BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 35
As the sun sets on August 2018, you may start to notice a change in music around these parts, with summer bangers giving way to more autumnal anthems, and songs about getting lit on white-sand beaches making room for more introspective slices of life. What I'm REALLY trying to say is that music generally gets a lot chiller towards the end of the year, which, of course, bodes well for this particular column! With September less than 24 hours away, then, why not get a head start on your fall playlist this Friday morning with Week 35 of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Songs, featuring Freya Ridings, Alec Benjamin, Kaskade, Soccer Mommy, Koda, and more?
FREYA RIDINGS – LOST WITHOUT YOU
I've been obsessed with “Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings ever since it dropped earlier this year, and now I've got an excuse to feature it all over again because the UK songstress has shared the official video! The clip follows Freya as she sings her heart out in various outdoor locations, with the 23-year-old's gorgeous red hair seen billowing in the wind as the piano ballad heads to its emotional crescendo <3.
SPORTS – AUTOPILOT
Fans of Ariel Pink and Ssion are most definitely going to want to turn their attention towards Sports, the self-described “band of wizards” who're shimmering from the inside out on “Autopilot.” Taken from the Tusla trio's recent album Everyone's Invited, this hazy, luminous hypnagogic pop groove is the kind of song that's best listened to while dreaming the night away with a lover.
ALEC BENJAMIN – DEATH OF A HERO
“I was in Pittsburgh when I saw Superman in the backroom/He was doing lines or something in the bathroom/I barely recognized him at all.” And so begins “Death of a Hero,” the devastating latest single from Alec Benjamin. The Phoenix talent had me close to tears with this acoustic number about the loss of childhood innocence, with Alec making use of his evocative storytelling skills in order to weave a narrative about that tragic moment when we finally remove our rose-tinted glasses and see the world for what it really is.
LATE NIGHT ALUMNI – LOW (KASKADE REMIX)
It's not all that often that a remix comes out before the original song, but that's exactly what's happened here with Kaskade's take on Late Night Alumni's unreleased “Low.” Not that it matters, because Kaskade being Kaskade, he's managed to create a composition that stands entirely on its own two feet, with the Arkade founder transporting us directly to a moonlit beach in Ibiza with his hot, humid Balearic beats.
JAGUAR DREAMS – JUST LIFE
Having debuted on the blogosphere with a cover of Fleetwood Mac, Jaguar Dreams return this week with “Just Life.” Picking up where their previous offering left off, “Just Life” is a positively engulfing piece of synth pop, with the New York City trio juxtaposing lush, dreamy 80s electronics with the kind of lyrics that really make you stop and think: “I put it on the line/Heroes take a long time/Try me baby I got every reason to smile/You gotta let yourself go/It might be the last time/Please, baby, please/Know that that's just life.”
GILL CHANG – ON SECOND THOUGHT.
If you're looking for something to make you smile after the stressful working week, then look no further than “on second thought.” by Taiwan-born, Los Angeles-based producer Gill Chang. Taking inspiration from both melodic future bass and more traditional Eastern sounds, this danceable three-minute composition is guaranteed to lift your spirits ahead of the weekend :).
SOCCER MOMMY – I'M ON FIRE (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN COVER)
I've written on a lot of “I'm on Fire” covers in my time, although none quite like this one by Soccer Mommy. “I wanted to make a version of 'I'm on Fire' that connected with the sadness of the song,” says Sophie Allison of her slow-burning take on the Bruce Springsteen classic, which hears the Nashville artist's voice flickering like a candle against a backdrop of reverb-drenched guitars. “I think that doing a more stripped-down version allowed me to make something that feels emotionally raw.”
YOUR SMITH – OOH WEE
“Ooh Wee!” Your Smith is getting me all kinds of hot under the collar with this closing cut from her recent EP Bad Habit! “Tell me if there's something/Tell me if there's something you need/Tell me if you're hungry/Milkshake with some eggs and bacon, baby,” emotes the Los Angeles singer-songwriter on this pillowy soft, come-to-bed ballad, which follows on from the previously featured “The Spot” and “Bad Habit.”
KODA – NAZARETH
Koda delves deep into his psyche on his unflinching latest single. With religious imagery coming laser-cut into his signature spartan beats, the Los Angeles singer-songwriter and producer reveals his most intimate inner workings on “nazareth,” which Koda says was inspired by his Christian upbringing: “Like a very Catholic inclination to suffering – the name of the song comes from the flagellation of Christ and this idea that you would distort that and punish yourself as atonement for your perceived sins.”
LABROSE – GRAVITY
Concluding this week with a song that'll genuinely make you feel like you're floating on cloud nine. “Gravity” by fast-rising New York City-via-UK duo Labrose is an electronic-soul hybrid that's positively packed full of chill vibes, with lead singer Victor Taylor Perry's powerhouse falsetto drifting with ease over producer Ficci's weightless beats.
Until next time, why not follow We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Daily! on Spotify for more? x
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.