TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 13
Step outside, and it really isn't hard to see why spring is so many people's favorite season of the year. Temperatures are slowly rising, days are gradually getting longer and flowers are steadily starting to bloom. The real reason that I love spring so much, however, is because of the music that it inspires. Something about the sun just seems to bring out the best in a lot of bands, artists and producers, and I'm sure that you'll agree that's audible in the latest dose of Top Chill Songs. As March comes to a conclusion and we turn our attention to April, top up your Vitamin D levels this weekend with the following spring vibes from Felix Cartal, 6LACK, Bipolar Sunshine and more.
KLYNE – STILL NOT OVER YOU
Dutch duo Klyne prove that heartache doesn't always have to give way to music of a solemn nature on their latest single “Still Not Over You.” The follow-up to their recent EP Water Flow, “Still Not Over You” is an ebullient wash of synth pop that makes you want to get up and dance more than it makes you want to break down and cry. “Although the lyrics are 100% desperate, we're just trying to keep it playful,” Klyne tell Pigeons and Planes. “There's a lot more energy in it compared to our previous tracks.”
FELIX CARTAL – YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE (NEW RADICALS COVER)
Calling all 90s kids! Prepare to be hit by a wave of nostalgia courtesy of Felix Cartal, who returns this 2017 with a cover of “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals. It goes without saying that Felix's sun-kissed rendition of the once-omnipresent Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too classic is unlike anything that you've ever heard before, with the Canadian producer taking the pop rock anthem and transforming it into a tropical house number complete with some truly festival-ready drops.
6LACK – FREE
One week after We Are: The Guard brought you a cover of his song “Loyal” by British band RITUAL, Atlanta rapper 6LACK – which, for the record, is pronounced as “Black” – returns to Top Chill Songs this Friday with “Free.” Featured on his recent debut album FREE 6LACK, “Free” is a skittering, moody piece of R&B (think The Weeknd meets PARTYNEXTDOOR) that comes accompanied by a haunting Andrew Donoho-directed video that sees 6LACK meeting his very own “Stan.”
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – KEEP ON LOVING YOU (REO SPEEDWAGON COVER)
If Felix Cartal's rendition of “You Get What You Give” has left you in the mood for more unlikely covers, then I present to you Cigarettes After Sex's synth-driven take on “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon. The El Paso band slow things down for their dream pop interpretation of the 80s power ballad – which was originally written by Kevin Cronin for the album Hi Infidelity – exposing in the process the song's deeply melancholic core. “It felt very desperate and sad,” Cigarettes After Sex's frontman Greg Gonzalez says of the cover. “There was a pain to it, which wasn't as apparent in the REO Speedwagon version.”
MINKE – GOLD ANGEL
Introducing British chanteuse Minke, who makes an understated yet hard-hitting debut this 2017 in the form of “Gold Angel.” Minimal guitar curlicues are overlaid with restrained vocals on the soul ballad, which finds Minke turning her lyrical attention to the unattainable standards that women are so often expected to meet: “I'll be your gold angel/If you want me/I'll be your gold angel/Baby, you want me?” FFO: The xx, London Grammar.
BIPOLAR SUNSHINE – ARE YOU HAPPY
He recently broke my heart with a cover of Coldplay's “The Scientist,” but Bipolar Sunshine sticks the pieces back together again with his triumphant latest offering “Are You Happy.” To call the track “life-affirming” would almost seem an understatement. Mixing pop, electronic and even gospel influences (Bipolar Sunshine is accompanied by a Los Angeles choir), I can safely say that existential crises have never sounded as euphoric as they do on the celebratory “Are You Happy” – an undoubted contender for song of the summer!
FRANCIS NOVOTNY – HIT N RUN
There's nothing that thrills me more than coming across an artist who pushes boundaries like Francis Novotny. The Swedish producer – who currently resides in France – has completely won me over with his experimental latest single “Hit N Run.” Featuring his smooth-as-molasses vocals melting into a cascade of vibrant synths and throbbing beats, it's an intriguing R&B and electronic soul hybrid that SoundCloud commenter WEMERCY is quite right in describing as “the love child of Disclosure and Flume.”
LOYAL – TOWER OVER ALL
Following on from the epic “Moving as One,” LOYAL return this Friday with “Tower Over All.” Opening with warped vocals set against a backdrop of finger snaps before surging up into a slow-burning lounge groove anchored by funky basslines, “Tower Over All” is yet another banger from this British band. LOYAL: “Some feelings aren't worth our patience, some moments aren't worth remembering, yet the few that are tower over the rest and make up for the time between. We accept the shade: having experienced the sun once, we know it's only a matter of time before we experience her light again. 'Tower Over All.'”
LAMBERT – SWEET APOCALYPSE
Stop everything that you're doing for the next three minutes and savor the latest opus from German composer Lambert – a piano piece entitled “Sweet Apocalypse.” The enigmatic multi-instrumentalist is certain to leave you covered in goosebumps with the dystopia-inspired symphony, which hears Lambert weaving emotive, moving piano and string arrangements around an atmospheric percussive core.
PLESTED – HABITS
Having previously written hit singles for the likes of Little Mix, Zayn Malik and Emeli Sandé, Phil Plested, AKA Plested, assumes his own rightful place in the spotlight this 2017 with the intimate “Habits.” Described by the British troubadour as a “messed up love song,” “Habits” showcases Plested's soulful tendencies against minimal flourishes of electronic guitar, resulting in an authentic, introspective and gut-wrenching piece of music that's sure to resonate with you long after listening. #RightInTheFeels
Enjoy your weekend! x
“Photo” by Francisco Moreno is licensed under CC0 1.0 (cropped and resized).
About Jess Grant
When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.