Recently, I discovered an old playlist I had made to listen to when I wanted to relax, aptly titled ‘Chill’.
It started out pretty low key, but then right smack dab in the middle was ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica. I can’t remember what I was going through at the time, but it must’ve been heavy. Who unwinds to the sinister growls of James Hetfield? Anyway, I’m in a better place now and these seven new tracks reflect that. Featuring Pete Yorn, Pearla, Iggy Pop and more, here are the best new songs to chill out to this week.
Pete Yorn – Calm Down
What better way to set the vibe than with a song called ‘Calm Down’? It’s the first single off multi-instrumentalist Pete Yorn’s new record, Caretakers, released earlier this month. Shot on 16mm by Scott Soens and directed by Tyler Manson, the video stars Iranian-born, California-bred surfer Gilda Hariri and Buddy the horse, whose origin escapes me.
Whitney – Used To Be Lonely
If you’re looking for a good laugh, turn this song off abruptly while someone you know is having a real crack at singing along. No one can hit those high notes quite like falsetto falcon Julien Ehrlich, who provides vocals and drums to the Chicago-based band, Whitney. Their upcoming record, Forever Turned Around, drops August 30th.
Pearla – Quilting
In Australia, the word ‘Pearler’ is used to describe something really good. For example, if you had a nice day, you might say ‘Today was a real pearler of a day.’ When you say ‘Pearler’ with an Australian accent, it sounds like ‘Pearla’, which in this case is very fitting. Born Nicole Rodriguez, the 23-year-old Brooklyn singer-songwriter releases her debut record, Quilting & Other Activities, on September 6.
(Sandy) Alex G – Southern Sky
Featuring vocals by Emily Yacina and animation by longtime (Sandy) Alex G collaborator, Elliot Bech, ‘Southern Sky’ is the perfect soundtrack for a moderately melancholy stroll around the neighbourhood. The Philly-based artist is set to release his new record, Sugar Baby, on September 13.
Tinariwen feat. Cass McCombs – Kel Tinawin
The story behind the recording of Tinariwan’s new music is as enchanting as the music itself. The Grammy award-winning Tuareg musicians recorded their upcoming album in southern Morocco, accompanied by an old camper van that was converted into a makeshift studio, as well as under a huge tent in the desert around Nouakchott, in northwest Africa. This single from their new record, Amadjar, is about the Tuareg rebellion and its detractors.
Iggy Pop – James Bond
When I first pressed play on Iggy’s new track, I thought ‘Oh no, he’s lost it’. That feeling lasted about 0.9 seconds before I was sauntering around my living room like Don Draper on a bender. This song is what people on the internet might like to call ‘a whole mood.’ Pop’s new record, Free, drops September 6.
The Growlers – Natural Affair
And what better way to close out this list than with the chaplains of chill, California’s The Growlers. ‘Natural Affair’ is the title track from the band’s upcoming sixth studio album, slated for release sometime later this year via their own Beach Goth Records and Tapes label.