Best Chill Out Music
It's never too late to make a fresh start, but if you feel like you could do with some musical support, then may the latest edition of Best Chill Songs featuring Fortunes., Kaivon, Sam Gellaitry, STRØM, Toyko and more surround you with only good vibes this weekend!
What Is Chill Indie Music?
The term chill as a musical descriptor came to prominence in the '90s, as information technology was really getting going in earnest. If 'chill music' is a genre, of any kind, it may be the first postmodern musical genre. Which is to say, it doesn't have a hard-and-fast definition, or even a consensus on its musical characteristics. So let's go ahead and dig into its etymology a bit in search of a definition.
The word 'chill' is the variable that's going to help us solve this equation. Because it's been used to describe legit musical movements, as well, that have some defining aesthetics we can expound upon.
Chill music is a shortened version of 'chill-out music,' which was an honest-to-goodness musical style in the late '80s and '90s. Chill-out music stemmed from the chillout rooms in raves and dance clubs. London's Heaven Nightclub featured the first high-profile chill-out room, where ambient music like Brian Eno would mix with progressive House, Techno, and Trance, from artists like The Orb, Orbital, or The KLF. These chill-out rooms were meant as a respite from the overwhelming stimulation of the big rooms. Which is also where we get our first hint why this music's so vital. And why it seems to be spreading.
If you're planning on taking it easy over the next couple of days after the stress of the working week (you deserve it), then we hope that the following tracks from ZHU, Club Kuru, Autograf, RITUAL, Lucian and lots more help you to reach what we like to call maximum relaxation.
Starting off as a mood, chill vibes started to permeate other genres. Most musical styles have some form of chill variant, especially if they've been around for a while. Downtempo/Trip-Hop is one variant, blending chilled hip-hop beats with noirish, jazzy vocals. Jazz, 'world music', hip-hop, and pop are all serve chilled, at times. Looking at this aspect of indie chill out also starts to illustrate some of its darker aspects.
One aspect of indie chill focuses on the relaxing, mellow, soothing, sometimes hypnotic aspects of a style. The other showcases how nearly any style, sound, or genre can be subverted, polished into sanitized, sterilized safety. This is kind of chill with digeridoos looped over stale house beats, looped ad nauseam. In our more enlightened, culturally-sensitive times, we'd like to think this style would've fallen out of fashion.
Not everybody's super adept at introspection, unfortunately. New Age-sounding beats paired with generic chanting samples are just as prevalent as they've ever been, if not more so.
Seeing as how we've made a case for chill being more of a mood or a feeling that a proper genre, per se, let's delve into some of the most popular variants of chill indie music.
Winter may be far from done with us yet, but fear not as We Are The Guard is here to rescue you with a warm, fuzzy blanket in the form of the latest dose of Top Chill Songs. Simply hunker down with a pair of headphones and some snacks and wait for all of this to blow over with the following tracks from Vancouver Sleep Clinic, SYML, TREGS, Keaton Henson, XYLØ and more.
As March brings with it warmer temperatures, remind yourself of the stuff that really matters in life, like spending time with friends, family and, of course, top music?! Featuring Nicolas Haelg, HOWLING, Chrome Sparks and more, we hope that the following edition of Best Chill Songs helps you to pack in the positive vibes this weekend!
We pride ourselves on finding the Best Chill Songs so that you can spend less time mindlessly scrolling through your SoundCloud and YouTube feeds in search of new music, and more time getting out and enjoying the delightful change in season this weekend to the sounds of FKJ, Deep Chills, Kanye West, Michl, Private Life and plenty of others!
One variant of chill music that is actually a genre in and of itself is 'chillstep.' Beginning in 2009, chillstep is a sub-genre of dubstep, toning down the bassy machismo of American dubstep and fusing aspects of more atmospheric genres, like Future Garage and Liquid Funk.
Of course, anyone who listens to non-American styles of dubstep realize its European counterparts were much lighter and more graceful, more romantic, even seductive. In a way, chillstep is just bringing that aspect to the forefront. This makes chillstep more suitable for your bedroom mixtapes, for the 'chill' part of 'Netflix and Chill,' which is, no doubt, what a lot of the genre is alluding to.
Chillstep is a breath of fresh air for those who love dance music but get burned out on constant low frequencies and blaring volumes. Much like the best love, the best dance music can be slow, subtle, delicate, and nuanced. It just makes it that much more satisfying when the climax comes.
Los Angeles-based singer MONOGEM released her track, Take it Slow, last year, and it was a dreamy delight of a track that served as a perfect anthem for tension-filled late night adventures. Producer Gianmaria Sanna aka DEEP CHILLS has recently worked his magic on the track.
As we wait on the March equinox, we're keeping the positive vibes flowing whatever the weather here at We Are: The Guard with the latest dose of Top Chill Songs. Curated by yours truly, may the following tracks from SoKo, R3hab, Tennyson & Mr. Carmack and lots more help you to beat what's left of your February blues.
Santa Monica-based artist OPUS ORANGE is sending chills down our spines here at The Guard with his beautifully haunting and must-hear new single, Moon River. For this track they’ve teamed up with songstress KOTOMI who provides some seriously intoxicating vocal work that will keep you coming back for repeat listens.