TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 31
Greetings, readers, and welcome to the latest edition of Top Chill Music. As we head into August, we can't help but feel a subtle hint of melancholy knowing that summer is quietly coming to a conclusion. There's always a sense of nostalgia attached to these hazy final days of the season. A time when lifelong memories are etched in the lingering embrace of a summer romance, or on rooftops with friends while watching a shrinking sunset. Of course, the most potent of memories of all are those that are bound up with a particular soundtrack – a reality that drives us here at We Are: The Guard to bring you this very playlist on a weekly basis. With summer nights steadily starting to draw in around us, we genuinely want to assist you in seeing the season out in truly unforgettable style by bringing you what we believe to be an indelible soundtrack in the form of the following songs by Angelo De Augustine, Elohim & Whethan, Cigarettes After Sex, Oscar Oscar, DVWEZ, and many more.
ANGELO DE AUGUSTINE – HAZE
Signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records, the label founded by the masterful Sufjan Stevens in 1999, Angelo De Augustine dishes sweeping lo-fi exquisiteness on “Haze.” Coming ahead of his sophomore album, the home-recorded Swim Inside the Moon, the song is a profoundly charming piece of freak folk, with Angelo's whispered, fragile vocals quietly gliding before an intricate cascade of acoustic guitar. The video for “Haze,” meanwhile, was animated by Matt Czap, with the protagonist being described as a “snarling,” a roller skating dragon originally illustrated and conceptualized by Angelo.
ELOHIM & WHETHAN – SLEEPY EYES
Los Angeles vocalist Elohim and Chicago producer Whethan deliver a summer anthem for dreamers and lovers everywhere in the form of “Sleepy Eyes.” The song, which comes after Elohim's recent cover of Passion Pit's “Hideaway,” exhibits a truly blissful meeting of musical styles. “Kiss me with your eyes open/They dilate when you hold me close,” sings Elohim as she dives head first into the vibe-drenched chorus, her voice navigating Whethan's tropical-inspired beats with an almost childlike fervor.
CIGARETTES AFTER SEX – JOHN WAYNE
El Paso outfit and all-round melancholia connoisseurs Cigarettes After Sex return to our column with “John Wayne.” The penultimate song on the band's recent self-titled debut album is a cinematic distillation of all that We Are: The Guard has grown to love about these doomed romantics over recent months. With frontman Greg Gozalez's androgynous, heavy-lidded voice coming encased in towering walls of lulling, reverb-drenched guitars, “John Wayne” is a hypnagogic dream pop hymn that gently waltzes beneath the moonlight.
TROVE – TIE DYE EYES
Introducing Trove, who debuts on Casual Jam Records, the label imprint of YouTube channel MrRevillz, with “Tie Dye Eyes.” The song is a chilled out introduction to the Sydney artist that arrives just in time for the final remnants of summer. With emotionally charged songwriting coming paired with a production that derives influence from both indie and electronica, with intricate guitar riffs meeting melodic synth lines, “Tie Dye Eyes” is packed full of the kind of vibes that we very much welcome onto our August mixtapes.
SIGRID – DON'T KILL MY VIBE (DESPIN & MAHAMA REMIX)
To celebrate reaching over 200,000 followers and counting on SoundCloud, Tipsy Remixes have shared a free download of producers Despin and Mahama's vibe-soaked spin on Sigrid's “Don't Kill My Vibe.” While the original appeared in the form of an indie pop anthem, Despin and Mahama succeed in transforming “Don't Kill My Vibe” into a deep house smash hit, with Sigrid's signature vocals coming accompanied by a tropical-flavored cocktail of melodic acoustic guitars and uplifting pianos chords.
OSCAR OSCAR – HEY HO
Hailing from Brisbane, Oscar Oscar makes his debut on the blogosphere with “Hey Ho.” The song, which comes to us by way of Majestic Causal Records, is a dexterously crafted electronic opus. With its mixture of chopped up, luminescent vocals and glitched out, chiming beats, arranged and executed with absolute precision, Oscar Oscar succeeds in producing a positively vivid masterpiece that could fool even the most expert musicologist into thinking that it was the creation of a more established artist, such as Four Tet or Burial.
BOSCO – CRUEL (PROD. NEVR)
Ahead of the release of her sophomore EP B. later this month, Atlanta talent BOSCO has shared “Cruel.” The follow-up to “Adrenaline” opens in notably funky style, with producer NEVR pairing psychedelic, Tame Impala-esque basslines with shimmering synths. BOSCO then enters, her dreamy vocals presiding over the lounge-like groove with ease, with the smooth-sailing pace of the song helping to breathe life into the effortlessly cool lyrics about embarking on a late-night drive with a summer lover: “7:45 on the boulevard/Cruising top down 'til the sunset/I know we both feel it.”
RYAN SVENDSEN (FEAT. MOLLY MOORE & UNO HYPE) – ORANGE TREE LEAVES
Having contributed to cinematic masterpiece La La Land as Manager of Film Music for Lionsgate, Ryan Svendsen turns his attention to more personal ventures with “Orange Tree Leaves.” Collaborating with We Are: The Guard favorite Molly Moore and rising rapper Uno Hype, the Los Angeles talent presents just over four minutes of searing jazz resplendence. Pairing Molly's soulful, insouciant croon and Uno's smooth, inimitable delivery with billowing trumpets and hip hop-derived beats, “Orange Tree Leaves” is a balmy beauty that's best listened to while lazing in the late summer sun.
ALAYNA – HIGH OFF YOU
Brooklyn singer Alayna follows up the release of her debut single “Falling Autumn” with “High Off You.” Released through 20XX Records, the song is further proof of Alayna's artistic and poetic potential. Produced by Maths Time Joy, whose understated, 90s-indebted R&B production makes for a quintessential accompaniment to the 23-year-old's Ariana Grande-esque vocal range and emotive lyrics, “High Off You” is a deeply soul-stirring piece of music that positions Alayna far above her contemporaries.
DVWEZ – SPACE
DVWEZ (pronounced “Dames”) concludes her recent sophomore EP Paradise on an appropriately rapturous note with “Space.” Produced by Kaixen, it's a plush, expansive piece of R&B-meets-soul majesty that drips with an emotional and atmospheric intensity. Featuring the Orlando singer-songwriter's vaporous vocals set against a backdrop of lustrous, 80s-style synths and bone-shaking beats, “Space” couldn't be a more ethereal climax to one of We Are: The Guard's favorite records of the summer.
Thanks for listening, readers. Until next week. x
“Photo” by Tim Marshall is licensed under CC0 1.0 (cropped and resized).
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.