BEST CHILL SONGS – WEEK 41
Greetings, readers. Can you believe that we're already midway into October? As much as we love the summer and everything that comes with it, it's around this time of year that we want to hunker down some place warm and dry and while away the hours listening to as many songs as possible with a cup of hot cocoa and a whole lot of imagination. Of course, knowing where to start with music isn't always easy when there's so very much to choose from, which is where We Are: The Guard really comes in. With the days getting shorter and the nights drawing in, we're helping to take the hard work out of compiling your fall playlists with yet another edition of Best Chill Songs. Featuring EDEN, Aquilo, TOKiMONSTA, Arctic Lake, Meadowlark and plenty of others, there's something here for everyone.
EDEN – START//END
Having caught the attention of Lorde with his last EP, 2016's i think you think too much of me, the forward-thinking EDEN makes his return this October with “start//end.” The song is a shape-shifting opus built around a collection of musical fragments, including orchestral strings, intricate acoustics, and hard-hitting beats, with these disparate elements slowly coming together to form an intense tapestry of sound that presents the Dublin artist at his most despairing. “And it's not right/You're dead wrong/What are we doing?” sings EDEN in the chorus. “Let's go home/There's no hope/It's all wrong.”
AQUILO – THIN
English duo Aquilo celebrate the conclusion of their first-ever North American headline tour this October with the release of the sweeping “Thin.” With finely spun acoustics meeting rich synth flourishes, the song manages to strike that delicate balance between the organic and the electronic, with the whole thing coming completed by the luscious harmonies of band members Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher, whose voices appear to be growing more in sync with each other with every passing day.
LEWIS CAPALDI – FADE
Ahead of the release of his debut EP Bloom later this month, the Ellie Goulding-cosigned Lewis Capaldi continues his meteoric rise this October with his third single “Fade.” Written and produced alongside long-time Frank Ocean collaborator Malay, the intimate piano ballad is a positive sucker punch to the chest, with the husky-voiced Scottish troubadour giving it all as it moves to its anthemic conclusion. “This is the proudest I've been about a song I've written,” reveals Lewis. Check it out.
TÜLPA & BLANKTS – TEN MISSED CALLS
Romance isn't dead. Just ask Tülpa and BLANKTS, the producer and vocalist duo who – having started dating two years ago after falling for each other's music over the Internet – prove that young love is alive and well on “Ten Missed Calls.” Featured on their debut collaborative EP Storytales – a four-song collection that includes the gnash duet “Kiss Fight” – it's a hazy ode to infatuation that hears BLANKTS weaving her pillowy soft vocal chops around Tülpa's intricately crafted dreamscape.
TUVABAND – TREES
Tuvaband invite us to reconsider our destructive relationship with our environment on the atmospheric “Trees.” Coming ahead of debut EP Mess – due out next month – it's perhaps the best anti-deforestation anthem since the Rush song of the same name, with lead singer Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser weaving lines such as “'Cause we fell trees, We fell people/'Cause when we fell, we fall” around a guitar-driven instrumental that carries with it a nature-like stillness and ambiance. “Trees and people have a lot in common, a lot more than we know,” Tuvaband reveal to EARMILK. “'Trees' is about the fact that we might also share the same fate if we keep on tearing down rainforests.”
TOKIMONSTA – ESTRANGE (FEAT. IO ECHO)
If there's one album that you listen to this weekend, make it Lune Rouge, the latest full-length from TOKiMONSTA. The 11-song collection is nothing short of a mesmerizing masterpiece from the producer also known as Jennifer Lee, with the album being brought to a close by “Estrange.” A collaboration with Los Angeles duo Io Echo, it's a lulling reverie that hears Lee merging the East and the West, with Io Echo's spellbinding vocals coming set against a cascade of Turkish-style strings.
WYNNE – DISTRACTION
He's featured on songs by everyone from Autograf to ODESZA, but this October, Wynne is stepping out into the spotlight on his own accord with his debut solo single “Distraction.” It's slow-burning piece of electronic pop that showcases the London-born, Los Angeles-based musician's innate ability to stir up our dormant emotions with his melancholic falsetto, which takes front and center stage. “'Distraction' is about asking someone what you mean to them – knowing full well what they mean to you,” Wynne tells Milk.xyz. Listen.
WY – GONE WILD
Swedish duo Wy transfix from the very first note of their latest single. “What if my dog died when I was in Tokyo?/What if Dad died before I turned 24?” begins “Gone Wild,” a four-and-a-half minute confessional that finds lead singer Ebba Ågren listening her crippling social anxieties over a bed of synth bass, before building to a cathartic apex. Ebba: “It's about everything I fear and everything I doubt. And about trying to get better.”
ARCTIC LAKE – FORGET ABOUT IT ALL
Arctic Lake – the British trio comprising of vocalist Emma Foster, guitarist Paul Holliman, and drummer Andy Richmond – live up to their name on their glacial latest single “Forget About It All.” Released ahead of their debut EP Closer – due out on October 20 – it's a song that sends positive shivers down the spine, with Emma's voice sweeping through the crisp electronic pop tundra like an invigorating Siberian breeze.
MEADOWLARK – MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE (FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS COVER)
It's one thing to cover a song, but it's another to completely make it your own. English duo Meadowlark do exactly that with their cover of “May I Have This Dance” by Francis and the Lights. While the original was a rhapsodic blast of Peter Gabriel-indebted pop that even got Chance the Rapper moving, Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley's piano-driven version strips the Farewell, Starlite! cut back to its emotive core, with the heart-stopping final arrangement allowing the focus to fall on those exultant lyrics: “May I have this dance to make it up to you?/Can I say something crazy? I love you.”
Thanks for listening, readers. Until next time. 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.