TOP CHILL SONGS: 10 TRACKS YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE THIS WEEK
Hi, everyone! How are you? I'm not going to lie, this Omicron variant is starting to put me on edge a little! Of course, while it's important to remain informed about the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures we can take to protect ourselves, it's also important to look after our mental health during times like these. With the weekend almost upon us, then, feel free to join me in prioritizing self-care this Friday with the latest edition of We Are: The Guard's Top Chill Songs, featuring DAISY WORLD, Pink Sweat$, Godford, and seven other favorites!
DAISY WORLD – PICNIC
She recently appeared on Tyler, the Creator's CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, but today, DAISY WORLD is returning the focus to her solo career with the stunning "picnic." With her jazzy voice stretching out like morning limbs over strummed acoustic guitars and brushed drums, "picnic" is a gorgeous ode to self-care. DAISY WORLD: "This song is for all the people who are harder on themselves than they need to be. It's a reminder to chill on all the ways you're judging yourself and show yourself a little love."
PINK SWEAT$ (FEAT. 6LACK) – MIDNIGHT RIVER
Ahead of the release of his EP PINK MOON, Philadelphia's Pink Sweat$ has shared the oh-so-soothing "Midnight River." A duet with 6LACK, "Midnight River" is a pillowy soft sunset sail that hears Pink Sweat$'s David Bowden looking to take his relationship to the next level. "While you face all your fears I promise I'll be right here/When you need me just call anytime/And we can float in the midnight river," coos Pink Sweat$ with a genuine sincerity, before handing over to the ever-tranquilizing 6LACK.
GODFORD – THE HILL
It's the winter solstice on Tuesday, but Godford has us longing for the balmy nights of summertime on "The Hill." Lifted from the Paris producer's recent album I YOU SHE, "The Hill" is a driving piece of house music that infuses a warm, sultry sense of euphoria into every propulsive note. "When we produced this album, the world was not going well, we wanted to create an album, that gives you the feeling of being alive, free, and allows you to meet your deepest emotions," claims Godford. Mission accomplished.
FANA HUES – BREAKFAST
Fana Hues continues to establish herself as one of the most sumptuous vocalists of her generation on her latest single "Breakfast." Premiered via the YouTube channel COLORS, the follow-up to November's "Pieces" is a 90s-esque love song about diving deep into a relationship and losing your balance in the process. "Woke up in the wrong day forgot breakfast/Nothing even means anything," croons the Pasadena native over an indulgent, R&B-tinged production courtesy of Hope, Biako, and The Idiot.
SQUIRREL FLOWER – UNRAVEL (BJÖRK COVER)
Björk's "Unravel" is one of my favorite songs of all time. It's also one of Thom Yorke's. And, apparently, it's also one of Squirrel Flower's. Just a few months on from the release of Planet (i), Ella Williams is making her return this Friday with this stripped-down rendition of the Homogenic cut. While the original is pure fragility, Squirrel Flower's version quite inconceivably makes it even more brittle and vulnerable to the touch, with the lo-fi production shattering the song's armor to its emotional core.
SLOUCH ONLINE – SKELLY'S
Introducing Slouch Online, the Los Angeles rapper and producer inviting us into his hyperreal universe on the somnambulant "Skelly's." "The song is about past mistakes involving relationships. As it progresses it's more about growth and letting go," writes Slouch Online. With his vocoder-laced vocals floating over minimalist bedroom-wave beats, "Skelly's" is a languid fantasy that hears Slouch Online declaring: "I just came alive/For the very first time/In the middle of the night/My demons came to fight."
SHALLOU – CORNERS
Even though it's been an incredibly surreal, difficult year or so, Shallou is starting to see the light on the astounding "Corners." The opening song on his brand new EP The Long Way Home, "Corners" was written in March when Shallou "finally felt hope coursing through my veins again." "I could finally clear the haze and write about the feelings I had experienced during the pandemic," adds Shallou of the breathtaking electronic rhapsody, which closes out with a burst of saxophone courtesy of Alex Bone.
FLATSOUND – LAST MINUTE CYCLE
The outside world has become a very scary place for a number of people over the last year or so, but for Flatsound's Mitch Welling, it's always been that way. A recovering agoraphobic, Flatsound continues to come to terms with his mental health struggles on the hushed "last minute cycle." Featured on his recent four-song collection of the same name, "last minute cycle" finds Flatsound singing about the "monster waiting at the door," with itching, squiggling synthesizers dancing beneath his whispered vocals.
NORTH NAIM – RIVER
Having recently retired Zola, North Naim is making his musical debut under his own name with the captivating "River." "'River' is ever-evolving," explains North. "One moment it's a placid hymn to nature, the next it's a war cry of self-love, and finally it's a paean to the value of finding a reflection of yourself in others." Produced with Tender Games, "River" is an enchanting bit of cinema that takes inspiration from hip-hop and trip-hop, with North channeling Massive Attack as fronted by Kid Cudi.
RUNNNER – COLORS (SUN JUNE COVER)
He recently invited Skullcrusher's Helen Ballentine onto a remix of his own song "Urgent Care," and today, Runnner's Noah Weinman is passing on the love with this radiant cover of Sun June's "Colors." While the original from Sun June's Somewhere is a candlelit ballad, Runnner's version of the song throws the curtains open wide with help from some gentle lo-fi percussive flourishes. Sun June's Laura Colwell also contributes some lush backing vocals to the cover, bringing a sense of conversation to "Colors."
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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.