Comment: Some tracks grab your attention and hold it long after they have finished playing. When this happens with a chill-out/ambient song, it just shows how special that track is. As you probably guessed, that is the case with Halcyon, one of the first singles released by German artist Christoph Sebastian Pabst under the Toteles moniker, which comes from Aristoteles. Christoph has been making music most of his life, initially in projects with some friends and later on under his own name, but Toteles represents a new beginning for him, focusing on electronic music, deep house, ambient, and chill-out music. You need both talent and luck to be successful in the music business. I don’t know how much luck he has, but he certainly got plenty of talent.
Comment: Having received classical training in percussion and after years performing as a drummer in live gigs or as a DJ/electronic music artist, it makes absolute sense that the work of Keeka The Brave –the musical project of American musician, producer, and songwriter: Elon Hiers–, sounds so cool and fresh. The Messenger, for instance, blends post-rock guitar lines with ambient synths and sophisticated beats. Inspired by the beaches near Jacksonville, this mesmerizing track will be part of Keeka The Brave‘s debut EP. Check it out!
Comment: Inspired by the eponymous 1850 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (sampled at 1:16), Twilight is a relaxing and melancholic lo-fi single from London-based producer Rosehip. The poem describes the ocean though the eyes of a child who’s looking at it, in the middle of a storm, from the comfort of home, and that’s the feeling Rosehip wanted to evoke in the listener too: feeling comfortable during turbulent times.
Twilight is part of Stargaze, the new EP by this talented artist. Despite starting pushing the boundaries of lo-fi recently (2020), Rosehip has already achieved over 8 million streams on Spotify. Once you listen to Twilight, you will see why.
Comment: Russell Howard, the talented musician behind The Auxiliary, has been making music professionally most of his life, mainly as an acoustic singer-songwriter supporting acts such as The Lumineers and Sister Hazel, but it wasn’t until he decided to leave behind the boundaries of that genre and embrace what really inspired him, that he found what he didn’t know he’d been looking for. Overture is his debut single as The Auxiliary, and this one turned out to be a gorgeous electronic soundscape with ethereal vocals and reverberated synths. It feels like the soundtrack of a dream. Don’t miss it.
Comment: Mesmerizing house track from French duo Angara featuring German singer Diana Goldberg. Escape tells the story of young woman realizing that she’s not coping well with certain elements of her life. The electronic artist have released a few tracks this year and they are all worth your time. I highly recommend adding them to your music radar.
Comment: As suggested by his moniker, Aonian (real name: Alkis Livathinos) is originally from Greece and you can certainly perceive a Greek influence in his music. This London-based electronic music musician has composed pieces for brands such as Louis Vuitton and will soon release his debut full album. A problem I have with electronic and chill-out music is that many of the tracks tend to sound similar to each other but that’s not the case with Hideout, Aonian‘s second single. This piece is testimony of the artist’s talent and creativity. Listening to it will transport you to a beach bar in Mykonos.
Two friends from Sweden, one a house music producer, John Dahlbäck, and the other one a 3D animator, Erik Ande, decided to work together on a music/motion art project as a way to abstract themselves from their hectic lives that involve, according to them, too many children and dogs around. This project is heartaake, and as you can probably guess already, its music style is basically #lofichillout. John and Eric say that their biggest influence is the silence that surrounds them when they make music.
However, unevershowmeløv –I got no clue what it means but the song is about taking it easy– is not your typical chill out tune. It has personality. Sounds and a melody that make it easily identifiable, which is not something I can say of many chill-out tracks. Also, at just 01:46 minutes, it does not overstay its welcome. As implied by the animation below, unevershowmeløv is a great track to listen to while driving. The artists behind heartaake say that this music is their chill zone and I think they manage to transport the listener to that place as well. What else could we ask for? Welcome to the chill zone!
Gilead may mean, among other things, “hill of testimony” and that is the meaning The Broken Cradle had in mind when he decided to use it as the name of his latest EP. It is supposed to tell the journey of our respective roads to Gilead in our search for happiness and purpose. The EP is a neoclassical and ambient album that starts with the aptly titled Road to Gilead, a piano-centered track with atmospheric pads that create a mesmerizing soundscape. Listening to the multiple textures in the song feels like scratching an itch and not wanting to stop.
The Broken Cradle is the solo work of Eric McLean, a musician from North Carolina with over 20 years of experience. With influences such as Brian Eno and Olafur Arnalds, it is not surprising that his music could fit so well in an album from any of those renowned artists. He is that good.
Kyrie Eleison is a transliteration of Ancient Greek meaning “Lord, Have Mercy”, which is an important prayer of Christian liturgy (thank you, Wikipedia). This is as far as I can tell you about the meaning of this song without guessing (I think it is about someone who is down on his luck), but the good news is that we don’t need to know more in order to enjoy it. The low-key vocals, electronic soundscape and synths give the tune a soothing effect that I find very appealing. There is comfort in sound and Kyrie Eleison is proof of it.
Julien Zeno Bitter is the man behind Kafka Kaya, a solo act that he started in 2015 after his previous band split up. With origins in the quiet but beautiful countryside of Switzerland but based now in Berlin, Kafka Kaya has a background in electronic music with a predilection for authentic acoustic sounds. As many other independent artist, Julien produces his music himself and is getting ready to release a new EP in April, which will include Kyrie Eleison too. Check him out below.
Parra for Cuva is definitely one of my favorite electronic music artists. Originally from Germany, I discovered him when the song being featured here today, his cover of Chris Isaak‘s popular Wicked Games, was featured on a now-extinct Youtube channel I used to follow. The track was a real hit, even reaching number 6 in UK’s official Top 40 in 2014, but, nevertheless, he remains relatively unknown. I mean, he should be more famous by now after that success and also because he has consistently released great track after great track (he’s already released one this year).
Nicolas Demuth, Parra for Cuva‘s real name, grew up in the same small town in Germany as singer-songwriter Anna Naklab and, naturally, they ended up working together in a number of releases, including Wicked Games. Her stunning voice is one of the reasons this song is so good. Event though it was a cover of a really well-known song, they managed to make it sound fresh. By the way, while we are talking about Parra for Cuva, check his remix of Mazzy Star‘sInto Dust (not available on Spotify). Simply outstanding.