HO, HO, HO! It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, really – what's not to love about the empty bank balances, family arguments, and packed shopping malls?! If it's any comfort, this is all going to be over and done with in less than three weeks, but meanwhile, We Are: The Guard is here to help you survive what's left of the holiday season with the latest edition of Best Chill Music! Ahead of another weekend of buying gifts, then, why not take a moment to escape the Christmas confusion this Friday with the following songs from SHY Martin, The 1975, Blood Orange, and plenty of others?!



Depression is an ugly, ugly thing, and yet it's responsible for some endlessly beautiful music, like “six speed,” the latest single from ROLE MODEL's Tucker Pillsbury. “The six speeds on my bike are like having six different moods that just shift back and forth whenever they please,” says the 21-year-old of the inspiration behind the three-and-a-half-minute ballad, which hears ROLE MODEL's diaristic writings coming set against a backdrop of teardrop piano keys and gently ticking percussion.



Following on from “Gravedigger,” a song that rose from the ground like a couple of colliding tectonic plates, We Are: The Guard's very own MXMS return with “After Night.” Written in the wake of David Bowie's death in 2016, the track hears Ariel Levitan and Jeremy Dawson trading in the club bangers for a more incorporeal sound, with pianos dancing on the edge of the afterlife while Levitan invokes the late, great Dolores O'Riordan with her spectral vocables.



RYD is singing to us through the “fog of heartbreak” on his latest single. Listen as the British producer sounds almost disembodied on “Don't,” with his breathy vocals levitating several inches over intangible shards of synths that pierce right into the chest. “'Don't' is a blunt way of saying 'Please don't contact me anymore,'” explains RYD. “It's about that time after a relationship has ended when the one who had broken you tries to come back.”



Coinciding with the release of her debut EP Overthinking, SHY Martin has shared the ethereal bonus song “Spaceship.” The three-minute piano ballad hears the Swedish artist – who's previously written hit singles for the likes of Bebe Rexha and Astrid S – comparing a distant lover to an astronaut in space, with SHY Martin's voice forming sparklingly intimate constellations across the otherworldly night sky.



The 1975 should record an acoustic rendition of every song that they've ever written. Okay, so, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but the British outfit have officially stolen my heart with this devastating unplugged version of I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it cut “Paris,” which hears them stripping back their widescreen pop to something more black and white.



British producer Nuages transmits from the depths of the night on “Still.” With its blend of crashing drums and ghostly, eerily distant synths and vocal samples, this five-minute instrumental is best listened to in the small hours when you're lying in bed and staring up at the ceiling, with Nuages emerging from the dark void of nothingness in order to soothe your racing thoughts with his haunting ambient beats.



Introducing GITAA, the Latvia-via-Los Angeles singer who's making her debut on We Are: The Guard and the blogosphere as a whole with the visceral “Pain.” GITAA tells Complex that “Pain” is a track about taking responsibility for our words and the impact that they have on others, with the songwriter channeling her message through an emotionally raw and wrought electronic soundscape that overflows with cathartic energy.



It's getting to that time of the year when music blogs all over the Internet are starting to publish their Best of 2018 lists, and I thoroughly expect to see Negro Swan, the latest album from Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, topping many of these. On that note, let's revisit one of the highlights from the LP, “Dagenham Dream,” a lucid ode to Dev's childhood that recently came accompanied by an official video starring the skateboarder Caleb Barnett.



There's not a whole lot that I can tell you about MÖZAIQ, but it really doesn't matter, as the Australian duo are letting the music do all of the talking on “Fat Cadillac.” Clocking in at just under five minutes, “Fat Cadillac” is a certified groove that positively drips with sweat and attitude, with the soulful rasp of frontman Matt Young coming backed by gritty guitar noodles and rhythmic drums that are sure to put a swagger in your step.



Dive into the sounds of Bathe, the self-described “surf R&B” duo who're delivering soothing vibes with a social conscience on their debut single. Frank Ocean-esque vocals lap and float against reverberating guitars on “Sure Shot,” which, beneath its calming waves, actually tells an important story about toxic masculinity through the eyes of a black man. “It was inspired by the lives of our respective father figures,” reveal Bathe. Listen.


Until next Friday, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Daily! on Spotify for more music?! x

Photo by Ander Burdain 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.