BEST CHILL SONGS - WEEK 44
Happy November, everyone! I'm not sure about you, but I always like to see the new month as a chance to hit the “reboot” button on life. Sure, it's way too early for New Year's resolutions, but that doesn't mean that we can't take steps toward improving our mental and physical well-being in the meantime. And what better way to start your self-care regimen right than by checking in with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Songs? Just slip on some headphones and enjoy some much-deserved “me time” with the following tracks from Cigarettes After Sex, Omar Apollo, Clams Casino, Japanese Wallpaper, EDEN, and more.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – CRY
Cigarettes After Sex are for the romantics. The fantasists. The ones who gaze out of the rain-speckled window on the train ride home, dreaming up all kinds of alternate realities. Just take “Cry,” a waltzing, glimmering piece of noir-pop that'll make you feel like you're a star-crossed lover suspended in a black-and-white movie of your own creation.
OMAR APOLLO – FRÍO
Omar Apollo is cranking up the heat on his sultry latest single “Frío.” The follow-up to Friends finds the Hobart native singing entirely in Spanish – his first time doing so – with Omar sweating out his heartbreak over humid reggaeton rhythms courtesy of producer Kenny Beats. “The song is about not wanting to repeat the same cycle of emotions – but also about being stuck in that cycle too,” writes the 22-year-old. “Coming in and out of the cycle of a relationship.”
CLAMS CASINO – RUNE
Clams Casino is taking us into the dark underbelly of the city on his latest single “Rune.” The three-and-a-half-minute instrumental – which comes ahead of the release of his album Moon Trip Radio next week – finds the cloud-rap pioneer drawing inspiration from everything from dub to drone music, with the end result appearing markedly foreboding, like that unlit alleyway that you always avoid on your walk home.
GRYFFIN (FEAT. MARINA & MODEL CHILD) – IF I LEFT THE WORLD
Gryffin, MARINA, and Model Child? Name a more iconic trio, I'll wait. Featured on Gryffin's recent album Gravity, “If I Left the World” is nothing short of divine, with a beatific future-bass production sending the song to the heavens, where MARINA and Model Child's angelic voices come together to sing: “If I left the world/Would anybody miss me while I/Look down on this city thinkin'/Should I have loved you more?”
BLOOD ORANGE (FEAT. TORO Y MOI) – DARK & HANDSOME
There's something about Blood Orange's music that just hits different. The British singer-songwriter weaves these kinds of glossy, magical dreamworlds that are an absolute pleasure to exist in – even if only for three minutes at a time. Case in point: The Toro y Moi-featuring cut from his recent album Angel's Pulse, “Dark & Handsome,” which today receives a sleek video treatment from Dev Hynes himself.
JAPANESE WALLPAPER – READY / WAITING
Japanese Wallpaper's new album is called Glow, and I quite frankly couldn't think of a more fitting title. The Australian producer emits a luminosity like no other, with this radiance at its most intense on “Ready / Waiting,” an arpeggio-laced synth ascent that Japanese Wallpaper reveals was inspired by Coldplay and features guitar work from Frightened Rabbit's Billy Kennedy.
KHUSHI – THIS IS, PT. I (JAMES BLAKE REMIX)
One of the great things about remixes is their ability to introduce people to songs that they wouldn't have otherwise listened to. Prior to James Blake releasing this version, I'd never heard of “This Is, Pt. I.” Now, however, I'm entirely obsessed, both with the melancholy, emotive original and this remix, which hears James really building on the track's glitched-out grooves, while also discovering new purpose in Khushi's vocal line.
GALLANT – PANASONIC
Gallant could serenade me all day, every day, and I'd never get bored. The Columbia crooner has a voice that's equal parts weightless and packed full of gravitas, with this juxtaposition coming to a head on “Panasonic,” a lightly groovy piece of neo-soul that finds Gallant stumbling his way through the city following the breakdown of a relationship.
JUNO MAMBA – FLICKER
Introducing Juno Mamba, the Australian producer who's making his promising debut on the blogosphere with “Flicker.” With an explorative, immersive sound that resembles the likes of Four Tet and Caribou, Juno could easily be mistaken for an established musician with years of studio experience behind him, with the Soothsayer signee delivering a dexterously crafted, texturally rich piece of work that reveals something new with every listen.
EDEN – PROJECTOR
Ahead of the release of his album no future next year, EDEN returns today with “projector.” It's an emotionally intensive piece of music that hears Jonathon Ng confronting the noises and voices inside of his head, with gurgling synths and club-ready yet muted beats supporting EDEN as he sings about pursuing acceptance in the face of overthinking and uncertainty.
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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.