BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 40
Music is supposed to be a safe space for all. Consequently, as we continue to process the devastating events at Route 91 Harvest in Las Vegas on Sunday, We Are: The Guard invites you to take a moment to pause and reflect with the Best Chill Songs of Week 40. <3
YAEJI – PASSIONFRUIT (DRAKE COVER)
With Drake busy putting his energy into attaining international superstardom, Korean-American producer Kathy Lee, or Yaeji, is helping to keep the Toronto rapper a relevant figure among the underground scene with her cover of “Passionfruit.” It's a sweet, dreamlike ambient reworking that hears Kathy bringing the deep house vibes that were present in the More Life original to the forefront of the mix, with Yeaji completing the whole thing with her pretty, melodious Auto-Tuned voice.
DARCI – LIFE
Enigmatic hip hop duo Darci are numbing the synapses with their heady latest offering “Life.” Opening with a spectral voice sample, before subterranean bass notes and convulsive hi-hats beckon in an incorporeal emcee – who spends much of the song mournfully in search of something to bring him “back to life” – the follow-up to “Seeing Colors” is an intoxicating late-night listen that sounds as if it's coming to us through a tunnel of flashing strobe lights and smoke machines.
ALINA BARAZ – LAVENDER AND VELVET
As she prepares to embark on a tour supporting British titans Coldplay across North America, Alina Baraz has shared the indulgent and erotic “Lavender and Velvet.” “Pull up to the city/Tell me I'm your lily/I'll be in that dress you like,” begins the Jonathan Elkaer-produced cut, with Alina proceeding to wrap her come-hither vocals around the sumptuous R&B beatscape in such a seductive way, you can't help but feel completely in the power of the Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based chanteuse.
AKAY (FEAT. AYELLE) – LIGHTS OUT
Majestic Casual do it again. The label who previously introduced us to dream-weavers such as On Planets and Denton Thrift deliver the goods once more this fall with AKAY. The Scottish-Malaysian producer has completely enchanted us with “Lights Out,” which features We Are: The Guard favorite Ayelle. A blissful ambient listen that layers the Swedish-Iranian singer's voice over a spread of organic percussive knocks and hypnotic synth pads, “Lights Off” also tells a thoughtful story about two lovers who, due to both being trapped in unhappy relationships, have to rendezvous after dark.
KLYNE – WATER FLOW (LIVE)
Even though we're big fans of Klyne, having supported the Dutch electronic R&B duo ever since they released their debut single “Paralyzed” in 2015, nothing quite prepared us for the amount of talent packed into this three-minute live video filmed for Berlin arts magazine COLORS. Featuring lead singer Nick Klein and producer Ferdous Dehzad performing fan favorite “Water Flow” before a simple beige backdrop, it really gives you an insight into the artistry behind the music, with Nick reaching those upper notes with ease.
RITUAL (FEAT. 6LACK) – DROWN THE LOVERS
In March, RITUAL offered up an alluring cover of 6LACK's hit single “Loyal,” and this fall, the Atlanta rapper is returning the favor with a reworking of RITUAL's very own “Drown the Lovers.” Premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1, the song begins with the LoveRenaissance signee dropping an ever-pensive verse about seeking revenge on an ex (“Watch 'em thrash while you float/Then you laugh from a boat”) over a sultry swirl of electronic R&B. 6LACK then proceeds to join RITUAL vocalists Gerard O'Connell and Katie Taylor on the beat-driven chorus, with all three singers irresistibly melting into each other.
JACK GRACE – BE4UGO
Entering a relationship can leave us feeling at our most vulnerable, and it's this that Jack Grace taps into on the mesmeric “BE4UGO.” Described by the Sydney producer as “less 'song,' and more 'idea,'” it's an abstract piece of James Blake-indebted songcraft, with vocal, synthesizer, and percussive fragments coming together to form a picture of crushing self-doubt. Jack: “It's less pessimism and more desperation. When you feel every time someone walks out the door it's the last time.”
CARMEN VILLAIN – RED DESERT
Norwegian-Mexican model-turned-singer Carmen Villain takes us down to the “Red Desert” in the video for the latest single to be unveiled from her recent second album Infinite Avenue. Directed by Frode Fjerdingstad, the visual is very much an ode to the 1964 Michelangelo Antonioni film after which the song is named, with Carmen's dazed, existential breed of dream pop languidly weaving its way through sun-kissed industrial vistas churning in thick clouds of smoke and fog.
LO & NOVAA (FEAT. AUSTIN PAUL) – MY SPLENDOR
Having featured here in July with “Lights,” German dream team LO and NOVAA return to We Are: The Guard once again this fall with “My Splendor.” The song is a collaboration with Miami singer Austin Paul, whose velvet croon haunts NOVAA's crystalline pipes like a shadow in the night. LO, meanwhile, delivers another expert production, with his shivering beats adding just the right amount of tension to the tale about obsession and destruction. “'My Splendor' shows the moment when love turns into madness,” reveal LO and NOVAA. “When you get addicted to someone else and lose control of yourself.
ERIK SING (FEAT. ISABELLA FORTUNA) – LEAVE YOU ALONE
From one toxic relationship, to another. Much like NOVAA and LO, Erik Sing seeks inspiration in fixation on his debut single “Leave You Alone.” “It's about being so attached to someone that it seems impossible to leave them alone, even when the relationship is over,” says the Melbourne producer of the song, which sets guest vocalist Isabella Fortuna's stunning chops against dreamlike cascades of future bass. The video is worth a watch, too, with the drone-assisted shots of Erik and Isabella walking through pastures emphasizing the vast nature of the composition.
Peace and love. <3
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.