TOP CHILL SONGS - WEEK 38
Now that the initial September craziness has blown over, it feels like we all can finally settle down and really start to enjoy fall. The rusting of the leaves, the endless parade of Pumpkin Spice, the cozy evenings spent curled up by the fireside, and so on. My favorite thing about the change in season, however, has to be the music, with summer bangers making way for more autumnal anthems that better match the increasingly introspective mood that we all seem to find ourselves in this time of year. With the end of the working week fast approaching, then, why not join me in embracing fall in all of its golden glory this Friday by checking out the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs, featuring Lana Del Rey, 6LACK, Ben Howard, and more?!
LANA DEL REY – VENICE BITCH
“Fear fun, fear love/Fresh out of fucks, forever/Tryin' to be stronger for you/Ice cream, ice queen/I dream in jeans and leather/Life's dream, I'm sweet for you.” Lana Del Rey is back, baby! Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, however, the follow-up to last week's “Mariners Apartment Complex” is actually far from your average Born to Die cut, with Lana heard losing herself to a wall of psychedelically distorted guitars in what might be her most bold move, musically, to date.
6LACK (FEAT. FUTURE) – EAST ATLANTA LOVE LETTER
If you're yet to listen to 6LACK's East Atlanta Love Letter, then just a heads-up that you're missing out on some of the biggest chill vibes of the year. For real, every song on the album is a straight-up moody masterpiece, right down to this slow-burning Future-featuring title track, which comes accompanied by a video that sees both 6LACK and Future returning to their native Zone 6.
SAN HOLO (FEAT. DUSKUS) – FOREVER FREE
Whenever I need a mental pick-me-up, I just listen to San Holo. No, really, the posivibes are coming in thick and fast on the Dutch producer's latest single, the Duskus-featuring “forever free,” a gorgeously driving six-minute instrumental that hears San Holo experimenting with everything from house dynamics to more beautiful acoustic sections. Basically, issa journey.
MADI – REPRISAL
This is some sultry stuff right here from Madi. I mean it, the Moving Castle signee – who's previously worked with the likes of Felix Snow and Slushii – is tantalizing me to the core on her debut single “Reprisal,” a song about revenge and retribution that hears Madi getting in touch with her inner femme fatale over a bed of bombastic-as-hell basslines.
ALUNAGEORGE (FEAT. CAUTIOUS CLAY) – SUPERIOR EMOTION
AlunaGeorge and Cautious Clay are a match made in heaven on “Superior Emotion.” Coming ahead of AlunaGeorge's EP Champagne Eyes, this is the kind of ballad that you can imagine feeling pillowy soft to the touch, with Aluna Francis and Cautious Clay sounding truly angelic as they sing of a love that overwhelms the senses: “Superior emotion/Obsessed with the mess and the feeling of devotion/That's what I want, but I know I don't need it/That's what I want and it makes me weak.”
P.S. I suddenly really want a fortune cookie.
BEN HOWARD (FEAT. SYLVAN ESSO) – HOT HEAVY SUMMER
Summer may be over, but clearly those 100-degree days (and nights!) are still hanging on Ben Howard's mind on “Hot Heavy Summer.” The song, which the British troubadour reveals was written and recorded during the sessions for his recent album Noonday Dream, is a collaboration with We Are: The Guard favorites Sylvan Esso, with Ben and Amealia Meath's vocals forming like a desert mirage over the humid guitar instrumental.
VANCOUVER SLEEP CLINIC & EBHONI – MERCY
Having previously collaborated with the likes of Raury and THEY.'s Drew Love, Australia's Vancouver Sleep Clinic continues to try his hand at R&B on “Mercy.” The song hears Tim Bettinson duetting with Toronto artist Ebhoni in order to tell a story of a love in ruins, with Ebhoni's powerhouse vocals working surprisingly well alongside Vancouver Sleep Clinic's more detached presence.
FINNEAS – COLLEGE
It's becoming increasingly clear to me that FINNEAS can't do any wrong. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter and brother to Billie Eilish follows up the likes of “Hollywood Forever” and “Landmine” with another balladic beauty this week in the form of “College,” a gorgeously melancholic piece that FINNEAS reveals that he wrote after an ex threw some shade his way on Twitter. “A little petty, but so is the entire Internet.” AMEN!
DYAN – FAKING
DYAN just keeping getting better and better. Following on from their cover of José González's “Cycling Trivialities,” the Los Angeles-via-Cincinnati three-piece return to We Are: The Guard this week with “Faking.” Originally written for the Netflix film Next Gen, it's a stunningly patient composition that unfurls over approximately five-and-a-half minutes, with lead singer Alexis Marsh leading the exploration of the musical space with her ever-considered vocals.
LUPA J – DRIFT
Now that Grimes is canceled, Lupa J is most definitely satisfying my appetite for dreamy experimentalist pop with “Drift.” The classically trained Australian artist – who recently supported Alice Glass and Zola Jesus in Sydney – is very much making like a young Claire “c” Boucher on this ethereal, otherworldly banger, right down to the self-directed video, which sees Lupa J channeling some serious “Oblivion” vibes thanks to the whole dancing-like-nobody-is-watching-while-wearing-oversized-headphones concept.
Until next Friday, follow We Are: The Guard's Best Chill Daily! on Spotify for more music! 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.