TOP CHILL SONGS - WEEK 2
Hello, everyone. How's your 2019 going?! Are you still sticking to your New Year's resolutions?! Don't worry if not – self-improvement doesn't always have to take on the form of pulling on your running shoes or embarking on a crash diet. Sometimes self-improvement can be as simple as kicking back with a pair of trusty headphones and listening to your favorite tunes after a long, stressful day at work. As another weekend approaches, then, why not join me in trying out a different kind of New Year's resolution this Friday with help from the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs, featuring Girlpool, Billie Eilish, Rhys Lewis, D'Angelo, Mike Posner, and more?!
GIRLPOOL – WHAT CHAOS IS IMAGINARY
Ahead of the release of What Chaos Is Imaginary in February, Girlpool have shared the album's title track. The five-and-a-half-minute “What Chaos Is Imaginary” is best described as an otherworldly symphony, with an orchestral swirl of organs and strings lending a sense of grandiosity to lead singer Harmony Tividad's ethereal vocals. “'What Chaos is Imaginary' is a song very close to my heartmind… closer than most,” writes Harmony. Listen.
VRAELL – FALL
If you're like me and tend to gravitate towards more folkier sounds during winter, then this one is dedicated to you. British musician Vraell is providing us with the perfect hymn for January time in the form of his debut single, the Bon Iver-indebted “Fall,” which is as refreshingly bracing as an early-morning stroll through a forest coated in hoarfrost.
DERMOT KENNEDY – FOR ISLAND FIRES AND FAMILY
Following on from the announcement that he's set to play Coachella in April, Dermot Kennedy has shared “For Island Fires and Family.” Clocking in at just under five minutes, the odyssey-like ode to love and loss is fan favorite that the Irish crooner has been performing live for several years now, with the official release showcasing Dermot's voice in all of its rugged glory.
BILLIE EILISH – WHEN I WAS OLDER (MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE FILM ROMA)
I'm kind ashamed to admit that I'm yet to watch Roma, although one artist who obviously has is Billie Eilish, who returns this week with a song inspired by the Alfonso Cuarón-directed film. “WHEN I WAS OLDER” is an Auto-Tuned lullaby that'll probably make a lot more sense to me once I've seen the Netflix-distributed movie, but the FINNEAS-produced hymn still managed to chill me to the bone like the rest of this 17-year-old's tracks.
RHYS LEWIS – BETTER THAN TODAY
2018 was a tumultuous year for many, but Rhys Lewis is praying for a better 2019 on his latest single. “I don't read the headlines/And I don't watch the news/'Cause I lose faith in somethin' every time I do,” sings the British troubadour on “Better Than Today,” a thoughtful piano ballad that, despite its initially somber tone, actually moves towards a more hopeful message come the chorus as Rhys focuses on our shared humanity.
GENERAL CRUSH – WHO IS THAT
“Who Is That?” was most definitely a question that I found myself asking after listening to this song. And while I can't find much information on the man behind General Crush, it's safe to say that the Boston native is letting the music do the talking on this genre-defying vibe, which sets General Crush's laid-back vocal lines against the kind of distorted riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Sabbath record.
D'ANGELO – UNSHAKEN
D'Angelo is the last artist that I expected to feature on the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack, but the R&B outlaw has delivered a truly lush contribution to the Rockstar Games title in the form of “Unshaken.” Dark and atmospheric with a decidedly Western lilt, this nylon string-laden lament is as satisfying as a slow-burning swig of the finest moonshine.
IZZARD – KEEPING
Once in a while, a song comes along that feels too blissfully sweet for words. This is one of those songs. Featured on Soda Island co-founder Izzard's recent debut album of the same name, “Keeping” is a truly joyous listen, with Izzard's magically soft synth production making it seem like he's walking on clouds.
KINA GRANNIS – WHEN THE PARTY'S OVER (BILLIE EILISH COVER)
If the sparkles emoji was a song, it'd be this cover of “When the Party's Over” by Kina Grannis. Okay, so that sentence made a y more sense in my head, but this reinvention of the Billie Eilish track is nothing short of magic, with the acoustic arrangement really allowing Kina's vocal range to shine.
MIKE POSNER – MOVE ON
Mike Posner reflects on two years of tragedy on his latest single “Move On.” Written following the death of both his father and friend Avicii, the song finds the mansionz member simultaneously acknowledging the pain that he went through while looking to brighter days ahead, with Mike matching the message to a sunny acoustic production that'll most definitely leave a smile on your face.
Until next Friday, everyone, don't forget to follow We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Daily! on Spotify for more tunes! x
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.