TOP CHILL MUSIC: THE 10 BEST VIBES OF THE WEEK
Photo by Jaguar Sun
Happy June, dear readers! Summer is here, and I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm ready for three months of mosquitoes and excessive sweating. Jokes aside, I love, love, love summer, if only for the fact I have an excuse to indulge in my iced coffee habit. That, and my addiction to chill vibes. With June upon us, then, prepare for the good times ahead with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music, featuring Jaguar Sun, HYBS, rei brown, and lots more!
JAGUAR SUN – BROKEN RECORD
We've already heard "One Day" and "With You," and today, Jaguar Sun continues the countdown to his forthcoming sophomore album, All We've Ever Known, with "Broken Record." Coming to us via Born Losers, "Broken Record" starts out as quaint as the early morning sun, with Jaguar Sun's comfort-blanket vocals resting against intricate guitar melodies. Once the chorus drums hit, however, "Broken Record" transforms into something more vibrant, with Jaguar Sun sounding full of hopeful optimism.
HYBS – KILLER
Ever since they arrived on the scene with "Ride," Thai two-piece HYBS has been impressing us with their sultry pop, with Alyn Wee and Karn Kasidej continuing to win us over today with "Killer." The follow-up to "Go Higher" hears HYBS delving deep into their crooner tendencies and pulling out a smooth piece of soul with a slasher twist. "Baby you were born as a killer/Born as a killer/When you called me babe you're never alone," sings HYBS on the sensuous bop, which comes paired with a horror-tastic video.
REI BROWN (FEAT. JOJI) – THINKING BOUT YOU
They previously teamed up on the Nectar cut "Normal People," and this Friday, Japanese producer rei brown and 88rising vocalist Joji are coming together once again on the glistening "Thinking Bout You." Coming ahead of rei's debut album, Xeno, "Thinking Bout You" hears Joji addressing a long-distance lover over softly whirring beats. "When you look to the sky in the middle of the night/Know I'm thinking about you," sighs Joji – his pitch-shifted croon still packing a surprising amount of melancholy.
CARLINA – D E E P E R
There's been no shortage of summer bangers in this column over the last few weeks, but Los Angeles singer-songwriter Carlina is keeping the sparkling vibes flowing today on "d e e p e r." Citing HAIM and Paramore among her influences, Carlina is delivering a dose of indie-pop perfection on the follow-up to "MANIAC." "Have you ever lost a relationship or someone but still felt thankful for them being in your life? This is that feeling compacted into a song," says Carlina of the cut – a glinting reverie of a memory.
DELANEY BAILEY – PRAYING FOR JULY (SPOTIFY SINGLES)
Back in January, Delaney Bailey made her debut on We Are: The Guard with her tribute to force-of-nature affection, "j's lullaby (darlin' i'd wait for you)." Fast forward five months, and the TikTok star is making her return this Friday with "Praying for July." Coming to us via Spotify Singles, "Praying for July" is a gorgeously soft year-in-the-life of a broken heart, with Delaney delivering every note with delicate intention as she leafs through her diary pages: "I know that next December I'll be praying/For it to be July."
OOI – IN THE DARK
Every once in a while, a song comes along that makes for deceptively sanguine listening. Case in point: "In the Dark" by ooi. Consisting of Dominik Schatz, Flo König, and Nicolas Fehr, ooi is concealing a moment of hurt in their feathery folk-pop on "In the Dark." "Darling, you make it look so smooth/Like you got nothing to lose/But somehow it slipped away," sings Nicolas – his voice hinting at the pain hiding beneath the bright acoustic production. "And now I understand/It ain't gonna work out for/You and me."
RACHEL BOBBITT – GEMINI TIES
Coinciding with the announcement of her forthcoming EP, The Ceiling Could Collapse – a six-song set as co-produced by Justice Der and mixed by Jorge Elbrecht – Rachel Bobbitt has shared a gorgeously wispy tribute to her twin, "Gemini Ties." "My brother and I have that inseparable connection, and it manifests in me wanting to shelter him from every bad thing, even though he's more than capable of doing that himself," says Rachel of the cut, which is as comforting and devastating as old home movies.
TRIATHALON – FLOATING IN LOVE
Recently, Triathalon immersed us in a late-night mushroom binge on "Time." The New York City band is emerging from the shadows, however, on their brand new single, "Floating in Love." Written prior to the pandemic, "Floating in Love" is a hazy psychedelic delight about a love that makes you feel nothing short of weightless. "I've been eating/Sunset beaming/Barely sleeping," sings Triathalon's Adam Intrator – his voice swimming with ease over a guitar riff that dapples like an ocean at golden hour.
SAYA GRAY – EMPATHY 4 BETHANY
Ahead of the release of 19 MASTERS EP on the Jamie Oborne-founded Dirty Hit, Japanese-Canadian musician Saya Gray is sharing the gauzy "EMPATHY 4 BETHANY." Clocking in at almost five minutes, "EMPATHY 4 BETHANY" is an ethereal dreamscape that starts out like a fingerpicked Radiohead deep cut. As it progresses, however, "EMPATHY 4 BETHANY" gathers momentum, with wistful horns framing Saya's lyrics about the difficulties of maintaining relationships as a touring musician.
MOISE & DUFFLE BAG BURU – 1ST
Introducing Moise, the Minneapolis musician immersing us in his emotive breed of R&B on "1ST." Featured on his recent mixtape, WE SURVIVED THE STORM, VOL. 1, "1ST" is a radiant embrace that hears Moise coming to terms with the emotional highs and lows of life. Opening to a set of bars courtesy of Chicago's Duffle Bag Buru, before turning into a more glistening piece of neo-soul, "1ST" is the kind of song that hits deep in the solar plexus: "We breathing in and out/Let it all out/I know that/I hold that close."
Follow We Are: The Guard on Spotify for lots more chill vibes! xo
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.