With less than a week to go until March, it's really starting to feel like spring is upon us. I'm not sure about you, but having endured months of dismal winter days and relentless winter nights, the arrival of sweet-scented blooms, chirruping songbirds, and all-round more agreeable temperatures is certainly boosting my mood! And since it's Friday, We Are: The Guard is determined as ever to keep the positive vibes flowing into the weekend with the latest edition of Top Chill Music. Just pop on your headphones and celebrate the change in season by giving your playlists a much-needed spring clean with the following songs from Iron & Wine, Aquilo, Freya Ridings, and others.



She's only 20-years-old, but JOY. proves her maturity as an artist on the transfixing “Change.” The first single to be unveiled from the Brisbane singer-songwriter's forthcoming EP Six is a hauntingly exquisite piece of ambient pop, with a vocal line that swirls like an Antarctic blast, causing the hairs on the back of the neck to bristle.



Beast Epic was one of our favorite albums of 2017, and this year, Iron & Wine returns with the video for our favorite cut on the Grammy-nominated record – the charming “Bitter Truth.” Directed by Hannah Welever, the visual sees Sam Beam performing for some pre-teens at a middle school dance, with the delightfully sweet depictions of young love and friendship guaranteed to warm even the coldest of hearts.



If you're still reeling from seeing all of the happy couples on your Instagram feed on Valentine's Day, then EDEN is here to help you sob it out in the bathtub with “Wings.” The latest single to be unveiled from the Dublin crooner's recent album Vertigo is nothing short of a soul-crushing symphony, with a whirring set of beats acting as a backdrop to EDEN's narrative about a heartache so strong, it feels like it could stop the earth from spinning.



Born and raised on Réunion – an island and region of France in the Indian Ocean – NASAYA makes the kind of tropical-flavored bops that only a true archipelago inhabitant can. Case in point: “Orange.” Described by the upcoming producer as an “electronic ode to embracing chaos,” the cehryl-featuring composition is a funky retrofuturistic bounce that comes replete with the sort of shimmering summer grooves that make us want to drop everything and head to the nearest beach party.



Frank Leone – who first showed promise three years ago when he released his debut album EnterWILD – aims straight for the chest with his latest single. “Huffing Paint” was written by the Chicagoan following the suicide of a close friend, with Leone rapping about the grief process in profound, unflinching detail: “No time for no way/I ain't got God on my side, I pushed my brother away/I pushed my brother away, I pushed my brother away/Swear he just needed my love, y'all got me huffing the paint.”



Having recently signed to Majestic Casual, Belgian producer duo YellowStraps are here to get us in the mood for the approaching summer evenings with “Nights Up.” Featured on their forthcoming EP Blame, it's a simmering piece of electronic soul made for those air-conditioned early hours spent tossing and turning in bed while thinking about the one that you love, with St. South turning up the heat as she sings: “Look, just look the other way/Won't you look the other way/While I have my little way with you/Have my little way.”



Peter Gabriel, Damon Albarn, and Syd are just some of the artists to feature on Everything Is Recorded, the debut album from XL Recordings boss Richard Russell. None of these names rise to the occasion quite like Sampha does, however, on the project's titular cut “Everything Is Recorded,” a song whose striking blend of electronics and symphonics allows the London balladeer to put his emotive melisma to full use.



Ahead of their UK and European tour next month, Aquilo give crowds a taste of what's to come with the video for “Ghost.” Filmed by Harvey Pearson, the clip provides an insight into Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher's recent dates in the US, with shots of their live shows coming interspersed with footage of the duo rehearsing backstage, traveling through the North American desert, and, of course, hanging out at an inhumane number of airports.



It's not every day that a song can tear up a heart into tiny, little pieces, but then again, “Habits” is far from every day. The gut-wrenching debut single from mysterious emo duo outsideOUTSIDE is the definition of timeless, with a male and female singer sharing vocal duties in order to bring to life a story that'll resonate with anyone who's ever loved and lost.



Freya Ridings is a balladeer hailing from London who specializes in grandiose emotionality. Having charmed us with her debut single “Blackout” and her cover of “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs last year, the red-headed songstress returns to do it all over again this 2018 with “Lost Without You” – a sweepingly cinematic pianic rendering of love and loss that Ridings tells All Things Go is a “time capsule of a moment that changed my life.”


Enjoy your weekend! x

Woman With a Bouquet in the Meadow by Larm Rmah, Unsplash License

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.