've ever heard.
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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.