TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 12

3/22/19
Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Spring! Is there anything better? The blooming of wildflowers, the trilling of baby birds, the smell of fresh cotton on the breeze... Then, of course, there's the music. As we start to thaw, so do our listening tastes, with winter warmers making way for songs more suggestive of the season change. On that note, with the first weekend of spring fast approaching, why not breathe new life into your playlists this Friday with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music, featuring M83, SG Lewis & Clairo, Plastic Toy & DJ Snake, and more?

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M83 – KARL

M83's Anthony Gonzalez is known for taking his fans on dramatic musical journeys, but he's never embarked on an odyssey quite like “Karl.” Lifted from the soundtrack for Knife+Heart – a French drama film directed by Anthony's brother Yann – it's an intensely cinematic listen that opens with the sound of a soothing harp before surging up into an eerily chromatic synth monolith.

 

TWO LANES (FEAT. KWESI) – BACK DOWN

“Back Down” by TWO LANES is a song about finding inner peace through a lover, although you don't need to be in a relationship to feel the curative effects of this track. With a dreamily vulnerable topline coming set against TWO LANES' hyper-tranquil take on the future-bass genre, “Back Down” is a deeply therapeutic number that heals with every listen.

 

SG LEWIS & CLAIRO – THROWAWAY

Having first collaborated on “Better” last year, SG Lewis and Clairo are teaming up once again this 2019 on “Throwaway.” A feeling of calm immediately washed over me as soon as I pressed play on this digital lullaby from SG's forthcoming EP Dawn, with Clairo's vocoder vocals floating with ease over a bed of gently kinetic synth arpeggios.

 

BILLIE MARTEN – BETSY

It's been a while since we heard from Billie Marten, but the 19-year-old British chanteuse returns at long last with “Betsy.” The latest single to be unveiled from her forthcoming album Feeding Seahorses by Hand (best title ever?) is a stunningly insouciant piece of music, with the song emitting all of the gentle warmth of spring despite its politically charged subject matter: “Bang, bang, baby, you're dead/Politics will mess with your head/Oh, you voice of the people/You leader of evil.”

 

FREEDOM FRY – IS THIS IT (THE STROKES COVER)

Los Angeles folk duo Freedom Fry are no strangers to covering songs, but this might be their most disarmingly lovely offering to date. Despite my initial skepticism, Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll very quickly won me over me with their version of The Strokes classic “Is This It,” with the married couple transforming the indie-rock track into a bittersweet acoustic ballad that's completely and utterly their own.

 

LUCIAN (FEAT. PHILOSOFIE) – GOOD CARE

This is absolutely magical. Then again, I'm not sure why I expected any less from Lucian. The mysterious future-bass producer just keeps on getting better and better and his latest single “Good Care” is no exception. With PhiloSofie's radio-friendly vocals coming set against a backdrop of synths and percussive elements that twinkle like the night sky, “Good Care” is well on its way to becoming Lucian's biggest hit to date.

 

CONOR MATTHEWS – HEAVEN HELP ME

Introducing Conor Matthews, the Nashville singer-songwriter who's making his debut on We Are: The Guard with “Heaven Help Me.” “Heaven, help me out/'Cause I met one of your angels/And she bringin' me down, aw yeah,” begins the track, a divinely deep piece of electronic-pop that positions the rising artist's angelic vocals front and center.

 

SKARLETTE – WHERE

Three years on from making her debut on We Are: The Guard (or BitCandy, as we were called back then!) with “Nightfall,” Skarlette returns this 2019 with “Where.” Listen as the Melbourne artist reaches a whole new level of creative maturity on the song, which starts out like a Radiohead-esque piano ballad before exploding into an emotional crescendo comparable to the gates of heaven opening.

 

PLASTIC TOY & DJ SNAKE – TRY ME

France's Plastic Toy and DJ Snake are transporting us to the sultry nights of summer on their collaborative single “Try Me.” With pitch-shifted vocal chops and majestic piano chords coming underpinned by a bouncy future-bass beat, “Try Me” is a balmy festival season anthem in the making that drops on DJ Snake's record label PREMIERE CLASSE.

 

ALEXANDER 23 – DIRTY AF1S

This is my first time featuring Alexander 23, but something tells me it won't be my last time, at least if his debut single “Dirty AF1s” is anything to go by. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it's a tenderly bittersweet ode to millennial heartbreak, with Alexander exhibiting a similar lyrical style to young poets like ROLE MODEL and Alec Benjamin: “I used to like to go out before I met you/Now I just go out to forget you/Put my nice shoes on so strangers can't tell/That I miss your dirty Air Force 1s.”

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Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

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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.