BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 30
It's that time again when we gather to let go of the stresses and strains built up over the last seven days, and lose ourselves in the latest dose of Best Chill Songs. Anxiety can sometimes feel like an inevitable facet of modern-day living, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't ease off the pressure every once in a while, and take a moment to nurture for our bodies and minds. As far as We Are: The Guard is concerned, there's no better way to do that than through the power of music, which is where the following songs come in. Forget instant gratification and quick fixes. For the next 30 minutes or so, we hereby urge you to step away from the always-on treadmill, and instead indulge in a little self-loving to the sounds of Domino Gold, Jeremy Zucker, Teflon Sega, The Kite String Tangle, Mali Michael and even more.
DOMINO GOLD – WICHITA
Having organically amassed over 60,000 plays on their debut single “Free Is Free” late last year, the fascinatingly elusive Domino Gold make their highly anticipated return with “Wichita.” With fizzy arpeggios slingshotting through the night sky to meet hard-hitting drums and dark, R&B-style female vocals, it's yet another striking offering from the self-described “audiovisual duo,” who accompany the release with a gripping Inti Calfat and Dirk Verhaye-directed short film that, much like the song, touches on themes of intense passion and dangerous obsession in deeply dramatic style.
JEREMY ZUCKER (FEAT. BLACKBEAR) – TALK IS OVERRATED
Jeremy Zucker, the New Jersey producer and singer-songwriter who recently inked a deal with Republic Records, returns with the Blackbear-featuring “Talk Is Overrated.” The track is notable for the fact that it brings together two of the smoothest voices in pop music, with Zucker's easy-going dulcet tones and relatable lyrics about a complicated relationship (“Talk is overrated, let's just vibe/And love is overrated in my mind”) meeting rapper Blackbear's melodic bars over a mixture of crisp electronic beats and deft guitar flourishes.
DJ KHALED (FEAT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER) – WILD THOUGHTS (MEDASIN REMIX)
“Wild Thoughts,” DJ Khaled's Rihanna and Bryson Tiller-featuring, “Maria Maria”-sampling, platinum-selling hit single, receives a positively intoxicating remix from Dallas producer Medasin. The future-flavored reworking is almost completely unrecognizable, arrangement-wise, from the Grateful original, with Medasin starting out by encircling Rihanna's vocals with serenly warm, sultry synths. A thudding drum beat then enters, ramping up the tension of “Wild Thoughts” considerably, before releasing said tension with an explosive bass drop that contains within it vibes for days.
TEFLON SEGA – PRESS PLAY AND ESCAPE (PROD. WAJU)
The title says it all. Teflon Sega, the enigmatic R&B crooner who hails from Cleveland, invites listeners on a secret mental getaway on his latest single “Press Play and Escape.” The song, which was produced by long-time collaborator Waju, is a work of profound tranquility. A vivid piece of ambience that leads with Teflon's breathy, weightless falsetto and, instrumentally, derives influence from future bass as much as it does traditional Asian music, “Press Play and Escape” is a welcome one-way ticket out of reality.
SKRILLEX & POO BEAR – WOULD YOU EVER
Skrillex teams up with Justin Bieber singer-songwriter Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd on his latest offering. “Would You Ever” – which is Poo Bear's debut as a solo artist having previously helped to pen hit singles including “Where Are Ü Now?” and “What Do You Mean?” – is a danceable anthem that arrives in just time for the second half of summer. It finds Skrillex experimenting with a more house-style production, with Poo Bear's deeply soulful vocal chops coming paired with the kind of bouncing beat that's nothing short of party-starting.
MILLIE TURNER – UNDERWATER
Hailing from London, 17-year-old Millie Turner belies her years with her genre-defying debut single. At its core, “Underwater” might be best described as a folk ballad, acting as a showcase for Turner's beguiling, Maggie Rogers-esque singer-songwriter abilities. It's thanks to David Turley, however, that the production enters a different orbit, with quivering basslines and synth flourishes turning “Underwater” into an effervescent electronic banger.
DE HOFNAR (FEAT. BODHI JONES) – KINGS AND QUEENS
Ahead of the release of his debut album in October, Tilburg producer, Armada Deep signee and all-round chill connoisseur De Hofnar has shared the title song. “Kings and Queens” begins by enticing listeners in with the intoxicating dulcet tones of Vancouver singer Bodhi Jones, while trap-indebted percussion gives it an interesting sense of drive. De Hofnar then introduces a tropical-flavored flute line as he merges into the scintillating chorus, with The Flying Dutchman once again delivering an essential addition to our summer mixtapes.
THE KITE STRING TANGLE (FEAT. MONTGOMERY) – ALL I NEED
It's been a while since we last heard from Danny Harley, the Brisbane singer-songwriter who records under the name The Kite String Tangle, but the ARIA-nominated artist finally returns to We Are: The Guard with “All I Need.” Featured on his recent self-titled debut album, it's an emotionally stirring odyssey that was most definitely worth the three year wait, with Harley and Gold Coast vocalist Montgomery's voices intimately weaving over an ambient production that succeeds in forming a truly disarming connection with its listeners.
MALI MICHAEL – HIDDEN PLACE
Mali Michael, the London producer who debuted on the blogosphere way back in 2013 with “Ghost,” returns after a four-year radio silence with “Hidden Place.” Continuing where “Ghost” left off, it's a beat-centric piece of R&B that begins by slithering along at an almost unnerving pace atop warped synths and subtly insistent percussion. It's during the final minute, however, that the song really comes into its own, with four-on-the-floor drums and Michael's increasingly urgent vocals carrying “Hidden Place” into more dance tent territory.
ANGEL HAZE – (NO ONE KNOWS ME) LIKE THE PIANO (SAMPHA COVER)
Angel Haze takes time out from being one of the baddest rappers in the game to instead reveal a more vulnerable side on a cover of Sampha's “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano.” “On some Sampha sad girl shit,” writes the Detroit native of the rendition, which proves just how versatile Haze is as an artist. Featuring the 26-year-old delivering a soul-baring vocal performance over classic piano keys, the cover isn't exactly distinct from Sampha's original, but it doesn't need to be, with Haze making the song her own regardless with her individual sense of emotionality.
Thank you for checking in. Enjoy your weekend. xo