TOP CHILL MUSIC: 10 SONGS FOR THE WEEKEND
Photo by Tim Toda
As I type this, rain, snow, and winter storms continue to sweep across towns and cities throughout the country. If you're feeling the freeze wherever you happen to be, then worry not, as it's time to get hunker down and stay safe this weekend with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music. Just don't forget to make a cup of hot chocolate and grab the knitted blankets before hitting play on the following cozy, comfy vibes from Brijean & Poolside, Ravyn Lenae, Bearcubs, and seven others *slurp*. Aaah!
BRIJEAN & POOLSIDE – BETTER WHEN WE'RE CLOSE
Winter is taking hold across the Northern Hemisphere, but Brijean and Poolside have us dreaming of the simmering summer nights ahead on their brand new collaborative single, "Better When We're Close." According to Brijean Murphy, "Better When We're Close" was inspired by her long-distance relationship with her partner and bandmate, Doug Stuart, during the pandemic. An ode to longing and skin-on-skin touch, "Better When We're Close" is a jazzy tropical paradise that goes down like a cosmic cocktail.
RAVYN LENAE (FEAT. STEVE LACY) – SKIN TIGHT
Ravyn Lenae and Steve Lacy are honing in on the intense connection that forms between soulmates on their latest collaborative single, "Skin Tight." "It's about not being in a relationship with somebody, but still having those physical and mental ties," says Ravyn. "It speaks to sharing kinetic energy with another person, even if time has passed and you aren't together anymore." With airy, aching vocals coming offset by butter-smooth guitars, "Skin Tight" is dedicated to twin flames everywhere.
BEARCUBS (FEAT. THALA) – IN THE FLOWERS
They previously teamed up on "Something in the Water," and today, British producer Bearcubs and German singer Thala are coming together once again for the dreamy "In the Flowers." Speaking on his Instagram, Bearcubs reveals he was inspired to write "Something in the Water" after rediscovering his love for the guitar. "I used to play all the time, but then synths etc. kind of pulled me away. So it was refreshing to make a song like this," adds Bearcubs of the surreal aquamarine fantasy. Dive in.
GINLA (FEAT. ADRIANNE LENKER) – CAROUSEL
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker takes time out from promoting Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You to hop on ginla's "Carousel." The latest single to be unveiled from ginla's forthcoming sophomore album, Everything, "Carousel" is a gently plucky lullaby about coming to terms with "mortality, consumption, life-planning, destruction." Written at the top of the pandemic, it's a tribute to getting lost and found again, with Adrianne and Jon Nellen's vocals washing over each other like babbling brooks.
ZEELAND (FEAT. NANA ADJOA) – LOVE SABBATICAL
It's been a minute since Nana Adjoa made her debut on We Are: The Guard with the immense, gargantuan "National Song," but the Dutch musician is making her return this February on Zeeland's "Love Sabbatical." The third and final single to be shared from Zeeland's forthcoming EP, Soft Ice, "Love Sabbatical" is a soothing surf through the inner workings of a broken heart. With Zeeland and Nana's radiant toplines entwining atop dapplingly dreamy guitars, "Love Sabbatical" is a lulling neo-soul lagoon.
CHARLIE HICKEY – HANGAR (8485 COVER)
Having won over a large swath of the blogosphere with his Count the Stairs EP last year, Saddest Factory Records signee Charlie Hickey is making his return today with a potent cover of 8485's "Hangar." While the original is a synth-swept, maximalist anthem, Charlie has stripped the song down to its acoustic bones. Consequently, the lyrics about looking for an escape from life's mundanities are pushed to the forefront, with Charlie's tremulous voice wringing every last droplet of emotion from the song.
ASTN – GRADUALLY
Coinciding with the announcement he recently signed to Warner Records, Los Angeles singer-songwriter ASTN has shared the melancholy "Gradually." "The song poses the question: Is it more agonizing to see someone you love vanish from your life all of the sudden, or slowly detach from you over time?" explains ASTN of the follow-up to his viral cover of Billie Eilish's "Happier Than Ever." Pairing shivering hip-hop percussion with ASTN's soaring melodics, "Gradually" is a sadboy anthem for the ages.
LATE JUNE – SLOWLY
Just a few weeks on from unveiling the quietly euphoric "Hang Tight," We Are: The Guard favorite Late June is back this month with "Slowly." The latest single to be unveiled from his forthcoming project, Coven, "Slowly" hears Late June continuing to set pulses racing with his softly joyous beats. With Aphex Twin-esque drum-and-bass glitches underpinning a languageless female vocal sample, "Slowly" is the kind of banger that makes you feel like you're chasing the clouds.
ANGUS MAUDE – MIDDLE MAN
He recently announced he plans on releasing a song every three weeks for the rest of the year, and today, Angus Maude is offering the first taste of his project in the form of "Middle Man." Clocking in at just under three minutes, "Middle Man" is a quiet confessional about questioning the meaning of previous relationships. "If it was real love, I would be fast enough/And I've been holding on/Could you tell me if I'm right?" sings Angus, his voice softly reverberating back at him like a ghostly echo.
FLOYD FUJI – INSIDE
He's performed as part of Kanye West's Sunday Service and collaborated in the studio with the likes of Anderson .Paak and Babyface, but this February, Floyd Fuji is taking his own place in the spotlight with "INSIDE." The follow-up to the syd B collaboration "Guilt Trip," "INSIDE" is a seductive slice of cosmic soul music. Sounding like the aforementioned .Paak's Silk Sonic with a hint of retrofuturism, "INSIDE" is nothing short of an essential addition to bedroom mixtapes. Ravishing.
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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.