THE BEST CHILL MUSIC YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK
I thought I was growing tired of the quarantine life, but, honestly? With the country opening up again, I'm starting to think I preferred it when everything was shut LOL. When we first went into lockdown, it felt weird having an empty social calendar. As the weeks and months have gone on, however, I've learned to embrace this me-time. Now the idea of going back to how things were seems strange to me. I guess what I'm saying is, as the world begins to return to normal, don't be surprised if I turn down most party invites going forward *wink*. Check out today's dose of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Music, featuring 6LACK, gnash, Ryan Woods, and more.
6LACK – FLOAT
6LACK is a master of those after-dark vibes. “Float,” the latest single to be unveiled from the Atlanta rapper's new EP 6pc Hot, hears the artist also known as Ricardo Valdez Valentine, Jr. continuing to venture down into his late-night underworld, with ticking beats backing 6LACK as he gets into his feelings: “Singin' my pains while I'm listenin' to T-Pain.”
GNASH – OUTSIDE/INSIDE
gnash's music has long been a tonic for an anxious mind, but even more so during these crazily unprecedented times. “It's scary to go outside/It's scary to take a drive/It's scary alone at night/It's scary inside my mind,” sings the Los Angeles act on his latest single – a tender, earnest acoustic ballad about the search for sanity in an increasingly insane world.
RYAN WOODS – BAD TEXTER
“Bad Texter,” the latest single from Los Angeles bedroom-pop upstart Ryan Woods, is the sound of summer romance. Built around a scintillating carousel of synthy sounds, “Bad Texter” is an ode to young love and the importance of communication, with Ryan's longing vocals pulling us deeper and deeper into his coruscating head-dream.
RYAN HEMSWORTH & EDEN – COLD FEET
We Are: The Guard regulars Ryan Hemsworth and EDEN team up for the uncompromisingly chill “Cold Feet.” Coming to us via MCMXCV, it's a glacial exploration of love and loss, with EDEN's fragmented, emotional vignettes (“We were tangled in the back seat/Melting through the taxi”) echoing through Ryan's cavernous beatscape.
LAUV – DISHES
Every Lauv song is a pop-music revelation, and his latest single makes for no exception. Featured on his recent EP Without You, which was written and recorded entirely in quarantine, “Dishes” is a devastatingly lovely ode to a lost lover and the memories they've left behind, with Lauv's pure, crystalline voice landing like the sweetest blow to the chest.
LIANNE LA HAVAS – CAN'T FIGHT
British soulster Lianne La Havas examines the complications of love on the sanguine “Can't Fight.” The follow-up to “Paper Thin” hears the 30-year-old refusing to give up on a relationship, despite its challenges, with knotty indie guitars and jazzy percussion courtesy of none other than Mura Masa intertwining with Lianne's golden powerhouse croon.
TASH – GRASS IS GREENER
Some people are just effortless. Case in point: Tash. At only 17 years old, the Los Angeles songstress sounds more cool and self-assured than most adults double her age on “Grass Is Greener.” A little Billie Eilish, a little Tate McRae, a little something else altogether, “Grass Is Greener” is a calypso-trap dream that comes served with a side-order of attitude.
DIJON – SWEET THING (RUFUS COVER)
Dijon follows up the release of his critically acclaimed EP How Do You Feel About Getting Married? with a cover of Rufus' “Sweet Thing.” It hears the Los Angeles act doubling down on his beautifully mutant breed of folk-tinged R&B, with scatterings of vinyl scratches and vocal samples acting as a warped backdrop to Dijon's gorgeously soft coo.
SWAE LEE – REALITY CHECK
Despite what the song title suggests, Swae Lee's latest single isn't a “Reality Check.” In fact, the Rae Sremmurd rapper is attempting to get as far from real life as possible on the spectral, scintillating slice of cloud-rap, which hears Swae setting the controls for the heart of the sun: “Ridin' the cars, spread the wings/I gotta go in the atmosphere.”
FAODAIL – WREN
Scottish producer Faodail invites us to spread our wings and take to the skies on “Wren.” With lush, bracing beats and textures rising and falling like peaks and valleys, “Wren” genuinely feels like the audio equivalent of a bird's flight path, with Faodail reminding us of the beauty we can find in the world, if we just give ourselves a little distance.
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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.