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!
For a long time, London-based multi-instrumentalist Jack Beech has been producing music for other artists, but after contracting COVID-19 in January this year, Jack felt the need to create his own music and started writing an EP. That record, called Noctilucent, is available to stream everywhere already and consists of four delicate ambient tracks of different textures. One of them is the eponymous track that we’re adding to our mixtapes today.
The word noctilucent means something that glows or shines at night, and that’s what Jack tried to convey with this song and the whole EP album. Even our darkest times can result in something bright that gives us purpose. An atmospheric ambient song with a beautiful piano melody at its core, Noctilucent takes us on a haunting journey through the most gorgeous landscapes of our imagination. Please do give it a listen because you are not going to regret it.
For most people, buying a house is an important achievement that requires plenty of sacrifices. For Michigan-based artist Mark Swanson, that meant selling all of his instruments (he had been playing music for years). Well, all but his keyboard, which he tried to sell as well but could not find a decent offer for it. A few years later, when Mark felt the itch to play music again, he had to use the only instrument he still had: the keyboard, which not only explains how The Aquaerials started but also his sound. Influenced by artists who should be familiar to regular readers such as Ólafur Arnalds, Max Richter, and Sigur Rós; Mark creates minimalist neoclassical compositions that are simple yet beautiful.
Insomniac’s Respite, the latest single from The Aquaerials, is an instrumental piano piece that was inspired by sleeplessness and a general feeling of anxiety. However, being an instrumental piece, each listener can interpret it in a different way. Composed, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mark himself in his home studio, Insomniac’s Respite is a delicate track that is as serene as a lullaby. If you want to relax, this is the perfect track for you. Enjoy.
Andrew Land is a British multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer who was classically trained through his youth and then studied contemporary music on his own. This has resulted in a style of music that combines elements of both approaches, neoclassical music with traces of ambient and electronic sounds. It is not surprising then that one of his main influences is Oláfur Arnalds, who regular visitors should be familiar with. This year, Andrew is releasing his debut album, Relevant Matters, and he has given us some appetizers with a few singles and even an EP: (Making Good) Defects, all recorded and produced by the artist in his home studio in the Midlands, UK.
This EP contains three gorgeous tracks, including two versions of Defects: a stripped down version that you can listen to in the video below, and the regular, more atmospheric version, which you can find in the mixtapes mentioned after the video clip. Both versions are stunning and well worth your time. The track (s) got a cinematic vibe that evokes a feeling of peace and tranquillity. I fell in love with it and, hopefully, you will too.
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.
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.
Just like importmedia, Low Detail is a Venezuelan lo-fi music producer who happens to be friends with fellow countryman Blure. I also discovered his music when I wrote about Blure back in September. He started releasing music since 2020 and according to his songs’ credits on Spotify, his full name is Manuel Espinel. That’s about all the personal information that you will be able to find about him online. He lets his music speak for itself.
The picture above is the cover art from Low Detail’s EP, Sunny Days, one of the many releases he made in 2020. My favorite track from it is Pôrto Alegre, a charming track whose only drawback is that it is too short. That’s not a big deal though, as the problem can be easily solved by playing this great tune on repeat. Alternatively, you could simply continue with the rest of Low Detail’s musical catalogue. Totally worth it.
Seafei is a musician and producer from Ohio who lives in Singapore. Naturally, this mix of Western and Eastern cultures get reflected in his work, resulting in ambient and electronic tracks that don’t sound like your typical chill-out tunes. Mountains, his latest single, is a great example of that. It is low-tempo Western electronic music that manages to transport you to the Himalayas at least for a couple of minutes.
By all means, check Seafei‘s engaging music out. He got the talent, creativity and skills to become a renowned name within the genre.
importmedia is a Venezuelan lo-fi music producer who happens to be friends with fellow countryman Blure. In fact, I found his music when he liked a post I made on social media when I wrote about Blure back in September. He has been releasing music since 2018 and his last name is Gómez. Other than that, there is no much information online about him. Just his music, which, by the way, you will love if you like the lo-fi genre, even casually like me.
Last year, importmedia released the third entry into his Lovely Bumps series, which consists of 14 mesmerizing tracks, highlighted by –in my opinion– Playa São Paulo, which is a collaboration with Mexican music producer, Key One. This outstanding piece got some Brazilian vibes (as suggested by its title) that complement the electronic beats wonderfully. If you are looking for a soothing track to chillax to during these crazy times, this is as good as it gets. Enjoy!
For those of you who might not know,vaporwave is a relatively new music genre that consists of slowed-down samples of smooth jazz, hip-hop and lounge music. The Musical Endeavor is a musical outlet led by Liam Taylor, who describes his music as instrumental lo-fi hip hop with elements of vaporwave. This act recently released its second EP, Ray of Light, whose title track is our song of the day.
You can certainly perceive the jazz vibe on this track, mainly due to its piano hook, an original composition by Liam. Ray of Light has a soothing effect that makes it an enjoyable piece. Next time you have friends visiting (if that becomes a thing again at some point), you can play this song or even the whole EP as a musical interlude and get props for not recurring to the typical lounge music we’re all tired of hearing at bars or restaurants. Enjoy!