THE 10 BEST CHILL SONGS TO WELCOME SUMMER
Photo by Flume
As summer approaches and the social invites start to roll in, my G-Cal is beginning to fill up really kind of quickly. While I'd usually be excited for the upcoming string of parties and get-togethers, I'm actually feeling pretty nervous. The reentry anxiety is real, okay? On that note, if you're looking for a bit of quiet me-time ahead of the chaoticness of summer, then I'm pleased to say you're in the right place. Just pull on some headphones and check out the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Indie Songs, featuring Flume, Jaguar Sun, SEB, and seven other favorites.
FLUME (FEAT. DAMON ALBARN) – PALACES
They recently performed it together at Coachella, and today, Flume and Blur's Damon Albarn are sharing the official studio version of "Palaces." Lifted from Flume's forthcoming third album of the same name – a 13-song collection that also features duets with MAY-A, Kučka, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, and more – "Palaces" is a paradisiacal club banger that sounds like a butterfly softly unfolding from a chrysalis. With added production from Clams Casino, "Palaces" is pure revelatory tranquility.
JAGUAR SUN – WITH YOU
Earlier this year, Jaguar Sun's Chris Minielly made his debut on We Are: The Guard with "One Day" – a song that found him "leaning into the mix of happiness and sadness that comes from looking back on our younger days." Fast forward a few weeks, and the Toronto act is getting reflective again this Friday on the sedative "With You." Featuring Jaguar Sun's vocals washing like an ocean over a backdrop of dreamy shoegaze, "With You" is an ode to recollection that feels infused with the nostalgia of summers past.
SEB – SAVE ME
A couple of months on from sharing the glistening "f**k it, i'm the man," Los Angeles upstart SEB is back today with "SAVE ME." His second song of the year finds SEB delving deep into his penchant for self-destruction, with radiant acoustics and organic beats bristling like a midsummer breeze around him as he sings about searching for a savior from his despair. "You're calling out for help but who you're calling out to, is still enabling you to go down that same path," adds SEB in a press release. Vibe on.
BELAU (FEAT. AKACIA) – DREAMSTATE
Having made a name for themselves internationally with their sophomore album, 2020's Colourwave, Budapest's Belau is continuing to go in search of transcendence through music on "Dreamstate." A duet with Akacia, "Dreamstate" is the kind of soothing electronic reverie that opens the mind and deepens the senses, allowing us to establish a connection with the spiritual world. "The song tells the story of a life beyond our own limits," says Belau. "A shift from stagnation to progress, a way out of our own dread."
THE WEEKND – OUT OF TIME (KAYTRANADA REMIX)
He recently enlisted Squid Game's HoYeon Jung and Jim Carrey for the video for "Out of Time," and this Friday, The Weeknd is returning with a remix of the Dawn FM song courtesy of Haitian-Canadian DJ, producer, and all-round vibe conjurer KAYTRANADA. While the original takes the shape of a bejeweled disco slow-burner, KAYTRANADA has succeeded in transforming "Out of Time" into a shuffling electronic cut fit for the club, with Abel Tesfaye's voice refracting like streetlights over the deep sub-bass.
KATZÙ OSO (FEAT. HONEYWHIP) – THINKING TOO MUCH
Dim the lights, as Montebello's Katzù Oso is setting the mood on his sumptuous latest single, "Thinking Too Much." A duet with Honeywhip, "Thinking Too Much" is a velvety smooth piece of bedroom-soul that hears Katzù Oso's Paul Hernandez and Honeywhip trading sweet nothings over lavish grooves. "We were going for a very D'Angelo, R&B-type vibe, and since the demo versions I knew Honeywhip needed to be on this one," reveals Paul of the cut – a masterclass in the art of pleasure.
BEACHPEOPLE – TONIGHT
Just in time for summer, BEACHPEOPLE is getting us in the mood for driving into the sunset with the dappling "tonight." Written during the heat of lockdown, "tonight" is all about a voyage with no exact destination, only a deep sense of self-discovery. "I'll be gone for a little while/Just to get back into the groove/If you wonder, what I do right now/Well, most probably/I'll be thinking/About you," sings Malte Huck in the opening verse – a lagoon of guitars lapping up against his Americana-indebted lilt.
DULL REALITY – FRAGMENT
It's said where words fail, music speaks, and Dull Reality is most definitely proving this to be true on his latest single, "Fragment." Written after the Australian producer discovered he was going to become a father, "Fragment" finds Dull Reality exploring his anxiety about imminent parenthood through fractured vocals and insistent beats. "I had full lyrics written for the song but they were ultimately edited out," he adds of the cut, with Dull Reality instead seeking catharsis through sheer momentum.
TRAPOZ – COME TRIP WITH ME
With little to no social media presence – let alone a Spotify biography or an official press release – trapoz is an enigma. It really doesn't matter, however, as the mysterious artist is letting the music do all of the talking on "come trip with me." Coming after the hip-hop-indebted "i just wanna be the one you love," "come trip with me" is a psychedelic dreamscape. Featuring vocals dancing like a heat mirage over a sunburst swirl of synths, "come trip with me" goes out to fans of Cuco and Mac DeMarco.
PAPER LADY – EVE
Composed of five friends who met at Berklee College of Music, Paper Lady is bringing to life their divine vision on their latest single, "EVE." According to Paper Lady, "EVE" is a feminist retelling of the classic Adam and Eve story, as told from the perspective of Eve. With Paper Lady frontwoman Alli Raina cooing hypnotic incantations against guitars that shimmer by the light of the moon, "EVE" is a celestial dose of folklore and mythology that also serves as an important tale of female agency and autonomy.
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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.