TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 43
Hi, chillheads! The Halloween weekend has finally arrived, which means that, if you're anything like us, you're going to be spending the next couple of days knocking back one too many Pumpkin Spice Cocktails. While we wait for the party to get started (are you in need of a last-minute playlist? Olivia has got you covered!), we're taking a moment to enjoy the calm before the storm with the latest dose of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music. The following songs from DENM, Woodes, Lostboycrow, Koda, Arctic Lake, and five more are sure to help you loosen up ahead of the debauchery. Their soothing properties are also likely to come in handy when you're nursing a monster (monster? Get it?!) of a hangover, but we digress!
DENM – BLESS YOUR HEART (ACOUSTIC)
As fall descends on the Northern Hemisphere, We Are: The Guard's very own DENM is adapting his sound appropriately with this acoustic version of his end-of-summer bop “Bless Your Heart.” While the original hid much of its sentiment behind reggae-tipped danceable beats (emphasis on the danceable! Did you SEE the video?!), this take strips the song back to its emotional core, with DENM's husky vibrato refocusing the attention on those heart-stopping lyrics: “I'm not like the other boys, girl/Only want to give you lovin/Why can't you see I'm everything you need?”
WOODES – DOTS
“I know I lost something/I searched the map, don't know where you are/Looked everywhere/But all I found were embers from the sparks.” And so begins “Dots,” the formidable latest odyssey from Elle Graham, who records as Woodes. The Melbourne force of nature is ready to conquer with her musical prowess on the ambitious follow-up to “Run for It,” with every booming drum beat and powerful, lofty vocal inflection propelling the 24-year-old closer to the goal of her quest.
AUÐUR – I'D LOVE
Having cut his teeth in the Icelandic hardcore scene, Reykjavík native Auður proceeds to sink them into something more electronic-based on his erotic latest single. Produced by Auður alongside Selfir, “I'd Love” is perhaps best described as an oversexed James Blake. Combining Auður's titillating vocals (“I'd love to get to know ya/Open your chest and let's explore”) with a baby-making mixture of R&B beats and flamenco guitars, it's a song that deserves a prime place on all bedroom mixtapes.
EXHIBITIONIST – MOTIONLESS
Future Classic delivers the goods once again. The Australian record label that's home to the likes of Nick Murphy (previously Chet Faker) and Flume introduce us to yet another virtuoso from Down Under this month in the form of Exhibitionist, a multi-instrumentalist from Sydney who, despite her name, brings an understated sound to her latest single “Motionless.” Pairing her restrained vocals with a mixture of plucked strings and syncopated beats, it's a veritable lesson in the art of minimalism that Exhibitionist reveals on her Facebook page is about “finding forgiveness and the cyclic nature of friendships.”
NOURISHE – NO RULES
Much love to Guard Robert Duffy for introducing us to this delightful debut single from Nourishe! The Melbourne duo comprising of Lage Zagroon and Max Bonifacio have officially set our hearts aflutter with their first ever offering “No Rules.” A smooth blend of jazz and electronic influences that comes finished off by Zagroon's soulful cadence, it's an effortless – not to mention groovy AF – ditty that's sure to leave you feeling footloose and fancy-free this Friday! FFO: Tom Misch, Carmody.
LOSTBOYCROW – ALL MY LIVES AT ONCE
Lostboycrow continues to perfect his blend of R&B and electronic pop on his nostalgic latest offering “All My Lives at Once.” Featured on his recent EP Traveler: The Second Legend – the second part of his three-part Legend EP series – it finds the Los Angeles artist and all-round hair icon positioning his powerhouse croon front and center atop a sparkling synth-drenched dreamscape, with Lostboycrow effortlessly moving from the lower to the higher parts of his vocal range as he reminisces about a summer romance of old: “My summer hair, your secret place/I never cut it when you went away/They always blame it on us being too young/I'm seeing all my lives at once.”
KELELA – FRONTLINE (ROBOKID REMIX)
Kelela's Take Me Apart is without a doubt one of the best R&B releases of the year, and this week, the album's opener “Frontline” is getting the remix treatment courtesy of Los Angeles producer and Moving Castle co-founder robokid. While the original is a slow-burning grind, robokid manages to completely transform the mood of “Frontline” by upping both the tempo of the song and the pitch of Kelela's voice, with skittering trap percussion and elastic basslines taking this kiss-off straight to the club.
LYVES – COVER ME
We Are: The Guard favorite Francesca Bergami, or Lyves, is apprehensive to commit to a lover on her latest single “Cover Me.” The follow-up to “Holding Back” as ever finds the London singer dabbling in expansive trip hop-tipped soul, with Bergami's full-bodied voice acting as a means of catharsis for her fears of emotional attachment. “I feel the song speaks about the tug and pull in relationships,” reveals Lyves in a press release. “That internal conflict that can arise between wanting stability and security vs independence.”
KODA – WEIGHTLESS
Los Angeles producer Koda is liberating us from all earthly bonds – at least for just over three-and-a-half minutes – with “Weightless.” Written for Blood Road – a documentary film of self-discovery that follows mountain bike champion Rebecca Rusch as she pedals through Vietnam's Hồ Chí Minh trail in search of the spot where her father crashed and died during the war – and coming to us by way of the YouTube channel MrSuicideSheep, it's an expansive masterwork that positively soars towards the outer reaches of the stratosphere, with the song defying gravity as it rides high on Koda's otherworldly voice.
ARCTIC LAKE – LIVING UNDER YOU
It's only been two weeks since we last featured Arctic Lake here at We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music, but we couldn't resist bringing you yet another cut from the London trio's recent EP Closer. “Living Under You” hears Emma Foster, Paul Holliman, and Andy Richmond continue to refine and distill their signature breed of icy electronic pop, all the while heading in a more upbeat direction, with Foster's crystalline, Kate Bush-esque voice this time coming fortified by a mixture of reverberating guitar lines and crisp drum patterns.
Happy Halloween, chillheads!
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.