BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 36
While there are still technically over two weeks left of summer, it's definitely starting to feel like fall around these parts. And no, I'm not just saying that as the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back in stock! Anyways, as the temperatures begin to drop and the nights begin to draw in, what better way to celebrate the arrival of autumn than with some cozy chill vibes? Simply pull on your favorite chunky knit sweater and enjoy this Friday's edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Songs, featuring Cigarettes After Sex, Four Tet, mxmtoon, H.E.R., A. G. Cook, and plenty more!
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – HEAVENLY
Two years on from the release of their self-titled debut album, Cigarettes After Sex return today with “Heavenly.” The ballad hears the New York City band continuing to trade in achingly melancholic dream-pop, with frontman Greg Gonzalez sighing longingly over a shimmeringly romantic swell of synths and guitars: “I'm giving you all my, giving you all my/Giving you all my love.”
FOUR TET – ANNA PAINTING
I could listen to Four Tet all day and never get bored. The music of Kieran Hebden reveals something new with each listen and his latest single “Anna Painting” is no exception. From the itching house drums to the way that the bassline melts into the gilded strings around three minutes into the song, everything about this is a genuine piece of art.
MXMTOON – DREAM OF YOU
This is so very darling. Ahead of the release of her debut album the masquerade later this month, mxmtoon returns today with “dream of you.” It's a wistfully, whimsically sweet piece of music that hears the YouTube personality reflecting on a lost love who came to her in a dream, with a charming swirl of Animal Crossing-esque chimes and strums providing a platform for mxmtoon to deliver her honestly relatable lyrics.
REECE – TOO MUCH
Reece isn't just tugging at the heartstrings, but fully pulling them out on his latest single “Too Much.” The Los Angeles crooner – who was recently selected to open for Billie Eilish's brother and We Are: The Guard favorite FINNEAS on tour – finds himself standing amid the ruins of a failed relationship on the devastatingly guitar-laden ballad, with Reece delivering the kind of emotive vocal performance that'll resonate with you after listening.
LEON ELSE – EASY LOVE
Leon Else is dancing through the heartache on his latest single “Easy Love.” The follow-up to May's “Beautiful World” finds the Los Angeles crooner detailing a period of sex addiction that he went through following a painful breakup, with Leon contrasting this weighty narrative with a vibrant, effervescent dancehall production that makes “Easy Love” an essential addition to end-of-summer playlists everywhere.
H.E.R. – BE ON MY WAY (FULL)
Coinciding with the release of her compilation album I Used to Know Her, H.E.R. has shared “Be on My Way (Full).” As the song title suggests, it's a fully realized version of “Be on My Way (Interlude)” – a breathy fan favorite that originally appeared on the R&B artist's 2018 EP I Used to Know Her: The Prelude – with H.E.R. adding an extra minute of soulful, sensuous melancholy to the ode to unrequited love.
KILLEDMYSELF – TIME MOVED SLOWLY THEN
There's very little that I can tell you about killedmyself, but it really doesn't matter, as the Asheville producer is letting the music do the talking on “time moved slowly then.” Clocking in at just over three-and-a-half minutes, it's the kind of instrumental that you come across while listening to one of those lo-fi hip-hop radios on YouTube – studious anime character and all – with hushed, muted electronic beats proving a backdrop for killmyself to showcase his stunningly symphonic ear for melody.
VAGABON – WATER ME DOWN
Ahead of the release of her self-titled debut album next month, Vagabon has shared the dreamy “Water Me Down.” Lætitia Tamko reveals that the ethereal opus was written in the style of a stream of consciousness following a “frustrating phone call,” with Vagabon sweating out her exasperation over a combination of club-like four-on-the-floor beats and otherworldly synths. “My intention with 'Water Me Down' was to create a playground in which to explore difficult feelings with confidence, triumph, and foresight,” says Lætitia. Listen.
A. G. COOK – LIFELINE
It's been a long time coming, but London producer A. G. Cook finally returns today with “Lifeline.” The song – which features vocal contributions from former Chairlift frontwoman and We Are: The Guard favorite Caroline Polachek – is perhaps best described as “PC Music as rendered through the lens of an 80s power ballad,” with big, epic drums backing Caroline as she declares in the chorus: “You are my lifeline.”
STEFANI KIMBER – BREAK IT TO YA
Introducing Stefani Kimber, the Majestic Casual signee who's more than stealing hearts with her latest single “break it to ya.” “Your boy puts on my song/Cause my voice turns him on/Hate to break it to ya,” announces the Toronto singer-songwriter on the cut, a confident, flirtatious, and provocative piece of bedroom-pop that's the definition of a mood.
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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.