TOP CHILL SONGS - WEEK 37
The arrival of fall is starting to feel more real as we tread further into September. There's a distinct bite in the air, leaves are beginning to take on a lambent hue, and, of course, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has finally resurfaced on Starbucks menus throughout the Northern Hemisphere! As the season changes, so do musical tastes, which brings us to the latest edition of Top Chill Songs. If you're struggling to shake off those final remnants of summer, then this playlist – as curated by We Are: The Guard – is almost certain to help you embrace autumn in all of its incandescent glory. Just pop on your headphones, pull on your favorite oversized sweater, and warm your soul to the following tracks from ODESZA, filous, Phoebe Ryan, and seven others.
ODESZA – A MOMENT APART
Having spent the last seven days digesting A Moment Apart, the third album from Seattle producer duo ODESZA, We Are: The Guard feels that it's only appropriate that we begin this week with the 16-song collection's towering title track. Clocking in at just under four minutes, it's an inconceivably vast instrumental that – alongside “Intro” – acts as a launching pad for the album. With its mixture of sprawling string arrangements and rave-like beats evoking a cosmic emotionality, it's an ambitious opener to what's shaping up to be one of our favorite records of the year!
SYD – BAD DREAM/NO LOOKING BACK
Following on from the release of her well-received debut album Fin earlier this year, former Odd Future and The Internet member Syd returns this September with “Bad Dream/No Looking Back.” A two-part track that was produced by Gwen Bunn and Ricci Riera, respectively, it's a five-minute swoop into Syd's sensuously pillowy R&B sound, with the Los Angeles native's heavy-lidded voice giving life to lyrics like: “We only kiss when we fuckin'/So, we don't get too attached/'Cause if this turns into something, we know there's no looking back.”
FILOUS (FEAT. KLEI) – FOR LOVE
Ahead of the release of his For Love EP next month, Austrian producer Matthias Oldofredi, who records under the name filous, has shared the ebullient title track. The song is a collaboration with singer klei, whose effervescent vocals provide a focal point around which Oldofredi's dexterously crafted, vibrant beats are able to ricochet around like bouncy balls. Filous: “klei and I made this song in Amsterdam with our good friend Rik Annema. What I love most about the song is that it really captures the easy-going and fun time we had making it! It's really about just letting go, being happy, and living your life for love!”
TERROR JR – HOLDING YOUR TONGUE
Ever since they debuted last year with the Kylie Jenner co-signed “3 Strikes,” Terror Jr have been our go-tos for addicting electronic pop morsels, with the latest coming in the form of “Holding Your Tongue.” Featured on The Girl Who Cried Purple – the final installment of Terror Jr's Bop City trilogy, due out later this month – it's a song that's moreish despite its simplicity, with producer Felix Snow laying down his signature glitch beats while lead singer Lisa Vitale steals the show with her mixture of cotton candy vocals and explicit lyrics.
FOUR TET – SCIENTISTS
As he gears up to release his ninth album New Energy later this month, British producer titan Four Tet has shared “Scientists.” The follow-up to “SW9 9SL” is a sprawling five-minute odyssey that begins with a metallic synth line weaving its way through cascading hi-hats, only to disintegrate into ambience. After a moment of stillness, “Scientists” resurges again – this time more vivid than before – with unintelligible vocal samples and billowing horns carrying the song to its radiant conclusion.
KODA – LEVIATHAN
Koda returns after a period of relative quiet this September with “Leviathan.” Pairing his tremulous, Thom Yorke-esque tenor with a melancholy swirl of acoustics and strings, the song – which arrives ahead of the Los Angeles balladeer's appearance at the coveted Red Bull Sound Select in Chicago in November – is a profoundly affecting piece of music that finds Koda coming to terms with the devastating realization that “Every one of us is alone.”
AQUILO – I COULD FIGHT ON A WALL
English duo Aquilo prove that they haven't lost touch when it comes to writing sweepingly introspective music with their latest single and their first material since January's Silhouettes. A lush, cavernous folk opus that builds on its rich instrumental and vocal layers to a truly grandiose crescendo, “I Could Fight on a Wall” is an expansive return from Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham. Aquilo: “'I Could Fight on a Wall' marks both of us finding confidence again through people we'd grown close to over that year really. We don't find ourselves writing positive songs often but for some reason this just came around.”
KLLO – NYLON
With just over a month to go until they unveil their debut album Backwater, Kllo – the Australian duo comprising of cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam – have shared “Nylon.” Coming after “Downfall,” it's a haunting piano ballad shot through with ghostly electronic shivers, with Kaul's lighter-than-air vocals belying the track's decidedly heavy subject matter. Kllo: “It is about disorientation when growing older, but with a mind still too young to take on the serious commitments of what's in front of you – and how suffocating it can be to try and hold yourself up to those expectations.”
PHOEBE RYAN – JUST BE REAL
Los Angeles talent Phoebe Ryan follows up “Forgetting All About You,” her collaboration with We Are: The Guard favorite blackbear, with another electronic pop gem this September. “Just Be Real” finds the 26-year-old – who, alongside her solo career, has written for artists such as Britney Spears and Melanie Martinez, and featured on songs by The Chainsmokers and The Knocks – pleading with a lover to cut the bullshit and reveal their true feelings, with Ryan asking in the chorus “But baby am I enough?” over a shimmering, synth-speckled instrumental.
RY X – HOWLING (LIAM.M REMIX)
Hailing from Australia, 20-year-old producer Liam.M lends RY X's carnal hymn “Howling” a beatcentric makeover this September. While the original exercised a certain earthy restraint, Liam.M leaves no surface area untouched with his ambient remix, with tight, complex percussion, celestial synth arpeggios, and sweeping strings all coming together to elevate “Howling” to an overall more ethereal plane.
Until next time, stay chill! 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.