TOP CHILL SONGS - WEEK 6
Is it me, or has this week draaagged?! No, really, it feels like the weekend was FOREVER ago. Anyways, now that Friday is here (at last!), we can finally start to relax, unwind, and look forward to the next couple of days away from the office without the boss breathing down our necks *criiinge*. As 5 p.m. edges ever closer, then (I don't take my eyes off the clock on a Friday!), feel free to join me in easing into the weekend with yet another edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs, featuring Naughty Boy, RY X, Bibio, and plenty of others!
THE JAPANESE HOUSE – WE TALK ALL THE TIME
There's something kind of vacant about the music of The Japanese House, and yet the British balladeer never fails to get me in my feelings. Case in point: “We Talk All the Time,” a laid-back, low-key funky groove inspired by Amber Bain's split from fellow musician Marika Hackman that hears the 23-year-old dancing amid the ruins of her relationship with a marked sense of detachment.
NAUGHTY BOY (FEAT. EMELI SANDÉ & RAHAT FATEH ALI KHAN) – BUNGEE JUMPING
British producer Naughty Boy joins forces with long-time collaborator Emeli Sandé and Pakistani legend Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on his latest single. Listen as Shahid Khan incorporates elements of Qawwali – a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music – into his more signature dance sound on “Bungee Jumping,” a beautifully powerful composition that transcends all genres and languages in order to bring people together in the name of love.
HIDDEN FACE – LOOKING FOR HAPPINESS
Hidden Face embarks on one hell of an emotional journey on “Looking for Happiness.” Gently plucked acoustics set the two-and-a-half-minute instrumental off on an ironically somber note. Bright, uplifting synths soon enter to take the weight off the shoulders of “Looking for Happiness,” however, with the masked producer's choice of dynamics really managing to evoke that sense of moving from a place of darkness to a place of newfound light. FFO: San Holo, Dukus.
CAUTIOUS CLAY – HONEST ENOUGH
Cautious Clay had an incredibly prolific and successful 2018, but it doesn't appear as though the New York City crooner is planning on slowing down this 2019. Following on from the announcement that he's set to release Table of Context EP later this year, Cautious has shared “HONEST ENOUGH,” a hazy fever dream of a listen that hears the 25-year-old's voice drifting in and out consciousness over a heavy-lidded production courtesy of Medasin.
OVERCOATS – FIX YOU (COLDPLAY COVER)
We Are: The Guard favorites Overcoats take time out from working on their highly anticipated second album in order to share a cover of Coldplay's “Fix You.” The reinvention hears the New York City duo transforming Chris Martin and company's lighter-in-the-air anthem into a devastatingly beautiful folktronica affair, with Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell's exquisite vocal harmonies imbuing the song with a couple of much-needed female perspectives.
RY X – THE WATER
RY X reaches a whole new level of intimacy on the latest single to be unveiled from his forthcoming second album Unfurl. “Do you open? Do you open?” the Los Angeles artist repeatedly asks a lover on “The Water,” a plaintive piano ballad that gradually gathers pace like a whirlpool, eventually pulling listeners into its deep, endless embrace.
DIJON – CANNONBALL
Ahead of the release of his debut solo EP Sci Fi 1 in March, dijon – formerly of Abhi//Dijon – has shared “Cannonball.” The song is an equal parts sad and stunningly gorgeous piece of music that finds dijon lyrically reflecting on a day spent by the lake with a loved one, with the acoustic ballad's overarching sense of warm nostalgia coming undercut by pangs of aching melancholy: “I wish that you would hold me/Without grace and ungently/I wish you'd wrap me up tight/I wish you'd hold me inside.”
MITCHELL YARD (FEAT. AYELLE) – MARY JANE
Ayelle may be one of the most featured voices in this column, and it's not hard to hear why. Everything that the R&B songstress touches turns to gold, and Mitchell Yard's “Mary Jane” is no exception, with the sultry slow jam managing to stand out from the rest of the bedroom-pop beatmakers thanks to its decidedly sexy guitar solo that enters around the two-and-a-half-minute mark.
BROODS – FALLING APART
New Zealand sibling duo Broods prove that pop monsters have feelings too on their dreamy latest single. “There's a hole in the head/There's a hole in the heart/There's a hole in the wall/That wasn't there in the start,” sings Georgia Nott on “Falling Apart,” an Auto-Tuned ode to the disenchanted that Broods reveal that they wrote following the election in 2016. “It felt like the echo chamber shattered and to a lot of people we knew, everything was falling apart.” Listen.
BIBIO – CURLS
As the vernal equinox edges ever closer, Bibio hints at new beginnings on the bucolic “Curls.” The first single to be unveiled since 2018's PHANTOM BRICKWORKS (IV & V) EP finds Stephen Wilkinson forgoing ambience in favor of a more plucky, folk-oriented sound, with Bibio's vocals stirring and unfurling like the first snowdrops of spring amid a range of pastoral strings.
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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.