TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 27
Greetings, readers! Did you have an excellent Independence Day? If you're still recovering after a bout of heavy drinking (“Red, white, and booze!” is our motto), or simply from the trauma of having to reunite with your microaggressive, Donald Trump-supporting extended family (“Make Fourth of July great again!” is theirs), and you're in need of some musically-aided rest and recuperation, then we're pleased to announce that you're most definitely in the right place. As we head into the weekend, join us in being positively anti-social by strapping on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and hitting play on yet another edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music, featuring Flight Facilities, RKBC, Lucian, Billie Eilish, Freya Ridings, and plenty of others.
FLIGHT FACILITIES (FEAT. EMMA LOUISE) – ARTY BOY
Sydney producers Flight Facilities prepare for a smooth landing with their first single in what feels like forever. A collaboration with Brisbane vocalist Emma Louise – who previously appeared on 2014's “Two Bodies” – the song was most definitely worth the three-year wait. Centered around pulsating basslines and groovy, Nile Rodgers-esque guitar riffs, over which Emma is able to drape her luscious vocals, “Arty Boy” is nothing short of an essential addition to any summer playlist.
RKCB – VICE
In a musical landscape overpopulated by R&B duos, Los Angeles two-piece RKBC continue to up their game on “Vice.” Opening with ferocious brass and thumping beats, the song is sure to assert its presence long before the vocals come in. It's once the sensual topline does eventually enter, however, that “Vice” really gets into a groove, resulting in a statement-making piece that's only set to propel RKCB higher up the ranks.
LUCIAN (FEAT. LIA) – NEED U
Hailing from New York, Lucian continues to live up to his reputation as the next big thing in electronic dance music with his latest offering. “Need U,” which follows up May's “Do My Thing,” hears Lucian heading in darker, more robust direction compared to his previous work, with bone-shaking basslines weighing down much of the piece. The producer once again showcases a skill for discovering ascendant singers, too, with guest vocalist LIA's attitude-packed topline making for a perfect compliment to the thicker instrumental.
UPPERMOST – NIGHT WALK (AZALEH REMIX)
“A lonely soul emerges from a dark chasm into the moonlight. He aimlessly walks for hours on end, free from the confines of the place he just left.” – This is the description that sits beneath 20-year-old producer Azaleh's remix of Uppermost's “Night Walk” on SoundCloud, and in truth, we aren't sure that we can do a much better job of describing the unforgettable journey that this ambient opus takes listeners on. A shadow-dappled excursion through the damp, misty back alleys of some unknown megalopolis, we heartily recommend this remix to all forms of nocturnal animals.
BILLIE EILISH – WATCH
Billie Eilish, the 15-year-old pop prodigy who first appeared on the scene last year with the sleepy “Ocean Eyes,” returns to our ears this month with “Watch.” Produced by her brother, the equally precocious 19-year-old Finneas Eilish, the song is a dazzling electronic ballad, with Billie heard fantasizing about dousing a former flame's wheels in gasoline atop a beat seemingly built around a sample of a sizzling match. Billie: “The song is about letting go of someone toxic and moving on. Setting your ex's car on fire is a pretty horrible thing to do...but I can think of worse things.”
MARNA – CROSSFIRE
London's Marna debuts a voice that has the power to stop people in their tracks on “Crossfire.” Produced by close collaborator JKP, the song is a slow-burning piece of dark pop, with low-key piano chords and vinyl static allowing Marna's dulcet tones to take center stage. Marna: “In the year since I wrote it, I've actually forgotten who it was originally about. But the meaning of the song now leans towards close friends that seem to be settling down and becoming an accessory to someone else's life before fulfilling their own dreams. I'm offering a hand and they're slapping it away.”
DAYO BELLO – MINE
Introducing Dayo Bello, who having recently graduated from the same London music college attended by the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse, makes his debut on the blogosphere this July with “Mine.” A devastating ballad that hears the 19-year-old's angelic falsetto gliding over nimble guitar lines, it's a stately inauguration that's already received a cosign from Chance the Rapper's manager. Dayo: “It's a song that explores the feeling of believing a relationship is over despite the fact that you don't want it to be. It describes a push through emotions, to put our issues to one side and realize that I belong with her.”
ALBIN LEE MELDAU – BLOODSHOT
It's been a while since we last heard from Albin Lee Meldau, but the Gothenburg troubadour returns this month in majestic form with “Bloodshot.” The latest single to be unveiled from his forthcoming second EP of the same name is a soulful piece of symphonic splendour. Written in the wake of what appears to be a breakup, the song is a grief-stricken narrative lead by grandiose strings and billowing brass, over which Albin unleashes a throaty, guttural vocal performance that teems with the kind of raw emotion exhibited by the likes of Paolo Nutini and Hozier.
FREYA RIDINGS – MAPS (YEAH YEAH YEAHS COVER)
Having made quite the entrance in May with her emphatic debut single “Blackout,” Freya Ridings returns to command the blogosphere's attention once again this month with a cover of “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. To call the British act's version of the quintessential indie love song “unrecognizable” would almost seem like an understatement. A profound piano ballad that positions her booming, full-bodied voice center stage, it's a staggering cover, enriched with the kind of emotion that resonates in the bones long after listening.
RE/SEARCH/ER – NOTHING NOWHERE
After three months of inactivity, We Are: The Guard favorite Re/search/er's SoundCloud flickers with life this July with “Nothing Nowhere.” Featuring Re/search/er using layered vocals to explore the complex relationship between technology and identity (“I'm a guest inside my head/Am I waking up/Am I only on my phone/And I'm running out of time/And you run me out of town/Hold me, I'm reaching out with my hand/And I will wait for a hand to pull me up”) over a bed of syncopated beats, “Nothing Nowhere” is a dexterously crafted masterpiece that forms part of Future Cults, the California producer's multimedia project of ongoing stories searchable by character on a map.
Enjoy your weekend, readers! x
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.