Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Hello, readers, and welcome to the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Music. If you came looking for an escape from the Donald Trump-Kanye West nightmare that we're currently living through, then you're in the right place. It's here that we like to keep all politics at the door, and instead immerse ourselves in some good ol' musical therapy to soothe our weary souls. Headphones at the ready, then, as it's time to press “pause” on reality and “play” on the following vibes from Quincy Mumford, RY X, Ryan Hemsworth, Jacob Banks, Tsar B, and five other favorites.



Meet Quincy Mumford, the Asbury Park native who's bringing some serious soul to his debut single and ode to women everywhere “Thank You.” With its sultry guitar lines and minimalistic hip hop beats, this delectably funky groove, which was produced by We Are: The Guard favorite Jenaux, is nothing short of an essential addition to your next romantic candlelit dinner playlist.



If you've ever wondered what it feels like to have your heart broken by Dua Lipa, then wonder no more, as Paul Klein is wearing it on his sleeve for all to see on “Malibu Nights.” The devastating piano ballad was inspired by the LANY frontman's well-documented split from the “New Rules” star, with the lyrics giving us some insight into just how lost Paul felt after the pair went their separate ways: “I drive, chasing Malibu nights/Nothing seems to heal my mind/I can't forget.”



Oh, RY X, how I've missed you <3. The Australian artist's music is like a pair of healing hands, curing me of all of my ills. “Untold,” the first single to be unveiled from his forthcoming album Unfurl, is a meditative composition that hears RY X exploring the space between the beats like never before, with the Howling frontman's voice touching every crevice with its soothing presence.



You know those songs that are best listened to while taking a ride through a city late at night?! Yeah, this is one of those songs. Ryan Hemsworth teams up with New Orleans upstart Ambré for this laid-back electronic cruiser from his recent album Elsewhere, with Ambré's attitude-packed vocals hitting like a cool 3 a.m. breeze over Ryan's deeply groovy production.



Baltimore rapper Lor Choc continues her meteoric rise with the ethereal, otherworldly “Speechless (Hurt so Bad).” Listen as the 20-year-old showcases a more vulnerable side to her sound on the track, with the hip hop newcomer singing about a heartbreak that's still too raw and painful to revisit over a vibey-as-hell production courtesy of Mitch Mula.



Jacob Banks just keeps getting better and better. No, really, the London powerhouse knocks it out of the park every damn time. As the title suggests, “Slow Up” showcases a slower side to the 27-year-old, although his voice still sounds as commanding as ever, with the impactful arrangement allowing us to focus on Jacob's affecting lyrics about living in the moment: “Don't grow up on me/Keep that backstroke in your Afro/Don't you grow up on me/Slow up homie.”



I'm not sure if there's anyone out there who's making music quite as enchanting as Tsar B. The Belgian singer-songwriter only has to open up her mouth and I'm instantly transported to a dark hookah lounge where the air is thick with the sweet smell of shisha smoke. Case in point: “Velvet Green,” a captivating track that hears Tsar B's Middle Eastern electronics coming framed in a more choral-inspired arrangement.



She's worked as a model, an actress, and a jewelry designer, but it sounds as though India's KAVYA has finally found her true artistic calling in the form of music listening to her debut single “Underscore.” Pairing KAVYA's blissful vocal chops with bleepy, bloopy synths and ambient beats courtesy of producer Rohan Rajadhyaksha, “Underscore” is a real downtempo delight that's sure to appeal to fans of the Majestic Casual label.



Ahead of the release of their self-titled debut album in November, Iceland's aYia have shared another single. Clocking in at just under five minutes, “Slow” is a song that's as brooding and ominous as a storm cloud, with the whole thing coming marked by an atmosphere of eerie quiet that feels like it could reach breaking point at any given moment.



Having previously lent her vocals to the likes of The Kite String Tangle and Golden Vessel, Tiana Khasi is making her solo artist debut with “Nuketown.” Blending shuffling percussion, warm, jazzy keys, and, of course, Tiana's pillowy soft voice, “Nuketown” is a multilayered, genre-blending dream of a listen that I plan on getting lost in for the rest of the weekend.


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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


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.