TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 41
As much as I love the frenetic pace of summer, I'm beyond excited to discover that I have an empty social calendar over the next couple of weeks. Following what feels like months of vacations, weddings, road trips, and more, it's kind of nice to have a bit of time off from everyone and everything ahead of the chaos of the holiday season. As the weekend approaches, then, why not join me in enjoying this calmer, quieter time of year with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music? Featuring Caribou, Jessie Reyez, Majid Jordan, and plenty of others, the following playlist has something for everyone.
CARIBOU – HOME
Following on from five years of radio silence, Caribou's Dan Snaith makes his satisfyingly soulful return with “Home.” Revolving around a vocal sample taken from 70s singer Gloria Barnes' song of the same name, “Home” is a lush, retro groover that warms the body right through to the core, with nods to fellow cratediggers The Avalanches and Four Tet arriving in the beat and string work, respectively.
LOST FREQUENCIES – BEAT OF MY HEART
Ahead of the arrival of cuffing season, Lost Frequencies is providing us with the perfectly plaintive conclusion to summer romances everywhere with “Beat of My Heart.” The song only contains two sets of lyrics – “You know that I'm leaving/It's only for sure” and “You're like the beat of my heart/Beat goes on” – but these words, as backed by the mournful, melodic production of Belgium's Felix De Laet, are enough to make this Alive and Feeling Fine cut hit right where it hurts.
TYLER, THE CREATOR – EARFQUAKE (CHANNEL TRES REMIX)
Up until last week, Tyler, the Creator had never released an official remix of one of his songs. That all changed this past Friday, however, when Channel Tres offered up his version of “EARFQUAKE.” The take hears Channel infusing the IGOR cut with his signature Detroit house vibes, resulting in a sweltering, humid remix that, quite frankly, goes the hell off.
JESSIE REYEZ – FAR AWAY
Three years on from the release of her breakthrough single “Figures,” Jessie Reyez continues to position herself as one of the most thoughtful, challenging pop stars out there with “Far Away.” The first cut to be unveiled from the Latino artist's forthcoming debut album is written from the perspective of a couple who are torn apart by border control, with Jessie sweetly, sensually pining for her deported lover while simultaneously confronting some uncomfortable political truths: “Been feelin' like the government wants us to break up/iPhone XXX, FaceTime saves us.”
BENJI LEWIS – HOLD ON
Benji Lewis goes in search of some serenity amid the hot mess that is life on his latest single “Hold On.” “'Hold On' is about wanting to get past all of the unwanted drama and mess that this relationship is bringing to you and your life, but still finding a way to keep them around if only they can meet you in the middle,” writes the Melbourne-born, Los Angeles-based artist of the song, which hears Benji's mellifluous, dulcet vocals coming set against a backdrop of tranquil guitars and beats.
FINNEAS – DIE ALONE
FINNEAS has no shortage of shattering songs in his oeuvre, but this cut closing out his recent EP Blood Harmony is on a whole other level. The Los Angeles artist reveals that the tender piano ballad was written about his desire to be with his lover, YouTuber Claudia Sulewski, during the 2018 California wildfires, with the sound of helicopters and police sirens combined with FINNEAS' evocative vocal performance really bringing to life the devastation of that period.
UMI – LOVE AFFAIR
Coinciding with the announcement of her forthcoming visual EP Love Language, UMI is back with “Love Affair.” It's a smooth R&B groove that finds the Japanese-African-American artist caught in a flux between reality and fantasy, with UMI – whose voice is sounding more soft and dreamy than ever – questioning both the intentions of her paramour as well as her own identity over a bouncy bassline: “Don't overthink this is love/Maybe it's just a crush/Baby is this your love affair, your love affair?”
EOB – SANTA TERESA
Ed O'Brien joins fellow Radiohead bandmates Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Philip Selway in trying his hand at a solo career with the release of “Santa Teresa.” Clocking in at just over five-and-a-half minutes, it's a churning ambient opus that reminds me a whole lot of Brian Eno circa Thursday Afternoon, with Ed revealing that the instrumental – which is named after a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro – was inspired by the time that he spent living with his family in the Brazilian countryside.
LEON ELSE – EASY LOVE (IIINO REMIX)
Leon Else's “Easy Love” is like a gift that keeps on giving. Just five weeks on from its initial release, the song – which Leon revealed was written about his battle with sex addiction – receives a wildly colorful remix today courtesy of IIINO. Listen as the Washington, D.C. producer really brings out the dancehall lilt of the original, with the explosively vibrant synths making it an essential go-to when you need a tropical splash of summer in your life.
MAJID JORDAN – SUPERSTAR
Having collaborated with Khalid earlier this year on “Caught Up,” Majid Jordan are back today with the shimmering “Superstar.” “I just wanna spend my life with you/Go around the world and to the moon/I just wanna share the light with you,” croon the OVO Sound signees on the cut, a late-night ode to those extra special lovers in our lives that glistens as much as it grooves. “'Superstar' is going to bring our fans back to the classic Majid Jordan wave, but this time it's set in a different galaxy,” write the duo. Enjoy.
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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.