oppidum – Murmuration

Artist: oppidum

Song:  Murmuration

Genres: #chillout

Location:  Bordeaux, France

Release date: July, 2022

Comment: French artist oppidum is undoubtedly one of the best electronic music artists out there. He was featured here two years ago with his single Genius Loci, and even then you could tell he was different. Now he’s back with a new, self-produced, EP, Vignemale, whose lead single is the superb Murmuration. Vignemale is one of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees, and the EP is the story of the five-day journey to reach it. oppidum’s trademark is creating instrumental downtempo electronica tracks that combine acoustic instruments with field recordings, and you will find plenty of that in Murmuration as well.

The acoustic guitar tones in this hypnotic track are phenomenal. I feel I could listen to Murmuration all day on repeat.

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Hatsü – Be Conscious

Artist: Hatsü

Song: Be Conscious

Genres: #relaxing #ambient

Location: London, United Kingdom

Release date: May, 2022.

Comment: Today, middle of the week, let’s switch gears to something extremely relaxing. Be Conscious is a hypnotic track from London-based music producer Bobby Turner, aka Hatsü, which is a Japanese name meaning Beginning. One problem I’ve found with most ambient tracks is that they tend to sound very similar to each other but, luckily, Be Conscious does not suffer from that issue. Instead, Hatsü introduces subtle changes with layer after layer of textures and tones, resulting in a gentle soundscape that will certainly help you to focus, sleep or meditate.

I hope you enjoy this ethereal piece as much as I did.

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MIRRORS – Heading Home

Artist: MIRRORS

Song: Heading Home

Genres: #chillout #ambient

Location: Indianapolis, United States

Release date: April, 2022.

Comment: Here’s another chill-out gem. At one point or another in our lives, we have all had to leave the place we considered home in order to start a new life somewhere else, from going away to college to moving to a new city or country because life happens. In the process, we feel homesick for the place we’re leaving behind and, at the same time, excited in anticipation to the environment that will become our new home. How’s it going to be like? Will we get used to it? That’s the feeling that young and extremely talented music producer Joe Morgan, aka MIRRORS, wanted to convey with the fascinating Heading Home. This spellbinding track is simply gorgeous.

The scary part –in a good way– is that MIRRORS, name chosen after what’s has been the project’s main catchphrase: “We reflect what we surround ourselves with”, is just getting started.

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Toteles – Halcyon

Artist: Toteles

Song: Halcyon

Genres: #chillout #ambient

Location: Munich, Germany

Release date: March, 2022.

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.

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The Auxiliary – Overture

Photo credit: Paul Storey

Artist: The Auxiliary

Song: Overture

Genres: #chillout #dreampop

Location: North Carolina, United States

Release date: January, 2022.

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.

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Angara feat. Diana Goldberg – Escape

Artist: Angara

Song: Escape

Genres: #chillout #electronic

Location: Paris, France

Release date: May, 2021.

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.

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Aonian – Hideout

Artist: Aonian

Song: Hideout

Genres: #chillout #electronic

Location: London, United Kingdom

Release date: April, 2021.

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.

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heartaake – unevershowmeløv

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!

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Jack Beech – Noctilucent

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.

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The Aquaerials – Insomniac’s Respite

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.

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