TOP CHILL MUSIC - WEEK 52
This is a weird time of year.
It's no longer Christmas, but it's not quite New Year. People are back at work, but everyone is still a little hungover from the festivities. And nobody can really be bothered to do anything productive or meaningful until 2019.
Basically what I'm saying is, this transitionary period is all about zoning out and enjoying the final few days of 2018 before our New Year's resolutions come along to kick us up the butt.
Ahead of the 2019 celebrations, then, why not continue to take time out from adulting this Friday with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Music, featuring the following soothing sounds from Maya Jane Coles, Crywolf, The-Dream, and seven other favorites?!
KEVIN GEORGE – HIGH LIKE THIS
What better way to get this week started than with one of We Are: The Guard's favorite songs of the year?!
Kevin George had an enviable 2018, and it's not hard to hear why listening to his breakthrough single “High Like This.” The sizzlingly grandiose slice of alternative R&B was one of our first tastes of this Connecticut artist, and I'm not sure about you, but I can't wait to devour whatever else the 20-year-old is going to bring in 2019.
Just tell The Weeknd to watch his back.
MAYA JANE COLES – ISOLATE
I'm a simple woman.
I see Maya Jane Coles, I click.
The London producer is closing out her year on a mesmerizing note with “Isolate,” a three-and-a-half-minute exploration of a post-apocalyptic wasteland that hears the industrial machinations of drums and bass meeting vocal chops that submerge themselves beneath the dirty puddles of this most intoxicating dystopia.
FAIME – LET U GO
Introducing Faime, the Los Angeles artist who's here to take you far, far away with his otherworldly latest single “Let U Go.”
This is the sound of walking on clouds while looking down at the world a million miles beneath you, with Faime's dreamy, weightless vocals floating through the atmosphere like an ethereal presence that frees you of all earthly troubles.
BEN ZAIDI – RIGHT MIND.
When we find ourselves in a depressive state of mind, it can be tempting to act on impulsive decisions, but Ben Zaidi is reminding us of the negative consequences of that on his latest single “Right Mind.”
“I was wrong/I thought leaving would make me strong/But I was so blind/I wasn't in my right mind,” sings the Seattle-via-New York City “poet-songmaker” through a wall of vocoder on the electronic hymn, a plaintive ode to love and loss that's taken from Ben's recent project All / Alone.
CRYWOLF – CEPHALOTUS
Crywolf's Justin Taylor Phillips is back this week with his symphonic new single.
Named after the carnivorous pitcher plant of the same name, “cephalotus” is a cacophonic chorale with no clearly defined borders or edges, with Crywolf instead allowing his vocals and instrumentation to form a kind of amorphous womb of sound that holds you tight in its embrace.
“'cephalotus' is a song about my entire life, in a certain sense,” writes Justin. “A descent into darkness, into chaos; into sweet, beautiful doom.”
MORMOR – PASS THE HOURS
Coinciding with the announcement of his 2019 tour, We Are: The Guard favorite MorMor returns this week with the easygoing, otherworldly “Pass the Hours.”
The song hears the Toronto indie artist picking up where his debut EP Heaven's Only Wishful left off, with Seth Nyquist's pillowy soft falsetto giving itself over to a cottony bed of ethereal, carefree guitars and drums, resulting in the kind of track that you'll want to get lost in for days.
THE-DREAM – BEDROOM
Two years on from the release of Love You to Death EP, R&B Casanova The-Dream is back this week with not one, not two, but THREE albums: Sextape Vol. 1, Sextape Vol. 2, and Sextape Vol. 3, or as they're collectively titled, Ménage à Trois.
“Hardcore Pleasure,” “Pull Out,” and “Super Soaker” are just some of the songs to feature across the baby-making trilogy, although We Are: The Guard's personal favorite cut has to come in the form of “Bedroom,” a track so lavishly sexual, you can practically hear The-Dream licking his lips as he beckons you to the boudoir.
ARLO PARKS – COLA
She may be only 18 years old, but I'm going to go ahead and say that London's Arlo Parks has more talent in her little finger than most people twice her age listening to her debut single “Cola.”
Matching Lorde-style attitude to gently swaying soft rock rhythms, “Cola” is the definition of effortless, with Arlo sounding like a young poet laureate in the making as she sings of coming to terms with her mixed feelings towards someone who cheated on her.
“'Cola' is a reminder that betrayal is inevitable when it comes to pretty people that think flowers fix everything,” writes Arlo. Check it out.
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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.