TOP CHILL SONGS – WEEK 50

12/16/16
“Photo” by Daniel Mingook Kim

Christmas is fast approaching, and I admit, I'm actually pretty excited! I've finished up the last of my Xmas preparations, and all that's left for me to do now is eat, drink and be merry... Oh, who am I kidding?! I'm yet to make a start on my gift shopping, I still haven't decorated my tree and don't even mention anything about a turkey! In fact, the only thing that's preventing me from having a complete breakdown this holiday season is the following edition of Top Chill Songs. If it wasn't for the latest tracks from Mansionair, Gems, Shy Girls and more coming to my rescue, I'm pretty sure that I'd be slumped in a Starbucks somewhere, cry-singing Mariah Carey into my Eggnog Latte as we speak!

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MANSIONAIR – EASIER

In October, Mansionair shared the gut-wrenching “Easier,” a song “written for the moments that you find yourself lying on your bed staring at the ceiling and wondering if things will change,” to quote frontman Jack Froggat, and this month, the Sydney electronic outfit return with the video. Created using a 3D mapped live dance performance and generated 3D landscapes, it's an artful yet poignant watch that'll resonate with you long after viewing.

 

TÂCHES (FEAT. INGA) – MI DESTINO

And now for something completely different! English-born, Barcelona-based producer Tâches is bringing some much-needed Spanish sunshine to the mix with “Mi Destino” (“My Destiny”). A collaboration with jazz musician Inga, “Mi Destino” is a flamenco-flavored slice of deep house that makes you want to dance as much as it makes you want to chill!

 

GEMS – BLOW OUT THE LIGHT

Gems returned on Wednesday with details of Every Full Moon, not an album, but a series that'll see the Washington, D.C. duo release a new song every time the full moon rises. Of course, there was a full moon in the sky on Wednesday, which means that Gems got things off the ground there and then with “Blow Out The Light.” A pillowy ballad written after the breakup of band members Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher, “Blow Out The Light” is the definition of bedroom pop perfection.

 

SHY GIRLS – WHY I LOVE

Having recently unveiled “Trivial Motion,” Portland PBR&B producer Shy Girls returns today with yet another taste of his forthcoming debut album Salt. Like “Trivial Motion,”  “Why I Love” hears Dan Vidmar continue to embrace everything 80s, with the wavy guitars and afflicted falsetto crooning lending the song a power ballad vibe.

 

GANGLY – BLOW OUT – CURATOR ROBERT DUFFY

There's something about Gangly! The Icelandic outfit have only released three songs to date – “Blow Out” included – but all three have been nothing short of haunting. Paired with an eerie animated video, their latest single hears Gangly continue to build on their crystalline sound, with lead singer Jófríður Ákadóttir's icy vocals circumnavigating a minimal electronic production that rises and falls with beguiling ease.

 

SYNCHRONICE – ILLUSION

The ever-prolific Synchronice are back with what might be their best offering to date. Clocking in at just over three minutes, the thoughtfully crafted “Illusion” hears Will and James Saulsky pair frenetic bass-driven beats with beautiful piano flourishes, resulting in a truly genre-defying piece that hits you right in the feels. Synchronice: “'Illusion' is a song about thinking for yourself and seeing through facades to get to the truth, and about how ignorance can be blissful but harmful.” Check it out!

 

VASSER – RETRACT

This is my first time hearing Vasser, but the German-born, London-based producer has utterly enthralled me with his latest single “Retract.” Built around a solitary vocal loop that hears the 18-year-old repeat “All that I want is for you to turn around” while a mix of glitched-out electronics and more organic textures play out around him, I'm sure that you'll agree that “Retract” couldn't be a more alluring introduction to Vasser.

 

TSÖRF – HOLD ON TO ME

Tsörf is bringing all of my dream pop fantasies to life with her latest single “Hold On To Me.” The follow-up to “Can I Be Close 2U?” and “Know The Light,” “Hold On To Me” is an otherworldly synth-drenched gem that hears the enigmatic New Zealand artist's vaporous vocals paired with what might be her most deeply ethereal production to date.

 

STORME – SOLDIER

Prepare to be blown away by the force of nature that's Storme! The Swedish-born, London-based singer-songwriter showcases a truly larger-than-life sound on her debut single “Soldier.” Produced by Adam Betts and featured on her EP Rootless, it starts out as a simple piano ballad before surging up into a powerful baroque pop tempest, at the eye of which billows Storme's skyscraping, Kate Bush-esque vocals.

 

NIIA – LAST NIGHT IN LOS FELIZ

Classically trained jazz vocalist and purveyor of so-called “modern noir” Niia returns to grace our ears this December with “Last Night In Los Feliz.” A cinematic six-minute jaunt through deeply woozy strings and Niia's oh-so-timeless vocals, “Last Night In Los Feliz” oozes with a romantic kind of elegance that really helps to bring the song title to life.

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Until next week, stay chill(mas)! x

Photo” by Daniel Mingook Kim is licensed under CC0 1.0 (cropped and resized).

About Jess Grant

When Jess Grant isn't writing on music, she can be found playing it – on her guitar, on her ukulele, and on her recently acquired mandolin. Playing it hideously, she ought to add. Jess also studies. She studies the English language, to be precise. Jess is currently on her way to a degree in the subject, and enjoys starting and never finishing novels, screenplays, and poetry in her spare time. She also likes dogs. Lots of dogs.