TOP CHILL SONGS - WEEK 39
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs. If this is your first time visiting our column, then we're so glad that you could join us here at our secret little sanctuary where we gather every Friday to collectively relax and unwind after the stress of the working week. As anyone with an Internet connection or a television set can tell you, the last seven days have been particularly intense, politically, so we sincerely hope that this playlist helps you to restore some semblance of sanity, before returning to face the world with a renewed vigor. Just grab your headphones and a hot beverage (well, it IS International Coffee Day!), and for the next 30 minutes or so, enjoy the following tracks from Corbin, XXYYXX, BLVK JVCK, Subsets & Fallen Roses, RYD and lots more.
CORBIN – HUNKER DOWN
Corbin – the artist formerly known as Spooky Black – has always had an elegiac, funereal quality to his music, but it's something that the 19-year-old really weighs into on his debut album Mourn – a pained 10-song collection centered around “Hunker Down.” A desperate plea to a lover to elope up north, “where the 61 touches the waterline,” headed by the Minnesota misfit's haunting, cathartic roar, it comes accompanied by a harrowing Braden Lee-directed video that finds Corbin alone in the woods following an apparent car crash.
TED JASPER – GET IT TOGETHER
The best thing about music is its ability to completely transform the mood of a person. Case in point: Ted Jasper's “Get It Together.” The Bristol producer brings an immediate calm to listeners with the nu jazz composition, which comes to us by way of Majestic Casual. Opening with billowing brass before disintegrating into an intricate, groovy beatscape that evokes the likes of Bonobo and Four Tet, “Get It Together” is one of those songs that's best listened to late at night, while cruising through the city lights.
ÁSGEIR – I KNOW YOU KNOW
Ásgeir reconnects with his bucolic roots in the video for Afterglow cut “I Know You Know.” Shot on a farm in the Icelandic folk musician's idyllic hometown of Laugarbakki – which has a population of just 40 people! – the quaint visual follows Ásgeir and a friend as they harmoniously work the land. Directed by Baldvin Albertsson and Arnar Helgi Hlynsson, it's a charming ode to the unspoiled beauty of Iceland's countryside – a sentiment that resonates right through to the song's rustic pulse.
XXYYXX (FEAT. $K) – I DON'T
Two years after the release of “Red” and five years (!) after the release of his debut album, Florida beatsmith XXYYXX re-emerges from the shadows this September with “I Don't.” Coming ahead of his North American tour with Chrome Sparks, it's yet another dark, immersive offering from the 21-year-old prodigy, also known as Marcel Everett, with rapper $K delivering hedonistic verses (“Every night, drugs different liquor/Champagne, toast to the pictures, yeah/Fast life, caught it on video”) over a murky, hallucinatory trap production.
NOVO AMOR & ED TULLETT – SILVERY
Ahead of the release of their debut collaborative album Heiress in November, We Are: The Guard regulars Novo Amor and Ed Tullett have shared the sweeping “Silvery.” Like the calm before the storm, the song begins on an understated note, with piano stabs building in intensity beneath Novo Amor and Tullett's melodious harmonies. The floodgates then open around two-and-a-half minutes in, with a deluge of military drums, guitars and brass thundering into the mix, carrying “Silvery” to its triumphant, chest-beating conclusion.
BLVK JVCK (FEAT. DYO) – MIND GAMES
With production credits for Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Rick Ross, Usher and more under their belts, Florida duo The Runners are stepping out into the spotlight on their own accord this September with their original debut single “Mind Games.” Having rebranded as BLVK JVCK, the song finds Andrew “Dru Brett” Harr and Jermaine “Mayne Zayne” Jackson teaming up with sultry singer Dyo – who's perhaps best known for featuring on Neiked's “Sexual” - with all three artists contributing to the blistering piece of future bass that we fully expect to devour the pop charts.
SUBSETS & FALLEN ROSES (FEAT. AYELLE) – UNDERWATER
British producer Subsets collaborates with Mexican duo Fallen Roses in order to plunge listeners into a subaquatic bliss on his latest single “Underwater.” Undulating, reverb-drenched guitars meet rippling percussion on the song, which, musically, takes inspiration from future garage and drum and bass as much as it does ambient. We Are: The Guard favorite Ayelle lends vocals, meanwhile, with the London singer luring listeners even further into the deep with her siren-like falsetto.
RYD – WORK IT OUT
Almost a year after debuting on the blogosphere with the haunting “Alter,” RYD returns this September with his second offering “Work It Out.” Continuing where the mysterious artist left off, it's an ethereal piece of electronic pop that very much evokes the misty forest pictured in the cover art, with his lighter-than-air vocals soaring over a canopy of ambient beats. “'Work It Out' is about the avoidance of confrontation in order to spare yourself from grief,” explains RYD. “The song is addressed to the feeling that most choose to hide from.”
HENNING SCHMIEDT – MONDLIED
No words necessary here – Berlin instrumentalist Henning Schmiedt does all of the speaking required on “Mondlied,” a devastatingly beautiful piano composition as featured on Schmiedt's recent album Schöneweide, available on flau Records. Enjoy.
FENNE LILY – THREE OH NINE
Multifaceted folk singer Fenne Lily continues to find her voice with her latest single “Three Oh Nine.” The follow-up to “What's Good” finds Lily fleshing out and adding depth and dimension to her sound with help from a full backing band, with the Bristol act's tremulous, shivers-inducing voice coming swept up in rich layers of percussion and bass. “The band element in 'Three Oh Nine' came from it being written when I was feeling small, so I knew it needed to be recorded big,” Lily tells The Line of Best Fit. “I wanted to sound less alone.”
Until next Friday, 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.