BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 16
With the external world descending into chaos and uncertainty, it can be difficult maintaining a sense of balance in our internal worlds. If you're like me and struggle with panic and anxiety at the best of times, you're probably finding this whole quarantine period harder than most. Luckily for us music fans, however, it's been repeatedly proven listening to songs can combat the negative side effects of stress and anxiety and help to restore peace. As another weekend of lockdown approaches, then, why not indulge in some self-care this Friday with the latest dose of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Songs? Featuring San Holo, Active Child, Alec Benjamin, and more, this playlist has something for everyone.
SAN HOLO – DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE TODAY
I'm not sure what it is about San Holo, but the Dutchman always seems to drop the music the world needs, precisely when it needs it. Case in point: “don't forget to breathe today.” Featured on stay vibrant – an ongoing project San plans to build on during the COVID-19 pandemic – “don't forget to breathe today” is a gently reassuring, meditative instrumental that gives us the space to take a much-needed breath during this time of great uncertainty.
ACTIVE CHILD – IN ANOTHER LIFE
The music of Active Child always sounds like it's raining down from the heavens and his majestic latest single makes for no exception. Featured on his recently released album of the same name, “In Another Life” is a lush, string-swept beauty that hears Patrick Grossi coming to terms with his profound journey into the fatherhood, with Active Child directly addressing his daughter in the song – “Let my voice be your guide/Traveling through infinity” – before succumbing to a cascade of celestial harps.
ALEC BENJAMIN – SIX FEET APART
I've always said Alec Benjamin is as much of a storyteller as he is a songwriter, and the young artist is once again flexing his authorial voice on “Six Feet Apart.” As the title suggests, the ballad is about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures currently in place throughout much of the world, with Alec spinning this into a chest-tuggingly devastating love letter about being apart from your nearest and dearest.
ALAINA CASTILLO – JUST A BOY
Trust issues. We've all got 'em. It's simply rare we talk about them with as much honesty as Alaina Castillo does on the painfully relatable “just a boy.” “When I'm alone and all I got is time/Too much time/And you don't pick up/My head starts to make shit up,” bemoans the Los Angeles chanteuse on the voicenotes EP cut – an acoustic confessional about doubts in a relationship that hears Alaina's raw, soulful vocals doing work.
OVERCOATS – THE FIGHT (REPRISE)
I'm tired. You're tired. We're ALL tired. Just know Overcoats stand in solidarity with each and every one of us during these unprecedented times on “The Fight (Reprise).” The stunningly gorgeous reinvention of “The Fight” is precisely the rallying cry and call to arms we need to continue the battle for a better world post-COVID-19, with the song coming accompanied by a beautiful video starring Overcoats fans holding signs showing what they want to fight for on behalf of humankind once this pandemic is over
WASHED OUT – TOO LATE
The world is slowly careening into chaos, but Washed Out's Ernest Greene is providing us with a tranquil, soothing sanctuary of escape on “Too Late.” The follow-up to 2018's “Face Up” feels like the aural equivalent of diving headfirst into a dappling pool of water framed by a Mediterranean sunset, with the chillwave pioneer's reverb-drenched vocals cleansing us of all of our unshakable troubles and fears. Aaah...
MINDCHATTER – SCARED TO GO HOME
While some see the act of clubbing as a chance to indulge in a bit of sweaty euphoria after a particularly trying week, others see it as an opportunity to escape the intense feeling of loneliness that haunts them during the daylight hours. It's the latter Mind of a Genius newcomer Mindchatter is honing in on with his latest single "Scared to Go Home" – a hazy, bleary-eyed ode to filling the void that's shot through with a deep sense of despair.
ALAYNA – SUGAR
It's no secret we're head over heels in love with alayna's voice here at We Are: The Guard. It's truly one of the most delicately sweet sounds we've ever heard and I'm pleased to say it's back in all of its purity on “Sugar.” The follow-up to “Glowing” finds the New Zealander reflecting on that feeling of getting comfortable and settled into a relationship, with soft drums and flutterings of electric guitar supporting alayna as she coos: “We were lovin' in lowercase/But now we're seein' better days/Baby, I think we made it/We made it.”
CABLE – VISITATION
This is goosebumps-inducing. Having introduced himself to our community last year with his must-hear remix of “Gravedigger” by MXMS, the Nashville producer returns to our ears today with “Visitation.” Clocking in at three and a half minutes, it's a spine-chilling piece of music that'll leave you standing in awe of CABLE's synthwave sound, with bass swelling beneath your feet as analog synths form like gleaming monoliths around you.
MT. WOLF (FEAT. WILSEN) – TAYRONA
We can't get to the beach right now, but Mt. Wolf are very much bringing the beach to us on “Tayrona.” The band's first single in two years is a tranquil tonic that features singer-songwriter Wilsen, whose vocals wash like crystalline, coruscating waves over Mt. Wolf's peaceful surge of strings, with Wilsen revealing the cut was lyrically inspired by “a contemplative coastal story of a relationship that ended as quickly as it began.”
Until next Friday, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Weekly Chart on Spotify for more? x
Photo by engin akyurt 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.