THE 10 TOP CHILL SONGS YOU’VE GOT TO HEAR THIS WEEK
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, something tells me it’s about to get pretty damn stressful around these parts. Before we buckle up for the inevitable hellride, however, it’s time to enjoy one final moment of calm with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard’s Top Chill Songs. Just remember to leave all politics at the door (difficult, I know) before hitting play on the following selection of chill tunes from Ben Kessler & Lizzy McAlpine, ford. & Barrie, Sasha Sloan, and seven other favorites.
BEN KESSLER & LIZZY MCALPINE – FALSE ART
Ben Kessler and Lizzy McAlpine have had enough of holding it together on “False Art.” “I don’t want to be false art/Pretend we’re picture perfect/When we’re breaking beneath the surface,” sing both artists on the gleaming piece of sad-pop, with Ben and Lizzy’s voices coming together with ease as they face the fact their relationship is falling apart.
FORD. & BARRIE – 4:38AM
This one is dedicated to the insomniacs. Utah producer ford. and Barrie are taking us into the depths of the night on the tranquil “4:38am.” Featured on ford.'s recent album The Color of Nothing, it’s a coruscatingly lo-fi lullaby best listened to while lying in bed and staring up at the ceiling, with Barrie Lindsay’s voice making for quite the sedative.
SASHA SLOAN – ONLY CHILD
Sasha Sloan reimagines life with siblings on the crushing “Only Child.” The title song from the Massachusetts native’s recent album of the name is a gut-wrenching piano ballad about the loneliness that comes with being an only child, with Sasha showcasing her country-esque twang as she sings some of her most devastating lyrics to date.
YAEJI – WHEN IN SUMMER, I FORGET ABOUT THE WINTER
Just six months on from the release of her mixtape WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던, Yaeji returns with the wistful “When in Summer, I Forget About the Winter.” “When in summer, I forget about the winter/When I’m happy, I forget about the blues,” sings the New York act on the disarming headdream, which throbs with a plaintive undercurrent.
LEON BRIDGES & LUCKY DAYE – ALL ABOUT YOU
Leon Bridges and Lucky Daye come together to channel their childhoods on “All About You.” “For this song, we set out to bring back the energy of some of the 90s R&B greats we grew up listening to,” writes Leon of the nostalgic ballad, which hears both artists getting in touch with their inner Ushers and Boyz II Mens over silken, retro guitar licks.
ÓLAFUR ARNALDS & BONOBO – LOOM
Ahead of the release of some kind of peace next month, Icelandic artist Ólafur Arnalds has shared the album’s moving opening song “Loom.” A collaboration with Bonobo, it’s a brooding ballet of sounds that feels like an appropriate introduction to what’s said to be Ólafur’s most personal album to date, with every emotive note telling a story.
FIJI BLUE – AFFECTION
Every time I listen to Fiji Blue, I feel like I’m in paradise. Case in point: “Affection.” The follow-up to “Waves” hears the Los Angeles duo continuing to refine their breed of “sad-boy chill-house,” with images of white sand and turquoise oceans filling the mind as Fiji Blue sing about their need for affection over balmy guitars and lilting beats.
ROSTAM – UNFOLD YOU
Rostam is sounding more tantalizing than ever on “Unfold You.” Built around a sample of Nick Hakim’s “Papas Fritas” and saxophone courtesy of Henry Solomon – who most recently contributed to HAIM’s “Summer Girl” – it’s a lush, sumptuously jazzy piece, with lyrics about completely giving yourself over to another person. Intoxicating.
HOPE TALA – CRAZY
British act Hope Tala continues to prove she’s The Next Big Thing in R&B with “Crazy.” The latest single to be unveiled from her forthcoming EP Girl Eats Sun is a soft, sensuous ode to a crush, with bossa-nova beasts backing Hope as she encourages her paramour to confess to their feelings on the dance floor: “You can go, go, go crazy.”
THE MARÍAS – CARE FOR YOU
The Marías are immersing us in the rainforests of Puerto Rico on the inviting “Care for You.” “We wanted to transport you to a rainforest, one that reminded me of my real home,” writes María Zardoya of the humid jazzy cut – an ode to her island roots – with vocals layering like beads of sweat as María seductively pledges herself to her lover.
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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.