It's November, which basically means that it's Christmas. Okay, okay – so maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves, but it goes without saying that the next two months of the calendar are definitely going to be busier than usual. As much as we love this time of the year (no, really – find us at the front of the queue when Starbucks launch the red cups!), we also recognize the importance of staying as relaxed as possible in the lead up to the holidays in order to avoid any kind of pre-festivities burn out. Before we hit the mall for our first round of gift shopping this weekend, then, we're bringing you 30 minutes of musical therapy in the form of yet another edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs. Featuring Chløë Black, LAOISE, Aisha Badru, Rhye, Jens Kuross, and five other favorites, there's something here for everyone.



Introducing Danny Dwyer, a St. Louis producer and trumpet player, and the latest artist to bring some nu-jazz goodness to We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs. “What You Want” is our first time hearing Dwyer – who used to record under the name Ny Odus – and to say that we're in love with his vibe would be an understatement. Built around Dwyer's smoothalicious vocals and completed by a retro-sounding electronic piano solo, it's a veritable groove that we recommend to fans of Tom Misch and FKJ.



The intoxicating, darkly alluring Chløë Black – who first caught our attention back in 2014 with her debut single “27 Club” – steps out from the shadows this November with a completely different look and sound. Bleach blonde and dripping in diamonds and pearls, the London vixen resembles a modern-day Marilyn Monroe on the cover art of her most recent offering “Waterbed.” That sense of vintage glamour can be heard amongst the actual music, too, with Black taking Lana Del Rey's signature breed of Hollywood sadcore and giving it a provocative, sexually charged makeover.



Galway girl LAOISE returns this fall with the emphatic “Rich.” The 20-year-old describes a past relationship with someone who chose money over love on the hard-hitting electronic pop composition, with LAOISE utilizing her pain in order to summon perhaps her most vehement piece of songwriting to date. “The song is about a love that's been compromised for possessions,” LAOISE tells a press release. “I don't deal well with someone treating me badly, and I especially don't deal well with someone treating my loved ones badly, so the song is a screw you to the people who try to.”




Matt Maltese's “Comic Life” is tragic. The follow-up to Blood, Sweat, and Beers is a contemplation of the absurdity of human existence in the same vein as Father John Misty's Pure Comedy, with the “Brexit pop” balladeer's evocative baritone and incisive songwriting coming together to paint a picture of absolute despair. “It's about those pathetic moments when your life seems like one big sitcom,” reveals the London crooner in a press release.  “Moments when you don't want to leave the house, you want another drink, you want to whine, and, in my case, write another sad song.”



Ahead of the release of his much-anticipated triple album Phantasmagoria, Los Angeles producer Gueorgui Linev, who records as Kan Wakan, has shared the magical “Tuesday.” A collaboration with vocalist Rachel Fannan and guitarist Avi Buffalo, it's an autumnal stroll through an enchanted forest that's home to the kind of creatures thought up between the pages of fantasy novels, with Fannan weaving her folk-indebted pipes around charming strings courtesy of Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.



Hailing from the historical county of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, 20-year-old producer Greg Wanders is dialing down the brainwaves with his most recent offering “Sines.” The tranquil piece hears Wanders weaving his Sampha-esque vocal chops around a minimal soundscape, within which the electronic and the organic realms beat as one, resulting in a breed of neo-soul that really helps to bring about an alpha state of mind.



Love is a never-ending cycle of obstacles, challenges, and difficulties, but Aisha Badru vows to overcome each and every one of them on her latest single. “There'll be oceans for us to tread/There'll be bridges for us to mend/But I'll stick through it,” emotes the Yonkers artist on the glowing ballad “Bridges,” a string-laden ode to perseverance that'll resonate with anybody who's ever fought for a relationship.



Having made a name for herself on Broadway in 2016 starring as Lila in Cirque du Soleil's Paramour, Kat Cunning debuts on We Are: The Guard this November with her first single “Baby.” The confessional piano ballad hears the Brooklyn actress making full use of her theatrical background in order to bring to life the song's tragic protagonist, with the lyrics coming written from the perspective of someone who sees love as a form of coping mechanism with which to navigate the world. “Rock me slow in your arms like a little baby,” sings Cunning at one point. “'Cause I can't handle being by myself on a crowded train.”



With Rhye gearing up to release their much-anticipated second album in 2018, the Los Angeles duo comprising of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal have shared “Taste.” Produced by regular collaborator King Henry, the follow-up to “Please” is a pillowy R&B groove that has us feeling some type of way, with the song's club-indebted heartbeat coming caressed by Milosh's ever-seductive coo.



spotify Following on from his tour supporting We Are: The Guard favorite Bonobo, Los Angeles producer Jens Kuross is back to doing what he does best this November with his latest single “Spiraling.” Clocking in at just over four minutes, it's a song that gradually reveals its secrets to its listeners. With vocal and instrumental layers slowly unfurling like the three-dimensional curves of a helix, “Spiraling” is a dexterously crafted piece of music that comes completed by a truly symphonic crescendo.


Until next time! x

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash